In the United States, the bass is a popular fish species among the anglers when having their sport fishing annually. Despite being popular among the anglers and individuals in the United States, it’s rare to see people eating them because most anglers release almost all of them after catching them. Thus, raising some questions like; can you eat bass and if yes, what is the proper recipe for cooking it, and what’s the right frequency of eating this fish species. This article discusses everything you need to know about eating bass.
Are bass fish species edible?
Yes, they are good and edible fish species, and you can absolutely eat them, especially the largemouth bass. Unlike the other freshwater fish like walleye, trout, and salmon, the bass is not tasty; that’s the main reason why most individuals keep off them. In addition, those bass fish that come from the rivers and ponds have a muddy flavor, which is generally irritating to most people. Thus, this makes most anglers catch them for fun rather than for meals. They allow them back to the waters rather than using them as meals.
However, despite being fit for human consumption, there are some conditions you should check when looking for a suitable bass for human consumption. Ensure that you get bass from clean water such as the clear and larger water bodies such as the rivers and lakes free from pollution and contamination. Avoid the bass from the murky ponds or drainage canals, as they come with the irritating muddy flavor that keeps off most individuals.
When looking for a suitable bass to eat, it’s essential to understand that the water’s smell the anglers catch the fish will be similar to its taste. Therefore, if you get the fish from a water body in a swampy area having a tangy smell, then the taste of the fish will be similar to the smell of water. Getting the bass from odorless and clear water is vital to have the best smell and taste.
In addition, it’s appropriate to get the fish from the lakes in the early or late summer seasons. The reason is that the lakes usually appear cleaner in the cold season due to the algal bloom, making the fish have a bad taste during this time. Lastly, before you go fishing, experts recommend you carry proper research on the level of water pollution of the water bodies to ascertain if the fish is good for eating.
The taste of the bass fish
After getting the perfect response to the question, is bass good to eat? Most people would want to know how they taste before trying them out. A bass fish from perfect and clean water bodies has an agreeable and mild flavor similar to the bluegill. After preparing them, the flesh becomes white, tender, and flaky following a proper cooking recipe. The firmness of this meat makes most anglers prefer to use this meat for making soups.
In contrast, you may get a terrible taste if you have fish coming from unclean or polluted, or murky waters. For example, if you get the bass fish from muddy streams, polluted large water bodies, or during the summer algal bloom, the fish comes with an irritating muddy flavor and a pungent smell. You can mostly find this taste in the smallmouth bass fish; that’s why it’s good to eat the largemouth bass during the cold seasons.
The proper size of bass you should eat
The size is an essential factor in determining the appropriate bass fish you should eat. Meals experts recommend that the best size of bass to eat is approximately 10-14 inches. You shouldn’t go for any bass fish above 15 inches as they will present a terrible taste, and their meat is usually stiff.
It’s important to note that the smaller or younger bass have more tender meat and the best flavor, making them easy to prepare and have the best taste. Nonetheless, if you choose the older or larger fish, you’ll have difficulty cooking as they’ve got tough meat. After cooking, you’ll end up with meat having a terrible taste, as the more years these bass fish stay, the more toxins they accumulate in their bodies.
Cooking recipes for bass
The preparation method will be one of the main factors that determine the taste and flavor of the fish; thus, it’ll be good to consider the best cooking methods. We’ve got a number of cooking methods you can use to prepare the fish. Due to the firmness of its meat, you can use cooking methods that even the other fish would crumble if you used on them. Below are the standard and appropriate meat recipes for the bass; you should follow them step by step to achieve the amazing taste and flavor.
The common methods include:
● Deep frying
It’s the common method as it’s easier and requires less time to prepare the meal. The recipe includes:
● Cutting the bass, after removing its fillet and skin
● Pour some olive oil into a pan, then turn on your stove, ensuring it has medium heat.
● Using your desired herbs and spices, season the fish
● Then fry it for approximately 5 -10 minutes.
● After 10 minutes, it’s ready, and you can serve it with your best combination.
You can only try baked bass if you have an oven, as they require higher heat than the other cooking method. You’ll only need salt, pepper, non-stick spray, your desired spices, and herbs. Below is the preparation procedure:
● You can choose to remove the fillet and skins if you want and then cut the bass.
● Set the oven to the appropriate heat, approximately 350 degrees Fahrenheit
● To the baking dish, apply some non-stick cooking spray
● Place your bass in the dish.
● Add some salt and pepper to your desired levels; you can even squeeze some lemon and other spices and herbs.
● Allow the fish to bake for approximately 30 minutes or up to 160 degrees temperature, then serve it.
Grilling is similar to baking, the only difference is grilling is a more straightforward process than baking, and you get a tastier fish. The ingredients you need include non-stick spray, desired spices and herbs, olive oil, pepper, and oil. The process involves:
● If you like, you can remove the fillet and skins before cutting the fish
● On the grill, apply some non-stick spray
● Turn on the grill adjusting it to medium-high heat; you can add enough coal to achieve the high temperatures when using a charcoal grill.
● Apply some olive oils on both sides of the fish and gently place it on the grill.
● Then add some spices, herbs, salt, and pepper to your taste
● Allow the fish to grill for up to 10 minutes.
Essential Things to Consider When Preparing and Having a Bass Meal
Before cooking your bass, ensure that you clean it properly immediately after catching them. The proper cleaning helps to remove all the dirt and sand that might be in the fish parts. Notably, when cooking, don’t overcook to maintain a tasty flavor, and you should consider removing the skin. In addition, when making the meal, it’s essential to consider both the quality of taste and health consideration. The health considerations include choosing the proper fish from water bodies free from any pollution.
Catching Bass Fish for Sporting vs. Catching them for Eating
When it comes to bass fishing, most anglers usually have them as sporting activities. For sporting activities, the anglers typically use a catch and release philosophy, even to some extent to a religious perspective. Those with religious beliefs and mindsets consider it sacrilege to catch the bass fish, cook, and eat them. From a conservation point of view, the catch and release philosophy makes a lot of sense and helps preserve these fish species.
Additionally, the catch and release philosophy helps reduce the pressure usually on these fish due to the popularity of bass fishing sports. If most anglers choose to kill and eat most of the bass, it would significantly affect their populations and impact the sporting experience. However, the anglers can get some smaller bass fish for their meals from the fresh waters free from any pollution, considering not to impact their populations.
Importantly it’ll be good to consider taking home some smaller sizes and putting the larger or bigger ones in the water. Releasing the big ones in the water will be essential to enhance the breeding of the female breeders, which usually produce many eggs during the spawning seasons.
Additionally, you won’t even like the taste of these bigger fish; it’d be better to go for the other tastier species like trout, walleye, perch, and crappie. Even if you’re seeking to ask, is bass good to eat? Most anglers will tell you they don’t have the best flavor than the other fish species.
When seeking a perfect response on if you eat bass, researchers have it that bass fish species are good to eat. However, they only make a tasty and the best flavor if they come from the perfect environment, especially the larger water bodies free from any pollution or mud. After getting your fish, it’ll be necessary to wash them and use a proper recipe for preparing the best bass fish meal. Nevertheless, it’s appropriate to keep off bass fish from unclean waters or stagnant water as you’ll get a terrible taste of the fish meat, and they contain some harmful toxins.