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Can You Eat Bass? How Will My Amazing Catch Taste?

Written by: Catchmefishing
Date Published:  May 29, 2021 
Updated: May 30, 2021

Can You Eat Bass Fish?

Bass is one of the most popular fish in the world for both their sport, nutritional value, and taste. It doesn’t matter if you are an amateur beginner or an experienced professional angler, bass fishing is an especially relaxing and entertaining experience for everyone.

If you’re still wondering if can you eat Bass, the answer is yes. I love bass not only on my hook but also on my plate. It’s one of the best and most tastiest fish you can eat. Depending on the local regulations on your chosen lake, if you’re allowed to keep the fish, you can definitely eat it.

Can you eat sea bass recipe

Some people prefer not to eat freshwater fish, they fish simply for sport and adventure purposes. many people catch and release bass without killing them. It’s totally okay not to eat the bass you catch. It’s also okay if you want to take some home and taste it as long as you follow local rules on catch and kill.

Many places have regulations against killing bass due to the decreasing population of all the species. Even if rules may not be formally set in some places, it’s strongly recommended not to kill off the whole lake supply of freshwater bass.

Can I Eat Largemouth Bass?

A large percentage of freshwater bass fishers believe that largemouth bass should not be eaten, as it’s one of the most popular species as a sport fish. They frown upon eating bass because they believe that the fish should be catch and released for sports purposes only.

Overfishing is a big problem and is strongly regulated, so don’t worry about measuring the right amount of fish to take home, almost all lakes have specific rules, that you need to follow. 

I love eating Bass and in general, is great to eat, but can you eat smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, striped bass, white bass, spotted bass, and all species of bass? 

You can eat all fish species of bass as long as you put it in hygienic conditions and cook as needed to detoxicate the fish from possibly harmful substances, such as Mercury. Also don’t keep it in the fridge for a long time, it’s better to cook while it’s fresh.

Is Bass Good to Eat?

Water Conditions

Lake with no pollution good for eating bass

Lots of manufacturing companies and other establishments legally or illegally pollute different bodies of water. So, it’s highly recommended to always check the warnings regarding the state of the water quality where you’re going to fish for bass. 

If there are some toxic chemicals or anything that might make eating fish dangerous, you certainly need to be informed. Ask local tackle shops or fishermen about the rules and take safety precautions before you eat your catch.

Nutrition and Vitamins

Bass has a plethora of advantages and almost all the components of it are great for your health, especially if you’re trying to lose weight or gain muscles with natural proteins. 

The vitamins in bass help a child’s healthy growth and bone development.

  • Protein, Fat, and Calories: First of all, the bass has very little fat, low calories, it gives us a great amount of protein. On average fat amounts to 5% in one serving of bass.
  • Omega-3: The most beneficial vitamin that bass gives you is Omega-3. It’s great for the heart, it reduces the risk of a heart attack. Also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. Omega-3 is great for your eyes as well, especially if you have some kind of problem with vision.
  • Vitamins: Bass has 1% of Vitamin A, 4% of Vitamin B6, 2% of Vitamin C, and Vitamin D. vitamin A is great for eye health.
  • Other Nutrients: one serving of bass contains 6% of Calcium, 4% of Copper, 7% of Iron, 6% of Magnesium, and many other vitamins.

How Many Bass Can You Eat?

It’s highly recommended not to eat more than 6 medium-sized bass in a month, because of the tiny percentage of mercury that bass hold. 

Generally, doctors recommend eating one fish per week for better health results. You’ll gain much-needed protein, with different vitamins and health benefits.

What Size Bass Should You Eat?

The perfect size of a bass to choose for eating is between 10-14 inches / 25-35 cm. Usually huge bass aren’t the best to eat and most people prefer younger bass. In general, younger bass have softer and more tender fillets. 

Older bass have a slightly worse flavor compared to younger bass. Other than tender meat, old bass have much more toxins than younger ones. That is the primary reason why most people choose younger bass to eat.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Bass?

Make sure bass is caught in a clean water body before serving it to a pregnant woman. This factor should be considered for anyone but be extra careful with pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with immune issues.

Because of all the vitamins and nutrients, pregnant women are advised to eat bass for baby’s and their own health and strength. But keep in mind that the recommendation to eat not more than 6 bass in a month becomes a strong restriction, as the amount of mercury that exceeds the norm may create serious problems. Larger bass have a higher concentration of mercury as they consume smaller bass.

There are certain rules to follow when cooking bass, especially for a pregnant woman. Listeria, a group of bacteria that is capable of causing a serious bacterial infection that in some cases is fatal for the elderly, pregnant women, new-borns, and people with the weaker immune system.

Listeria causes fever, muscle aches, headache, diarrhea, and other symptoms of food poisoning.

Avoiding the poisoning is very simple, wash the fish and put it on an ice bed covered in foil or plastic wrap. If you’re not cooking it for some time, put it in a fridge. Make sure it’s fully cooked, a high temperature will kill the bacteria that might have stayed on the fish.

All in all, the bass is highly beneficial for your health as it’s rich with vitamins and nutrients, but make sure to maintain the kitchen hygiene that is necessary for safe cooking, especially if you’re cooking for a pregnant woman, child, the elderly, and people with immune problems.

What Does Bass Taste Like?

We’ve already stated that you can eat bass but do bass taste good? If you cook freshwater bass like largemouth bass and smallmouth bass properly, the bass is delicious. Also, sea bass from the ocean is very popular amongst fish eaters. All the species have slightly different tastes. 

Do Bass Taste Good?

  • Eating Largemouth bass: A lot of people ask can you eat Largemouth Bass? The answer is yes. Largemouth tastes pretty good, though it’s usually not my favorite kind of bass to eat. Largemouth bass has a little firm white fillet with a fishy aftertaste to it.
  • Eating Smallmouth bass: Smallmouth is more popular among fish-eaters, as it’s sweeter and with a lot more flavor to it. It’s also relatively small and more comfortable to eat. Smallmouth is most people’s favorite kind of bass to taste. 
  • Eating Sea Bass: it has a very neutral flavor with a mild and sweet taste. Most people love it, as it’s very light and flavorful. Sea Bass is very popular all over the world. It has a lovely fish taste and one of my personal favorites.
  • Eating Spotted bass: Spotted bass is also considered to be one of the best bass to eat. It’s more flavorful and much tastier than largemouth bass. Spotted bass has a slightly tingy fishy taste, but it really is good.

Other types of bass, such as white bass, striped bass, are also very popular among bass fishers and eaters. They are usually all tender and taste slightly sweet with a nice fishy flavor.

Best Bass Recipes

Can You Eat Raw Bass?

Bass is frequently consumed raw, especially in sushi, but it’s not particularly the best option. The taste of a raw bass is quite strong and it’s very unusual for sushi. You can certainly try eating raw bass, nothing is wrong with that, but make sure to wash it properly and put it in ice with a plastic bag. Cooking hygiene is vital while cooking fish, especially bass.

There are a plethora of ways bass meals can be made. You can bake, grill, broil, or fry it. I advise you to try out lots of different recipes to find the one that suits you best.

Here are some of my favorite bass recipes.

Grilled Largemouth Bass Recipe

Grilled Largemouth Bass Recipe

The necessary ingredients and steps to prepare a grilled largemouth bass meal:

  • Mix 4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar, 1 tablespoon mustard of your choice, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix it well and marinate the fish in this mixture.
  • Mix garlic, herbs, nuts, and anything else you would like to coat your fish with.
  • Take out the fish from the marinade mixture and cover it in the coating mixture. 
  • Pre-heat your grill on 450-500 F. Put the coated largemouth bass in the grill for about 3-5 minutes. Then turn off the grill and leave the fish there for about 5 minutes, until it opens up.
  • Now it’s ready to be taken out of the grill. Squeeze some lemon juice on the fish and it’s ready to be eaten.

Full-Size Bass Recipe for Oven

Full sized freshwater bass recipe image of cooked bass
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400-450F. 
  • Wash your bass, gut it, and dry both sides with a paper towel not to get soaked in water and become mushy.
  • Season inside part and both sides with salt, black pepper, white pepper, and garlic powder. Or use only salt and black pepper. It really depends on your taste.
  • Marinade the bass with a mixture of garlic, olive oil, lemon, white wine, and pepper.
  • Spread some butter on the dish and put bass on it. 
  • Bake for about 25 minutes. It’s ready when the skin is bronze and crispy.
  • Take out the fish and squeeze half a lemon on it.

Pan-Grilled Bass Fillet Recipe

Pan grilled bass fillet

You can either prepare the meal with the skin, or you can take it off. In general, the skin is pretty oily and contains fat and cholesterin, so personally, I advise you to take it off. Besides the fat on the skin, taking off the skin is good to reduce the fishy taste. But lots of people eat bass with its skin. You can decide it yourself, cook with the skin on, and take it off if it’s too oily and with a fishy taste to it.

Now let’s look at the step-by-step recipe for a pan-grilled bass:

  • Ensure to dry the fillet from both sides so that it doesn’t have a mushy texture that is unpleasant to eat.
  • Season the fillet with black pepper, white pepper, salt, garlic powder, and ground ginger. You can season it only with black pepper and salt if you want to prepare it more quickly and with fewer ingredients.
  • Heat a pan on medium heat and melt 30g butter. Cook the fish for 4 minutes on each side with the pan cover while cooking the first side. 
  • Squeeze lemon on the fish, rest it for a few minutes, and it’s ready to eat. 

Broiled Striped Bass Recipe

Broiled Striped Bass Recipe

The main technique of cooking bass in a broiler is the same as oven, but there are some different nuances, let’s take a look at the recipe:

  • Mix garlic, red pepper, ginger, and scallions. Pour oil on a pre-heated pan and put the mixture on the pan. Add lemon juice, salt, and soy sauce if you want.
  • Wash the bass, dry both sides, and put it in the broiler. It will need about 5 minutes to be completely cooked.
  • Place the fish on a plate and put the scallion mixture on top of it. You can squeeze some extra lemon on top.

Ready to Taste Bass?

Some fishers prefer to catch and release bass, as they only fish for sports purposes. However, taking a few bass home to have a grand meal is always a great idea, following the particular lake’s regulations, of course. 

Eating bass that you caught yourself makes bass even tastier and gives you a satisfactory feeling of your great accomplishment. 

Bass fish hold numerous vitamins and nutrients, including Omega-3, Calcium, Iron, and other vital components. It’s also low fat and high protein, so it’s an ideal meal for you if you want to eat healthily and gain all the necessary substances without gaining weight.

Keep in mind that eating too much bass is harmful, as it contains Mercury. Consume a maximum of 6 fish per month. This recommendation should be taken even more seriously for pregnant women, small children, people with health problems, and weak immune system. Pay attention to your bass portions and bass sizes, as smaller and younger bass usually tastes much better than older bass, because of the tender meat and flavorful fillet.

Now that you know all the reasons you should taste bass and you’ve read some of the best bass recipes, you can try cooking one yourself, you certainly won’t regret it. I would recommend starting with a smallmouth bass or sea bass if you’re new to all species of bass.

See for yourself why bass is a world-famous and many people’s favorite fish. 

Happy fishing and Bon Appetit 🙂

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