Are largemouth bass good to eat? This question begs a fascinating exploration into the fish culinary world.
As we know, largemouth bass is famous among sport anglers and epic in its catch-and-release narratives. Yet, some anglers enjoy reeling in the bass for an exceptionally delicious meal.
However, can you eat largemouth bass? Join us as we reveal whether this celebrated game fish is worthy of your dinner plate. From taste to texture considerations and cooking methods, we’ll reel in the answers to satiate your curiosity — and possibly your hunger!
Is Largemouth Bass Good to Eat?
It is an interesting question, but the simple answer is YES! You can have the thrill of bass fishing and later bring home your catch for a delectable dinner.
Freshwater bass are increasingly finding themselves cooked and served on plates. Although they aren’t the first choice for eating amongst other types of fish like salmon, walleye, or trout, the consensus is that largemouth bass are safe and delightful to eat.
Moreover, eating a bass fish has good nutritional value. It is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins (A, B6, B12), selenium, and other minerals.
As such, there is no reason to resist a slice of bass meat for dinner, provided you like its taste and flavor. On the downside, if you deter strong fishy taste and smell, this fish is something you won’t probably enjoy.
Some anglers and non-anglers alike are also curious if they can eat largemouth bass raw. Technically, you can. However, not every fish is palatable for sushi or sashimi. Largemouth bass, in particular, isn’t suitable for this purpose or is unpleasant to ingest raw.
Consuming raw bass (or any fish) comes with inherent risks, such as transmission of foodborne diseases. Therefore, cleaning the fish well or following handling procedures when preparing raw fish is highly advised.
How Does Largemouth Bass Taste?
Largemouth has thick muscles, which can make fleshy, boneless filets. The meat is firm yet tender and flaky on your fork when cooked.
Furthermore, regular consumers characterize bass flavor as having gentle, earthy, and nutty notes. Contrastingly, those skeptical of eating largemouth bass describe its taste as reminiscent of mud or featuring a pungent fishiness.
Typically, the taste and quality of largemouth bass can depend on various factors, such as their environment. The bass from a pond or murky water may have a distinctive muddy flavor. Meanwhile, the fish will taste good, definitely cleaner and milder if sourced from clean, moving water bodies.
However, the taste also depends significantly on how the fish is prepared. For instance, before cooking, you can take out the bloodline and skin to alleviate the fishy smell. In other words, a well-prepared largemouth bass can offer a delicious meal, even to the fussy eaters.
Let’s see what the others think about largemouth bass flavor:
Cooking Largemouth Bass
The most suitable size of a largemouth bass for consumption should be between 10 and 14 inches in length. Those 15 inches or larger may have a stronger flavor and tougher meat.
When preparing the fish, it is best to cut them in filets, pulling off the skin and dark-colored flesh. The image below speaks well of it.
Once ready, you can cook them to your preferred largemouth bass recipe. Generally, this fish is best when:
- Deep fried
As a rule of thumb, you can dust some seasonings, lemon juice, or ginger to alleviate the fishy smell. You can also coat them with seasoned flour or breadcrumbs when frying. Indeed, the right preparation can bring out the good taste of this fish!
Is It Better to Release Largemouth Bass or Eat Them?
Largemouth bass are certainly edible and can make for a good meal. Yet, advocates are campaigning not to eat them. So, why shouldn’t you eat bass?
The reason is simple: conservation. The catch-and-release practice aims to preserve local bass populations. Besides smaller bass, it is advisable to release larger bass as they significantly contribute to the breeding pool.
Does this mean you aren’t allowed to keep some of your catch? Some suggest you take home a few medium-sized (10-14 inches) and release the others for conservation purposes.
In conclusion, the “Are largemouth bass good to eat” debate depends on your preferences and sustainable fishing practices. While not everyone’s first choice, the largemouth bass can offer a delicate and mild flavor when correctly prepared.
Nevertheless, releasing larger specimens is the best way to ensure we can continue enjoying the best offerings of this species. Hence, the next time you reel in a medium-sized bass, don’t hesitate to treat yourself to a flavorful dish and savor this diverse and delicious fish!
Hi, I’m Thomas Kirk. As someone who loves fishing, I am here to offer everyone help on all aspects of angling, whether it’s preparing live bait or determining when to crank in a fish. As you go through the guides here, feel free to let us know your thoughts and any topics you want to learn more about.