How To Hold A Bass? The Correct Way To Handle Safely

Reeling in a giant bass is always a fantastic experience for beginners. They want to get a snap of this fish, but usually; they cannot hold it correctly, which results in damaging the fish and hurting themselves.

Bass is a sensitive fish that needs proper care while holding. If you are planning to take a snap and release the bass in the water, you should learn the appropriate way of holding a bass because if the fish is mishandled, it can damage the jaws of the bass.

There are certain angles to hold a bass that tells you where your hand should fit, you should place your thumb, and the remaining fingers should go. The methods of proper handling include the horizontal hold, the vertical hold, and the angled holding. In this article, you will learn about the safest and easy way to hold a bass.

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How To Hold And Handle A Bass?

It seems easy to hold a bass if you have been fishing for years, but you must learn the technique to hold a bass if you are a beginner. Mishandling a bass can lead to slipping of the fish and hurting yourself with the bass teeth.

It can also damage the bass and can ultimately cause the death of the fish. If you hold a bass greater than 10 degrees angle, it can cause damage to the bass mouth, and hence they will be unable to hunt or eat properly and die because of incorrect handling.

You may also want to read the complete guide on how to mount fish.

Horizontal Hold

Horizontal holding of a bass is a great way to get a perfect picture of the giant bass. This way of holding provides support to the fish that have weight and big size. It helps distribute the weight of the fish evenly and enables you to hold it easily.

It also allows you to take a more detailed picture that shows the size and length of the bass. Usually, beginners who are fond of taking photographs prefer this hold because they can easily carry a big bass.

No matter what method you are using while holding a bass, proper care is a must. Hold a bass at a horizontal angle, place your thumb in the bass mouth and hold the lower lip to get a firm grasp. While holding a bass lower lip, keep your thumb from the bass teeth because its teeth are small but sharp as needles. It can hurt your thumb.

Now hold the bass vertically and place your other hand underneath the bass body to get a good grip. It will help you hold a bass easily despite its weight. You can set your hand under the bass body near the caudal fin.

While holding a bass in this way, make sure you keep the bass head above the body slightly because it will put less pressure on the bass jaws. This position will help you hold a heavier bass for longer hours without being tired.

Horizontal Holding of a Bass
Horizontal Holding of a Bass

Vertical Hold

According to professionals, the vertical hold is the best and safest way to hold a bass. It allows you to hold a bass without damaging its jaws and body. The tail hangs below the body, which reduces the jaw’s pressure and results in minimal or no damage.

In this technique, you have to put your finger in the bass’s mouth to hold the lower lip and the rest of the fingers go outside the lip to get a firm grip of the bass.

It is crucial to avoid the teeth while holding the dentary of the bass because it can hurt your finger. The hold of your finger outside the lip should be firm so that the bass doe not slip from your finger. Slipping off the bass will provide more damage to it than using the wrong technique of holding. The brass’s slime and the jaws are the two main areas that need proper handling.

Bass is covered with slime that keep it from harmful disease and act as an immune system. Damage to the slime coating will eventually make bass more immune to deadly diseases. Jaws of the bass are important for hunting and eating. Damage to the jaws will keep them from hunting and taking food and can cause death to the bass from hunger.

Vertical holding of a bass
Vertical Holding of a Bass

Angled Hold

It is the most inappropriate way to hold a bass. In this technique, you will hold the bass above a 10-degree angle from its body. The only way to hold a bass in this method is by the lower lip without using the other hand for support.

This method can damage the jaws of the bass as all the pressure lies on the jaws of the bass. Holding a bass only from the lower lip can also cause the slipping of the bass which results in the death of the fish.

Inappropriate Way of Holding a Bass (Angled Holding)
Inappropriate Way of Holding a Bass (Angled Holding)

Things To Remember While Holding A Bass Fish

There are several important rules which you need to remember while bass fishing. These rules will help you in holding a bass safely and will let you fully enjoy the fishing experience. Minimal contact with the bass can protect the fish from damage.

It also keeps you from hurting yourself with the bass’s teeth. It is important to remove the hook immediately after you catch the bass.

Use vertical or horizontal techniques for the safe holding of a bass fish. Make sure you do not remove the slime coating on the fish as it is the immune system of the bass and you can damage it with the firm grip. Fishing tools are very essential for grabbing a bass like a net or a fish grab. Do not squeeze a bass while holding it because it can be harmful to the fish’s body.

Do not put your thumb or finger on the gills as these are the respiratory organs of the bass and can kill the bass if damaged. When you are done with the fishing activity, return the bass to the water. The Head should be the first thing to go in the water and then the rest of the fish’s body.


The proper technique of holding a bass is necessary for the safety of the bass and the fisherman. The wrong placement of the fingers can damage the bass and can kill it. The vertical hold is the most appropriate way to carry a bass and is recommended by many fishing professionals.

This is the safest way and causes less or minimal damage to the bass.

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