Can You Eat Bass?

In short, Yes, Bass you can eat bass. However, you should make sure that they are properly cooked. Also consider that bass are game fish and may be protected in certain areas. Many only eat the smaller specimens. This is to avoid unpleasant textures or flavors than can come with older fish. 

Another reason to only eat smaller bass is to preserve the larger specimens for breeding and angling opportunities. 

Some people don’t really like bass bass

Bass Distribution And Habitat

There are many species of freshwater bass and all of them are eaten. Bass are native to North America but have been exported all over the world. You can even find populations of Largemouth Bass in Japan. 

The popularity of freshwater bass species is due mainly to their sporting qualities. Fishing for bass of all types is a very popular activity. There are even tournaments where competitive anglers vie for prizes.

Bass can be found in most types of freshwater environments. You can find species of bass in ponds, rivers, creeks, lakes and reservoirs. Bass can even be caught in estuaries where there are small amounts of salt water intrusion. 

You can find them in water with dense vegetation camouflaged and waiting to ambush prey. Or, you can find them in deep cold lakes sheltered by large boulders or rocky bottom.

Bass can be caught as far north as Canada and also south into Central America.  

The Largemouth Bass is one of the favorite bass species with anglers. It has been exported all over the world.

Bass are normally predatory fish and will prey on smaller fish, insects, crustaceans, reptiles, and even small mammals. 

Bass Taste

Bass can have a varied taste depending on many variables. It can have a fishy taste or a very mild taste. 

The texture can also vary. 

Some compare bass to crappie in taste. This may be somewhat right, but it’s not 100 % true.

Of course the texture of any fish can vary depending on factors like water temperature and quality.

This holds true for bass as well. 

You can take certain measures in order to prevent any flavors. 

Some people like to soak their fish before cooking. Using buttermilk to soak fish fillets is a common practice. This is done to help remove any fishy flavors. However, it may not be necessary with bass.

If you do soak, be careful not to overdo it. If you over soak any fish meat, it could get soggy and unpleasant.

Bass is not a very oily fish to begin with. So you can expect lean fillets.

For the most part, the flavor of your bass will be dictated by how you prepare or season it. 

Some other factors that can affect bass taste are:

Bass from very warm water may develop a more mushy texture. This can often coincide with muddy water. Bass from extremely muddy water can also take on a muddy flavor as well.

If you like a firm texture and a mild flavor, try to get bass form cold clear waters.

Many anglers wait till the end of winter to harvest cold water fish for a crisp firm meat. 

Remember that all of this is very subjective. Bass are so widespread that you can find many variations in their flavor.

Preparing Bass

Preparing bass can be done in many different ways.  Some like to cook fish whole after removing the guts, gills and scales. 

But one of the most popular ways to prepare bass is filleting. 

If you’re planning on filleting your bass, you’ll want to have some important tools ready.

Make sure you have a very sharp fillet knife. What makes a good fillet knife you ask?

Well, they normally have this flexible blades. This makes it easy to lay the blade parallel to the cutting surface for the perfect but between the meat and the skin.

To fillet a bass, follow these steps:

  1. Just behind the gill plate, cut down until you hit the spine.
  2. Turn the blade towards the back of the fish.
  3. Cut towards the tail keeping the knife running along the spine. 
  4. When you get to the tail don’t cut the meat off. Just flip over the fillet so that it’s still attached to the tail.
  5. You will see the meat portion facing up. 
  6. Insert the knife in between the skin and the meat.
  7. Start sliding the knife from the tail towards the other end of the fillet. Keep the knife close to the skin and parallel to the cutting board.
  8. Continue cutting until you have cut the fillet free from the skin.
  9. Check the fillet for any remaining bones.

That’s it. You now just repeat the procedure on the other side. You will end up with two bass fillets. 

Just remember that the first time you do this, you may get it wrong. Like anything else, practice makes perfect.

Cooking Bass

When it comes to cooking bass you have many options. If you have gone ahead and filleted the bass as I described above, here are some ideas.

You can simply pan fry them or grill them. If you’re going to grill your bass fillets, I strongly urge you to use a grilling basket. This will help make sure that the fillets don’t fall apart as your grilling them. 

If you’re going to grill, it can be a really simple process. Just add some spices like salt, pepper, garlic powder and maybe some ancho or cayenne pepper for a kick.

Another option is to cut up your fillets into chunks and then deep batter and deep fry them.

Deep Fried Bass Recipe

If you want to try deep frying some bass, check out this recipe. You’re going to be making some batter dip. So let’s make that beforehand and have it ready to go.

The amount of batter here will cover about a pound of meat.

Deep Fried Bass Batter Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Flour

3/4 Cup Non-Rising Cornmeal 

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Onion Powder

2 Tsp Black Pepper

1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper or Paprika 

If you like a little kick in your recipe then go with the Cayenne pepper. Otherwise, go with the paprika instead.

You can place all of these ingredients in a ziplock bag and mix them together.

When you’re ready to start cooking, you will need about 1 cup of buttermilk. 

Heat up some oil to 300 – 350 degrees. How much oil depends on what you will be using. If you have a deep fryer, then you just need enough to submerge the chunks of fish.

If you’re just using a pan, then about 2 inches of your favorite oil will do. Make sure you follow safety precautions when cooking.

Put the buttermilk in a bowl. Then cut the fillets into chunks. You can add salt and pepper to the chunks to your own taste.

Dip each of the chunks into the buttermilk. Then. cover each with a dusting of the batter powder.

You’re now ready to add your bass chunks into the fryer. In a couple of minutes, you should have a golden-brown color. 

Once the bass chunks are done, move them to a plate covered with paper towels. 

Pat the bass chunks with some paper towels to remove excess oil. 

You’re ready to go. Try them with your favorite hot sauce. They’re delicious.