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Dum Bass Question: Why are large mouth bass always catch and release. Anybody ever eat one? Are they any good?

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  • Dum Bass Question: Why are large mouth bass always catch and release. Anybody ever eat one? Are they any good?

    Dum Bass Question: Why are large mouth bass always catch and release. Anybody ever eat one? Are they any good?

  • #2
    I cooked up three this weekend for a large camping group in the 12-15" range that were filleted along with some very large sunfish. The young kids were begging to eat their catches.

    There was a lot of guessing going on around the table as to which was which. I was pretty sure the bass flesh was slightly darker and just very slightly stronger tasting, but it was all in doubt and I couldn't have told you for certain.

    I've had bad experience eating larger bass before and rarely do I keep a bass (in fact, I didn't personally keep one on this trip either), but these were light tasting, firm fleshed, and fine eating.

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    • #3
      Unless it is local law that they are catch and release I am not aware that large mouth bass are always catch and release. I think that started with the pro bass fishing tournaments as a way to ensure there were bass for the next fishing trip. I grew up eating what we caught. Bass is a very good eating fish and fixed properly is a meal for a king. Unless it is against the law where you are, you owe to yourself to clean and eat one just so you will know how they taste and what you have been missing.

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      • #4
        I had bass from Rice Lake, Ontario and it turned the butter muddy, just like the water it was swimming in.

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        • #5
          I've eaten lots of bass.
          I can't say that there is anything remarkable about bass, good or bad.
          I find fish of the perch/bream type much preferable, especially crappie.
          For cold salt water fish, halibut and cod are excellent fare.
          Salmon, on the other hand, is heavenly grilled!

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          • #6
            I release most bass, but will occasionally keep a largemouth in the 15- to 17-inch range. If they are caught from clean water, especially early in the season, they are pretty good. Bigger bass tend to have softer flesh, so I tend to keep some that are just above the legal minimum, which is 15 inches most places I fish.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Drover1 View Post
              I release most bass, but will occasionally keep a largemouth in the 15- to 17-inch range. If they are caught from clean water, especially early in the season, they are pretty good. Bigger bass tend to have softer flesh, so I tend to keep some that are just above the legal minimum, which is 15 inches most places I fish.
              I concur with Drover.

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              • #8
                "Catch and Release Bass" originally was a term coined by people in the bass fishing industry to make sure that enough fish would always be around so that fishermen/ fisherwomen would continue to buy boats, motors, and all the new tackle that went with them. It was just good business. But as to eating, bass are very palatable.

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                • #9
                  I keep them occasionally, and, when fried, they are very similar to bluegill and crappie.

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                  • #10
                    Like most people, I'm more inclined to eat the smaller ones, but they're perfectly good. I've had good luck soaking the fillets in salt water for a little while before cooking. It seems to get rid of any "pondy" flavors.

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                    • #11
                      Bass are most vulnerable when they are guarding the nest or the hatchlings. They'll usually attack anything that gets near their young. If they're caught and not released, their fry usually won't survive. The parent (male I believe) stays with the young well into the summer, long after fishing season opens. Of course, not all bass are on the nest or guarding their babies but because the game wardens would never know which fish on your stringer was or wasn't parenting, the rules often require that all fish must all be turned back, or at least ones in the size range to be spawners.

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                      • #12
                        I also like the smaller ones. My largemouth season closes in April and opens June 16th. I generally only keep 12 to 15 inch bass, as they taste the best. Sometimes depending on the water the larger ones have a dirty taste as others have mentioned, especially so in late summer. I usually cut up the filets of the larger bass and fry them if I have kept a large one. For someone reason the tail meat always tastes the cleanest to me. Where do you live that largemouths are catch and release only?

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                        • #13
                          Fried up many bass over the years as we were raised to eat what you catch. They eat just fine. Like any fish it seems the smaller ones tend to taste better.

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                          • #14
                            In Fla most people of color take Bass home to eat,"Others" Take Bass for Photo Ops or Selfies.

                            There are so many other good tasting Fish here in Fla

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                            • #15
                              I wouldn't eat fish in New Jersey unless it was caught in salt water. Too must pollution run off into the lakes and streams, and I think we lead the pack in cancer cases.
                              I will stick with tasty black bear and venison.

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