adam42

Eating Largemouth Bass

50 posts in this topic

Growing up I didn't know anyone who kept largemouth bass. I occasionally kept panfish but rarely and kept a few trout but for the most part was catch and release. Those who I knew which kept fish always let things like bass and pickerel go.

 

Once I caught a monster largemouth and he just inhaled my sluggo and was hooked in the gills so I ended up keeping him and eating him. It was terrible. One of the most disgusting and foul tasting things I ever had in my life. Not even our cats would eat it and sadly most of the meat ended up getting thrown away because nobody in my family would dare eat more than a single bite. That put an end to me ever entertaining thoughts of keeping a largemouth ever again.

 

So... going to Asia, I was surprised to find in the aquariums of upscale restaurants largemouth bass swimming about and featured prominently on the menu. They were quite common and popular and considered a good eating fish. Naturally, I was like "omg Asians will eat anything" but after having that attitude for a while, I eventually wound up in large gatherings where the host would order and would inevitably order fish and half the time it'd be the bass.

 

Let me tell you, it was delicious.

 

So I'm now considering targeting them for food. Anyone else keep them? I have no idea how those restaurants cooked them and likely do not have the gear nor the ingredients to replicate it anyway.

 

So would love to see how others here who eat bass prepare them.

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As @KarpsnKatz said, depends on where. In a remote Adirondack lake, they're delicious. On a 3 day family paddle trip we made bass tacos, and bass fritters for breakfast. As a teen I ate a ton of SMB from the lakes and rivers of northern Maine.

 

Fritters: chunks of LMB dipped in salted and peppered pancake batter.

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Catch them in fairly cold clean water and they're great. Catch one in a hot mud puddle and you're better off starving.

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I haven't eaten a largemouth in many years not since I was in college in NW Tennessee.  Mostly they came out of farm ponds and they supplemented our diet of pork steaks, chicken, hamburger and Kraft Mac and Cheese.  Mostly they were in the 12 to 14 inch range.  I kept a large one once and even dipped in cornmeal and flour and pan fried it didn't taste very good.  I've found that keeping large fish of any species, except panfish, and eating them isn't the way to go.  I've been going to a lodge in NE Ontario for many years and one year I kept a couple of 5 lb walleye to bring home. They didn't cook up well.  I'll usually keep my limit of smallmouth, 13 to 15 inch fish and they're fine eating.  Same with walleye, there's a slot limit on the lake, so we keep fish in the 14 to 16 inch range.  Preferably 16 inch fish.  I'm looking forward to catching my bring home limit of both this year.  Limit is 6 smallmouth and 4 walleye.

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1 hour ago, Philly said:

I haven't eaten a largemouth in many years not since I was in college in NW Tennessee.  Mostly they came out of farm ponds and they supplemented our diet of pork steaks, chicken, hamburger and Kraft Mac and Cheese.  Mostly they were in the 12 to 14 inch range.  I kept a large one once and even dipped in cornmeal and flour and pan fried it didn't taste very good.  I've found that keeping large fish of any species, except panfish, and eating them isn't the way to go.  I've been going to a lodge in NE Ontario for many years and one year I kept a couple of 5 lb walleye to bring home. They didn't cook up well.  I'll usually keep my limit of smallmouth, 13 to 15 inch fish and they're fine eating.  Same with walleye, there's a slot limit on the lake, so we keep fish in the 14 to 16 inch range.  Preferably 16 inch fish.  I'm looking forward to catching my bring home limit of both this year.  Limit is 6 smallmouth and 4 walleye.

 

Another reason to harvest smaller (legal) gamefish if you must take - the big ones are rare, and as a sportsman you should strive to keep those big fish genes swimming in the lake. 

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Geosmin is what makes fish taste like mud, its produced by blue-green algae and bacteria, hence why winter fishing can produce cleaner tasting fish than summer. It can also build up in the fat and dark meat making larger fish taste bad, so be judicious in the filleting. 

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I'm going to try this! Ignore seabass, bad auto translate of the generic word bass (they rarely add "largemouth" so just call them bass and that often gets translated to seabass)

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, JerseyJeb said:

Geosmin is what makes fish taste like mud, its produced by blue-green algae and bacteria, hence why winter fishing can produce cleaner tasting fish than summer. It can also build up in the fat and dark meat making larger fish taste bad, so be judicious in the filleting. 

Interesting. Didn't know that.  Gonna have to look into this more.  

 

Kinda jives with my own personal rule being I don't eat fish from water I wouldn't swim in or drink (with treatment) from.   

One thing I like to do before even breaking out my filter is put water in a vessel, cover tightly, shake vigoursly, open and smell deeply.   If it smells bad, it's gonna taste bad.    

 

 

But back to the OP. Largemouth & smallmouth thru the ice are fantastic eatin.  

Smallmouth from fast moving rivers and creeks are also very good.  

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5 hours ago, adam42 said:

I'm going to try this! Ignore seabass, bad auto translate of the generic word bass (they rarely add "largemouth" so just call them bass and that often gets translated to seabass)

 

 

 

Looks really good!! I can watch Asian(entire continent) chefs all day. 

I'm lazy and don't steam but I do alot of poaching with similar ingredients. Just one pot. Everything goes in. Bring to a simmer.  I use the 10mins per inch of thickness guideline. 

Really suites my palate, and I find it doesn't hide or mask any of the fish's true flavors. 

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7 hours ago, adam42 said:

I'm going to try this! Ignore seabass, bad auto translate of the generic word bass (they rarely add "largemouth" so just call them bass and that often gets translated to seabass)

 

 

 

Wow! That looks really good - imagine that recipe with walleye or striper. That's way above my cooking skill level. Not to mention, I'd end up in the ER if I attempted to wield that blade like him! Please let us know your results...

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I was in Chinatown (Boston) a few years back for lunch. 
 

In the very dingy live fish aquarium was a 2 lb LMB. I guess he was headed for the table. 
 

I have eaten them in Maine when ice fishing. Along with white and yellow perch. And pickerel. 
 

Cusk are still the best pulled through the ice in March. 
 

And smelt. 

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I have a cottage on a remote part of E. Grand lake in Maine.

 

Predominantly SMB, and they're absolutely delicious with a touch of salt & pepper, fried in butter.  VERY clean water though.

 

Otherwise, I would NEVER keep a freshwater fish from a body of water within city limits.

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