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Can you eat largemouth bass

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Can You Eat Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are the most common species of game fish for anglers in the USA, and millions of Americans go bass fishing every year.

However, considering the popularity of bass fishing, hardly anyone seems to be eating them. 

The question arises: can you cook and eat largemouth bass, and if so why don’t anglers eat bass more frequently?

Yeah, you can absolutely eat largemouth bass, but usually they’re not known to be one of the most delicious freshwater fish.

In terms of taste, salmon, trout, walleye, and others are much more common.

Moreover, bass from stagnant ponds or rivers may have a muddy taste that scares off several individuals.

Overall, most anglers seem to believe that catching bass is even more enjoyable than eating it.

What Does Largemouth Bass Taste Like

what does largemouth bass taste like

They have a mild and friendly taste, much like bluegill, if you manage to get largemouth bass from a clean lake.

Their flesh is white and tender when properly prepared, and when fully cooked, becomes flaky. 

However they can taste awful if you get bass from muddy or unclean waters.

For example, bass meat appears to have a muddy taste during the algal bloom in summer, which is why it is safer during the colder months to eat largemouth bass. 

Another explanation why certain individuals don’t want to eat bass is that an unpleasant and pungent odor from their body cavity results from gutting them.

Fortunately, with thorough rinsing, you can get rid of the smell and there is typically no trace left of it after cooking. 

Personally, I’ve had some bass that tasted fantastic, and some that tasted bad, so this question doesn’t seem to have a single response.

I think a lot of it as well as their size and the abilities of the cook who cooks them, comes down to where the bass is from.

How to cook largemouth bass

how to cook largemouth bass

The best method to cook largemouth bass is to filet them, followed by one of the following methods of cooking:

  • Sautéing
  • Deeper frying
  • Grilled
  • Baked

Break off the filets first and take the skin off.

The firm white filets are suitable for a milk, flour and breadcrumb batter coating, accompanied by pan frying them.

Or before battering them, accompanied by deep frying, you can cut the bass filet into smaller nugget sized bits. 

Baking it in aluminum foil is another delicious way to prepare largemouth bass.

Simply add some crushed garlic and lemon juice to the seasoning and then let them simmer in their own juice before the meat begins to flake.

What Size Should Largemouth Bass Be To Eat

The best size to eat is around 10-14 inches of largemouth bass, and preferably no larger than 15 inches. 

Younger bass have more tender meat and better taste, similar to many other fish species, while older ones get stronger, and appear to produce more toxins over the years. 

Moreover the small ones are also easier to prepare.

If you’ve ever tried to cook a big fish, a portion of the meat that’s not completely cooked is usually still there while the pieces on the edge are already more than finished.

Are Largemouth Bass Healthy

are largemouth bass healthy

A general term that includes a wide number of fish, both freshwater and seawater, is bass. Striped bass, largemouth bass, and sea bass are common species of bass. Like other fish on this list, bass is high in protein and omega-3s. Manganese, phosphorus, and vitamin B12 are also good sources for bass.

Is Largemouth Bass High In Mercury

is largemouth bass high in mercury

Largemouth bass and wild-caught catfish, two common game fish in the freshwaters of North Carolina, have been introduced to the N.C. List of fish in a state with high levels of mercury by the Public Health Division (NCDPH).

As a result of these listings, the Agency recommends that women of childbearing age (aged 15-44), pregnant and nursing women and children under 15 years of age refrain from consuming these fish, and that only one serving per week should be eaten by all other adults.

The first freshwater fish to make the list statewide is the Largemouth bass, originally classified as high in mercury in only a portion of the state. Wild-caught catfish are considered high in mercury, along with bowfin, chain pickerel and warmouth, when caught south and east of Interstate 85. 

Besides these fish, more than 16 species of saltwater fish are identified as having high levels of mercury. Albacore (canned white tuna), South Atlantic grouper, king, Spanish mackerel and shark are among them.

Mercury Levels In Largemouth Bass

The total mercury concentration in adult largemouth bass muscle tissue ranged between 0.16 and 1.10 μg/g (fresh weight) and increased as fish increased in size and age.

Mercury levels in largemouth bass less than 320 mm (age 2) were five times higher than in largemouth bass greater than 320 mm (age 2).

Should You Eat Largemouth Bass

Of course, it all comes down to you. Wether you decide to do a catch and release or you decide to cook it up as a meal.

However, keep in mind the water conditions and where you catch the largemouth bass before deciding to turn it into a meal.

When it’s prepped and cleaned, from a good source of water, they can be very delicious.

How To Clean Largemouth Bass

cleaning bass can be difficult. Instead of explaining how, check out this video which demonstrates how to scale and clean bass.

How to Catch Largemouth Bass

We won’t go deep into catching largemouth bass but here are a few tips that could help you out.

Within your tackle box, bass fishing success doesn’t begin. In order to cover the whole ecosystem in which bass live, your attention must extend beyond lure selection.

how to catch largemouth bass

Research how the cover and structure available to them in various seasons and under different conditions are linked to bass.

When and where do they spawn? What they feed on? What are the seasonal forage movements?

You will be guided by the answers to those questions to the right choice of lures and presentations.

Spinner Bait

Texas-rigged worms or jigs are favorites of meticulous casters. Aggressive anglers increasingly choose spinnerbaits.

Even though some accomplished bass fishermen favor crankbaits, jerkbaits, and other topwater lures as their fishing lure counterparts.

You’ll have better results if you cast the lure to cover shallow and deep water.  Whatever lure you select, learn its nuances well so you can increase its effectiveness.

Basic Lure Colors

Some popular lure colors include chartreuse-and-white spinnerbaits with gold-and-nickel tandem blades.

Firetiger and Tennessee-shad crankbaits, black-and-blue jigs and power-grip finesse worms.

Junebug worms in muddy water, Watermelon-Seed worms in clear water, and both silver and gold jerkbaits with black backs.

Keep in mind that when purple plastic worms fail to draw strikes, pumpkinseed worms probably won’t be any better.

Instead, change up lures or fishing locations. Dramatic changes bring dramatic results, but once you start catching bass, you may find color swapping helpful.

Change Location

Until you get off the road to nowhere, you can’t get on the path to bass nirvana.

Familiar fishing locations are hit-or-miss and do not inspire you to consider the many options that can deliver better catches.

Tap your confirmed fishing holes only when there are favorable conditions for them.

Spend a portion of each fishing trip discovering new locations and playing with various methods. 

You can achieve a higher level of fishing only by extending your knowledge of the environment and how bass contribute to it.

Mix Up Your Style

In contrast to making a steady recovery, or dragging a worm on the bottom instead of hopping it the difference between a wide catch and meager outcomes may be anything as slight as letting a spinnerbait drop 6 inches next to the shady side of stumps. Give yourself some bass choices, and they’ll tell you what they want.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you eat largemouth bass?

Yeah, you can absolutely eat largemouth bass, but usually they’re not known to be one of the most delicious freshwater fish.

What does largemouth bass taste like?

They have a mild and friendly taste, much like bluegill, if you manage to get largemouth bass from a clean lake.

Are largemouth bass healthy to eat?

bass is high in protein and omega-3s. Manganese, phosphorus, and vitamin B12 are also good sources for bass.

Does largemouth bass have a lot of mercury?

Two common game fish in the North Carolina freshwaters, Largemouth bass and wild-caught catfish, were introduced to the N.C. The Public Health Division’s list of fish in a state with high mercury levels (NCDPH)

Bottom Line

when it comes from a clean environment and is prepared with a good recipe, largemouth bass is absolutely fine to eat, and can make a tasty meal.

But as they appear to taste bad, you should probably make an effort to avoid bass from polluted or unclean waters.

Anyone who is into sports fishing or eating wonders whether they should eat a largemouth bass. Eating largemouth bass from clean freshwater sources like lakes and rivers is healthy. 

This fish’s taste does not go down well with many people due to the type of diet it takes and its environment. But this is a matter of choice as some want it. When taking this type of fish to avoid mercury and listeria poisoning, pregnant women also need to be vigilant. 

There are several ways to prepare a bass, but as soon as you catch it it’s important to clean it properly.

The concept of catch and release is popular because ensuring future fishing supply, it helps keep the bass population up. However, instead of releasing it back into the sea, it would be easier to eat an injured bass.

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