Walleye Vs Bass – A Comparative Look At Two Freshwater Favorites

There is a big debate in the freshwater fishing world: Bass or Walleye? It’s a topic that gets anglers talking and excited. Bass, comprising species like largemouth and smallmouth, and Walleye, known for their distinctive glassy eyes, are two angler’s top prizes in the world of sport fishing. 

These fish provide exciting experiences for people who like to catch them, and taste good for those who enjoy eating them. The main differences between these two freshwater bodies are:

Walleye Vs Bass
  • The Walleye have reflective eyes, which help them see in low light conditions, while Bass do not have reflective eyes.
  • Walleye have two dorsal fins, while Bass have a single dorsal fin.

In addition to the major distinction mentioned above, there are subtle differences in their body shape, nutritional content, and size. We will discuss these finer details in the following sections of this “ Bass Vs Walleye “comparison article to help you understand their differences and unique qualities. Let’s explore this debate and see what makes these fish so interesting. 

Check Walleye Vs Pike.

Difference between Walleye and Bass: Walleye Vs Bass



  • Walleye, scientifically known as Sander vitreus, is a freshwater fish in the perch family. It is a popular game and food fish native to most of Canada and the Northern United States. 
  • Bass are a popular game fish and food fish worldwide. There are many different species of Bass, but the most common types include:
  • Largemouth bass
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Spotted Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • White Bass

Bass like Largemouth and Smallmouth are part of the Black Bass genus (a subset of the Sunfish family). In addition to these common species, there are many other less common species of Bass worldwide. Some of these species include Guadalupe bass, Alabama bass, Suwannee bass, Shoal bass, Redeye, bassBlackfin seabass, Japanese sea bass, and Peacock bass.


  • Walleye are fish with long, slender body and a tapered tail. Walleye have Gold and olive back, white belly, and black stripes on the back and sides. These fish have two dorsal fins, one with spines and the other with soft rays. Their mouths are big and filled with sharp teeth, and they can see well in low light, which is handy for hunting at night. Walleye are beautiful and unique fish, and their distinctive appearance makes them easy to identify.
  • Bass have many physical characteristics that set them apart from other fish. They have a big mouth, a forked tail, and a spiny dorsal fin. Their bodies are covered in tiny scales. Here is a more detailed description of the appearance of the most common types of Bass:
  • Largemouth Bass are dark green on top, lighter on the sides, and white underneath. They also have a dark stripe along their side.
  • Smallmouth Bass are bronze in color and often hang out in rocky areas. They have a dark bronze back, lighter sides, a white belly, and a dark side stripe.
  • Spotted Bass have light green backs covered in dark spots and a white belly. They like clear water habitats.
  • Striped Bass have long, slender bodies and are silver in color. They feature a dark green back, silver sides, and dark stripes running along their sides.
  • White Bass are, as the name suggests, white with silver stripes along their sides.

Additionally, Bass seems to have a broader back, giving them a chunkier appearance. On the other hand, Walleye have relatively smaller heads in proportion to their body size.

Walleye Vs Bass Size:

Walleye are generally larger and longer than Bass. On average, anglers catch Walleye weighing between 2 and 5 pounds, whereas Bass typically weigh between 1 and 3 pounds. However, both Walleye and Bass have the potential to grow much larger. The largest recorded Walleye weighed over 25 pounds, while the biggest largemouth Bass on record weighed more than 22 pounds. For a quick review, here is a comparison of the average size of Walleye and Bass:

Fish  Average weightAverage length
Walleye2-5 pounds18-24 inches
Largemouth bass1-3 pounds12-18 inches
Smallmouth bass1-2 pounds10-14 inches
Spotted bass1-3 pounds10-14 inches
Striped bass      5-15 pounds24-36 inches
White bass1-2 pounds10-14 inches

It is important to note that these size averages are just general guidelines, while Walleye are typically larger and longer than bass on average, the actual size of a fish can vary significantly based on factors like its age, where it lives, and food availability.

Walleye Vs Bass Fins:

Walleye and Bass have differences in their fins. Walleye have two dorsal fins – the first is spiny, and the second is soft-rayed, whereas Bass have a single soft-rayed dorsal fin. In terms of anal fins, Walleye have one long anal fin with a white tip, while Bass have two shorter anal fins without white tips. Additionally, Walleye have a square tail fin, while Bass have a forked tail fin. Following table summarizes the key differences between Walleye vs Bass fins:

Dorsal finTwo, one spiny and one soft-rayedOne, soft-rayed
Anal finOne, long and white-tippedTwo, shorter and without white tips
Tail finSquareForked

Aside from the major differences, there are also some minor differences in the fins of Walleye and Bass. 

  • Walleye typically have larger pectoral and pelvic fins compared to Bass. These differences in fin size are adaptations to their unique lifestyles and environments. 
  • Walleye, as ambush predators in deep, clear waters, rely on their two dorsal fins for stability and stillness, aiding in their patient hunting strategy. Their square tail fin allows for swift turns and pursuit of prey. 
  • In contrast, Bass are active hunters in shallow, murky waters. Their single dorsal fin enables quick swimming and maneuvering in tight spaces, and the forked tail fin is ideal for rapid acceleration and agility when chasing prey.

Habitat and Feeding Habits:

Walleye and Bass, two popular freshwater fish, have distinct preferences in their habitats and feeding behaviors. 

  • Walleye thrive in deep, clear waters with sandy or rocky bottoms, commonly inhabiting lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. On the other hand, Bass are more adaptable and can be found in various water bodies like lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. They favor shallow waters with hiding spots like weed beds, docks, and fallen trees.
  • In terms of feeding, Walleye are ambush predators, primarily dining on smaller fish like minnows and perch. Still, they also consume insects, frogs, and other small creatures. In contrast, Bass are active hunters with a diverse diet, including smaller fish, insects, crustaceans, and frogs. 

The following table summarizes the differences in Walleye and Bass habitats and feeding habits:

FeatureWalleye Bass
HabitatDeep, clear waterShallow water with cover
Feeding HabitsAmbush predator, feeds on smaller fishActive predator, feeds on a variety of prey

These distinctions in habitat and feeding habits make each fish unique in their way. The variations in habitat and feeding preferences between Walleye and Bass are a testament to their unique adaptations to their respective environments. Walleye have evolved to thrive in deep waters and specialize in hunting smaller fish. At the same time, Bass have adapted to a broader range of habitats and possess a diverse palate, allowing them to be more versatile in their feeding habits.

Walleye Vs Bass Taste

Walleye and bass, both prized freshwater fish, are also known for their delicious 

Walleye Vs Bass Taste

taste. Still, they do have notable distinctions in their flavors. Walleye is typically known for its mild taste, featuring flaky and white flesh. In contrast, Bass offers a stronger, somewhat “fishy” flavor, accompanied by denser texture and darker flesh. Here is a concise overview of the taste of the five bass species to better understand the overall taste for Bass :

  • Largemouth Bass offers a mild, slightly sweet flavor with a firm, flaky texture. Occasionally, it may carry a “muddy” taste due to its environment. 
  • Smallmouth Bass has a more distinct, sweeter, and cleaner flavor, alongside a firmer texture than largemouth bass. 
  • Spotted Bass shares a flavor profile with smallmouth bass but is slightly less sweet and has a less firm texture. 
  • Striped Bass has a rich, buttery flavor and a firm, flaky texture, often likened to saltwater fish. 
  • White Bass presents a mild, slightly sweet taste with a flaky texture. Like largemouth bass, it can sometimes carry a “muddy” flavor influenced by its surroundings. 

Check How To Catch Walleye?

The way these fish are cooked can also affect their taste. Walleye is best when cooked using methods that preserve its delicate flavor, like baking or poaching. On the other hand, Bass can be prepared using various methods but is often grilled or fried to enhance its flavor.

Walleye Vs Bass Nutrients

Bass and Walleye are both healthy fish, packed with nutrients like protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and various vitamins and minerals. However, there are some differences in their nutritional content. The following table comparing the nutrient content of walleye and bass per 3-ounce serving:

NutrientWalleye Bass
Calories79 grams90 grams
Protein22 grams17 grams
Total Fat1.9 grams2.3 grams
Saturated Fat0.2 grams0.4 grams
Omega-3 fatty acids0.7 grams0.5 grams
Selenium36.5 micrograms12.6 micrograms
Vitamin B122.1 micrograms0.9 micrograms
Phosphorus210 milligrams198 milligrams

Walleye and Bass offer essential nutrients, but Walleye has more protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also a good source of selenium, vitamin B12, and phosphorus. Bass is slightly lower in these nutrients but is still a healthy choice. Your preference should be based on your specific dietary needs and taste preferences. If you’re seeking higher protein and omega-3s, go for Walleye; Bass is a great option if you prefer lower calories and fat. Both fish are tasty and nutritious choices.

Walleye Vs Bass Fishing

Bass are more popular among anglers than Walleye. This is likely due to the fact that Bass is more abundant and easier to catch. 

Walleye Vs Bass Fishing
  • Walleye are commonly caught using trolling, jigging, or casting methods. For Walleye, fish in deep water near drop-offs, reefs, and other structures. Use live bait, minnows, leeches, or artificial lures that mimic baitfish.
  • Bass can be caught using various techniques, including trolling, jigging, casting, and spinning. For Bass, fish in shallow water with cover, such as weed beds, docks, and fallen trees. Use a variety of lures, such as crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and soft plastics.

About Walleye and Bass

What is a Walleye?

Walleye is a beloved freshwater fish for a multitude of reasons:

What is a Walleye
  • It has a tasty and tender flesh that can be cooked in many ways, from frying to grilling. 
  • Anglers like it because it is a tough fish to catch, providing an exciting challenge. It is found all over North America, making it a common choice for all kinds of anglers. 
  • Walleye is also economically important and culturally significant in Minnesota and Ohio. 
  • Plus, it is a healthy choice, low in harmful substances and good stuff like protein and omega-3 fatty acids. 
  • It is also sustainable, so you don’t have to worry about overfishing.
  • Whether you’re an angler, health-conscious eater, or eco-friendly diner, Walleye is a top pick enjoyed by many.
  • Whether you’re an angler, health-conscious eater, or eco-friendly diner, Walleye is a top pick enjoyed by many.

What is Bass?

There are plenty of great things about Bass as a freshwater fish:

What is Bass
  • Bass are abundant everywhere in North America, so they are easy for anglers to find and catch.
  • Bass put up a real struggle or fight when you hook them, which makes them popular among sport fishermen.
  • Bass has a mild, flaky flavor that many people enjoy, a versatile fish.
  • You can cook Bass in many ways, like baking, grilling, frying, or poaching.
  • Bass is a healthy choice because it contains protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Bass also help maintain the balance in freshwater ecosystems. As top predators, they keep other fish and aquatic creatures in check, essential for a healthy ecosystem.
  • Bass is an excellent choice whether you want a fun fishing adventure or a tasty and nutritious meal.

Are Walleye good to eat?

Certainly! Walleye is a delectable and nutritious freshwater fish that offers a range of benefits. It’s a superb source of protein, vital for tissue repair and growth. It boasts a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which supports heart health and brain function and reduces inflammation. Walleye is also a wise choice for those watching their weight, as it’s low in calories and fat. The fish is rich in essential vitamins and minerals like selenium, vitamin B12, and phosphorus. 

Are Walleye good to eat

Check Is walleye A Good Fish To Eat?

Walleye can be prepared through various cooking methods, such as baking, grilling, frying, or poaching, and is often paired with sides like rice, potatoes, vegetables, or salads. Remember to remove the skin and bloodline to minimize any potential fishy taste and avoid overcooking to keep it tender and flavorful. 

Are Bass good to eat?

Yes, Bass is a popular freshwater fish that delights the taste buds with its mild flavor and flaky texture and offers numerous health benefits. It’s a fantastic source of protein, essential for tissue repair and growth, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, renowned for their contributions to heart health, brain function, and inflammation reduction. Additionally, Bass is a wise choice for those managing their weight since it’s both low in calories and fat. Bursting with essential vitamins and minerals like selenium, vitamin B12, and phosphorus, it’s a nutritional powerhouse. 

Are Bass good to eat

You can prepare Bass in various ways, from baking and grilling to frying and poaching, and it’s often paired with side dishes like rice, potatoes, vegetables, or salads. To fully enjoy its flavor, remember to remove the skin and bloodline before cooking and ensure it’s cooked until tender to prevent dryness.

My Final Thoughts: Which Fish is Better, Walleye Vs Bass?

When choosing between Walleye and Bass, many anglers go for Walleye. It is all about personal preference. Walleye offers a mild taste with flaky white flesh, making it a top pick for those who enjoy a more subtle flavor. In contrast, Bass has a stronger, somewhat “fishy” taste, accompanied by denser texture and darker flesh, appealing to those who prefer a bolder flavor. Both fish are popular among anglers and food enthusiasts, and the decision largely depends on individual taste and culinary preferences.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.