By - mimi1251
Both at different times.
Normally the pads because it helps with muting, but tips are often used for more advanced techniques like soloing and playing chords.
As other said usually pads, sometimes finger tips. Also try to put your finger as close to the fretwire as you can it makes the notes sound a lot cleaner.
This brings up an important ergonomics question - when you are fretting, make sure that you aren't overextending the finger joint in order to cleanly fret a note. Your hand should still feel comfortable and relaxed when fretting - it really doesn't take much force to cleanly fret a note.
Pads to start, but get good with using all parts of your fingers, helps with awkward positioning along the neck when you can’t fully stretch
Some other things related to new players: If you tilt the bottom edge of your bass forward to make it easier to see what your left hand is doing, your left wrist will probably feel uncomfortable. So... don't do that.
Also, consider having your bass "set up" to make sure that the action - the distance between the string and the fretboard - isn't too high. Too much action will make the bass more difficult to play.