What is the Bass “Strike Zone”?

I’ve heard several experienced Bass Fishermen talk about the “Strike Zone”. Can you tell me what they’re referring to?

To put it simply, the “strike zone” referred to by experienced Bass fishermen is the area within which a Bass will actually pursue it’s prey.   Although most experts believe that the Bass can actually “see” at a maximum distance of about 50 feet, it is highly unlikely that they will actively pursue prey that far away.  Instinctively, predators like the Bass seem to know when their prey venture into the “strike zone” or the area around them in which they have a good chance of capturing their prey, just as they also seem to know when the prey is too far away to warrant a chase.  This doesn’t mean that a Bass will never venture outside of this instinctive “bubble” but the odds are simply against it.

While it’s easier to visualize an imaginary bubble surrounding the Bass, in reality, the strike zone lies directly in front of rather than on either side or behind the fish.  This is simply because the Bass will propel itself forward rather than backwards or sideways.  The strike zone is also vertical rather than horizontal.  The Bass prefers to strike upwards and will position himself somewhat under his prey.  The blind spots of a Bass also have a role in the area that the strike zone covers.  While the actual shape of the zone stays fairly constant, the distance the strike zone covers can change depending

upon the actual mood of the Bass on any given day.  If he’s hungry for example, his strike zone include more distance than if he’s not.  The characteristics of the strike zone will also depend on the prey.  Bass prefer prey that is moving towards them rather than away from them.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow bass fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on bass fishing since 2004.

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