Bass vs Catfish: What are the Differences

There are many fundamental differences between bass and catfish. You should be aware of many critical differences between Bass and catfish if you’re considering keeping either as a pet. For starters, Bass is much more common than catfish, making them a more affordable option.

Bass vs Catfish

There’s a big difference between Bass and catfish, but what are they? Here’s a look at the key differences:

-Bass typically grow larger than catfish. Catfish have a more cylindrical body shape, while the Bass has a more torpedo-like shape. Bass typically have thicker flesh with more muscle than catfish. This means they’re better for catching bigger fish, like trout or salmon.

-Catfish has a broader head with a more enormous mouth than bass. They also have two barbels these are little fleshy protrusions from the roof of their mouths that help them filter water and grab food.

Whereas Bass has a narrower head with smaller mouths and no barbels. They also have a broader head and a shorter snout. They are typically more robust, with deeper bodies and more general authorities. Their mouths are also more significant relative to their body size, making them better equipped to bite onto prey.

-In terms of size, catfish reaching as large as four feet in length and weighing up to fifteen pounds. On the other hand, bass can reach over thirty inches in length and weigh over one hundred pounds.

-Both Bass and catfish have more textured skin than trout or salmon. This gives these fish a more realistic appearance when caught in the wild. Also, Bass typically hold their muscle tone better than catfish; they tend to stay tense when fighting or chasing game, while catfish often lose muscle tone during these activities.

Bass is generally more giant, robust, and have longer-lasting stamina than catfish. They also have a better sense of smell, allowing them to find prey in murky water. Catfish, on the other hand, are known for their quick-strike ability and ability to eat various foods.

As a result, the Bass is one of the world’s most popular types of fish. They are great for fishing and can be found all over the world.

Table: Differences between bass and catfish

SizeThe average length is 18 inches, but the largemouth bass may attain a length of 24 inches or more.Channel Catfish have a total length between 12”-24” (30.5-61 cm), a body height of 2”-4.5” (5-11.4 cm).
ShapeBass, with a longer and slimmer body. They are typically smaller than catfish.Catfish have a cylindrical body with a flattened ventral to allow for benthic feeding.
WeightTypically weighs between six and twelve ounces.Overall weight in the range of 2-7 lb (.9-3.2 kg).
The typical lifespan is 15-20 years.The typical lifespan is 15-25 years
FinBass are spiny-rayed fish with strong spines in their dorsal (back), anal (bottom rear), and pelvic (bottom front) fins. They have two separate, or only slightly connected, dorsal fins and numerous small teeth.Catfish are so-named because of their whisker-like barbels, located on the nose, each side of the mouth, and the chin. In addition, most catfish possess leading spines in their dorsal and pectoral fins.
TypeThere are two distinct types of bass: the largemouth bass and the smallmouth bass. Blue catfish, flathead catfish, and channel catfish are the three species of catfish found in the United States.
HabitatBass is a more diverse fish, typically preferring cooler, less acidic water. Catfish are well-known for their extreme appetite for food and preference for warmer, more acidic water.

They prefer to inhabit streams and lakes with a current. They can sometimes be found beneath dams and fast-moving streams.
Dietary Requirement\
The bass can swim beneath strong undercurrents to grab small fish or other animals for food, such as tuna, crayfish, earthworms, and small amphibians.They remain below the current and eat smaller-sized fish or other animals in the water that travel with the current.
ReproductionBass are known to spawn in rivers, lakes, and private ponds when local fisheries raise them. Bass choose the parts of the river or lakes thick in vegetation and seaweeds.

These are the preferred places they spawn. The idea is to provide an environment for the little fish to prosper by providing a cover.
Catfish typically spawn in the river’s lower body, where spermatophores thrive, and females lay their eggs.

These eggs hatch into millions of fry that create on their parasites like algae and plankton, among others, until they are sizable.


  • Wikipedia: Smallmouth bass
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources: Channel Catfish
  • Wikipedia: Catfish