European bass have elongate bodies, moderately forked caudal fins and may vary in coloration on their backs from silvery grey to bluish with silvery sides, their bellies sometimes tinged with yellow. Adult bass are not spotted, but their young have some spots on their upper parts. They are small scaled, having opercle with 2 flat spines and preopercle with large, forward-directed spines on its lower margin. They also have two separate dorsal fins: the first with 8 to 10 spines, the second with 1 spine and 12 or 13 soft rays. Their anal fins have 3 spines and 10 to 12 soft rays.
Bass habitats include estuaries, mud flats, lagoons, coastal waters and river mouths in summer, migrating into northern deeper waters during winter.
It can be found stretching from eastern Atlantic Ocean from Norway to Senegal, into the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and around the Canary Islands.