Are Bass Spines Poisonous? actions to take if You’re cut

bass fins

A bass is a shared name for fish, including the striped bass, smallmouth, and largemouth bass. They can be found both in the salt waters and freshwaters. Bass fish resemble the perch and usually have spines along with their fins.

Are Bass Spines Poisonous? The spines of most bass are not poisonous, a cut from a bass fin does pose a high risk of infection if they hurt you. A tetanus jab in most cases will help in reducing the risks of infection, so if you haven’t had a shot in the last 10 years or so, it may be a good time to get one now.

Unlike other fish species, bass fish are aggressive, and this makes them perfect for sport fishing. The spines of the temperate species are directly behind their gills. They also have a rear fin, two dorsal fins, and a forked caudal.

Read along to find out how to deal with bass cuts and how to handle bass fish.

Can Bass Cut You?

Owing to their aggressive nature, a  bass can cut you if you don’t handle it with care. The spines and fins of a matured bass can cause a deep cut. If not treated well, the cut can develop an infection,  which could bring severe pain and disease.

Can Bass Fin Cuts Cause Infection?

If you get a fin cut from a bass, you will likely get an infection if the wound gets contaminated with dirt and bacteria. It all depends on how deep the cut was and the steps that you take in treating that wound. Wound infections have a number of causes.

 Here are some of the primary ways microorganisms can cause open wound infection.

  1. Foreign objects such as a clothing fragment, a splinter, or a piece of glass can remain in the wound later, causing an infection.
  2.  Like longer operating time, poor surgical techniques expose the wound to foreign substances, which can cause adverse effects to an individual. You can also get an infection when contaminated airborne particles find their way into the wound.
  3. If you also make direct contact with the wound using surgical equipment or dirty hands, the chances are that you are likely to suffer an infection, which can be severe at times.

Symptoms of Infections

If you get a cut from a bass, there are chances of you getting an infection. Some of the most common symptoms of infection include:


If your temperature rises to 101 degrees Fahrenheit, it may be a sign of an infected wound. Although, sometimes, it’s normal for your temperature to rise after surgery.

Delayed Wound Healing.

An infected wound will take more time to heal compared to an uninfected wound. Seek immediate medication from your doctor if the wound is not healing even after taking appropriate steps to care for the wound.

Warmth or Swelling in the Affected Area

The body sends blood cells to an infected area. As the blood cells fight the infection, the wound tends to feel warmer. Always be careful with that wound because the warmth may cause other wound infection symptoms.

Tenderness and Pain on or Around the Wound.

A little tenderness or redness will likely occur on your wound. However, if it is continuous for a long time, it can sign a serious wound infection known as lymphangitis.

Formation of Pus Around the Wound or Oozing of Pus From the Wound.

A normal wound does not easily form pus. If your wound has pus and an abnormal smell around it, it means the wound has been infected.

Feelings of Fatigue

Fatigue is also a common sign of wound infection. If you are from surgery with an infection, you will most likely feel fine then later feel exhausted.

Increased Size of Wound Scab

A wound scab is that crust that is usually discharged from and covering a healing wound. If you notice that your scab is increasing in size, be on high alert, as that could mean you are experiencing an infection.

Seek medical attention so that you can be advised by a professional on the extent of your injury.

Redness Around the Wound

If you notice that the area around the wound has started to turn red, then it can mean you have an infection. This is especially if it forms a red streak or it spreads.

You should check the wound and repeat the whole process of treatment to kill the bacteria. If it persists, then you have to seek medication.

What to Do if You are Stabbed by Fish Fin 

A fish stab can be one of the most painful experiences you can get. In case it happens, here is what you can do to treat the wound:

First of all, you need to elevate that area and slowly apply pressure to the wound. Do not apply any ointments like tourniquets as it may cause more damage than it will prevent. You can also decide to immerse that wound in hot water for you to reduce swelling, pain, and remove any toxins that might be present. Due to the nature of the pain, you can use some anesthetics also to reduce the pain.

Ensure that you clean the wound carefully using the antiseptic solution to remove anything that might be accessible.  You will then need to wrap the wound carefully. This is to prevent any pathogens or bacteria from entering the wound primarily. Bacteria will bring an infection to the wound, making it worse.

If you feel uncomfortable with the wound even after trying to treat it, you can now consider seeking medical attention whereby the doctor will advise on what measures you should take.

When to Seek Medical Care

If you feel that your wound has an infection by any chance, you should seek medical attention immediately. A doctor should examine all wounds that show signs of infection to control the harm it can cause.

You should seek medical care if you;

  1. Suffer Too Much Blood Loss

Always consider seeking medical care if you cannot control the bleeding made by the fin cut. You should also visit a doctor if the cut goes deeper than the top layer of the skin or when it is deep enough, and it requires stitches.

  1. Have Pre-Existing Conditions

People with suppressed immune systems should also see the doctor immediately because they are more likely to develop a wound infection. They include people who live with diabetes, people taking steroid medications, dialysis patients, cancer patients under chemotherapy, or people who live with HIV.

  1. Are on Medication

You should also seek medical care if you are on blood-thinning medication and you cannot control the bleeding.

Do Largemouth Bass Bite?

The largemouth bass is one of the most interesting bass. They have a large mouth that works in a four-bar linkage system. They actually do not bite their prey at all but are very explosive, and that they use that gulping capacity to swallow their prey.

As much as they don’t bite, they do have teeth that can easily cause an injury. You may not be able to see their teeth or even feel them, but they are needle-shaped, and they can break your skin. Their jaws are powerful, too, so it’s good if you don’t put your fingers anywhere near its mouth.

They use their teeth to snatch up prey before killing it, thereby keeping a solid grip on their prey.

How to Handle Bass the Right Way 

Bass should be handled with a lot of care. Using a net can sometimes increase the chances of getting infections such as bass thumb, considering it rubs off the fish’s protective slime coating. A rubberized type of net can, however, be used as it reduces the damage inflicted significantly.

Always hold the bass by cradling its belly and also at his lip. This will prevent you from breaking its jaw. Place your measuring board in the water first before measuring your fish to avoid damaging the fish’s protective slime coating.

Additionally, consider using live well chemicals or simply change the water with your pump to reduce the ammonia content in the water since bass expel ammonia when they breathe.

You should not twist or yank the hook as this creates more damage. Consider using needle-nose pliers instead and gently pry the hooks free. Since higher water temperatures and higher elevations deplete the oxygen levels of a live well, keep your live well aerator on.

The water temperature of your live well should always be kept close to lake temperature. An eight-degree difference can be fatal to the bass, whereas a five-degree difference is stressful to the bass. If it seems necessary, use small quantities of chlorinated block ice.


Fishing is one of the most interesting activities you can engage in, and if you’re fishing bass, then you need to be extra careful. They are vicious, and you can easily get hurt. However, if it happens, you then need to take care of that wound and be keen to identify if your wound is infected or not. Visit a doctor in case of deep cuts from a bass.

Monitor your symptoms always to notice when you have an infection and when your wound is clear from infection.

When handling a bass, handle it with the precautions mentioned in this article. 

Stay in the loop!

Signup to learn unique fishing techniques that will take your skills to the next level

Your details will NOT be shared with any third parties.

Scroll to Top