Can you eat bass? – Is it safe?

Bass fishing is one of the most exciting activities among anglers. Mostly fisher catches bass for sport and then releases it. Freshwater bass is safe for human consumption. Nothing better than eating fresh fish that you just caught by yourself. Although lots of people usually wonder if it’s safe to eat or not? So, can you eat freshwater bass?

 Getting expertise in bass fishing is one of the goals that every angler wants to achieve. The bass is entirely edible and will bless your table with a taste you’ll not forget for a long time. It has a white firm and tender texture meat. However, it has a fishy flavor, its smell is not favorable for indoor cooking. You can grill it, fry it, or add it to other recipes as per your taste.

Freshwater bass is safe to eat. Most fishers believe freshwater bass is the primary sport fish, so they catch and release it.

There is nothing better than eating freshwater fish. On certain levels, there are myths and misconceptions regarding the consumption of bass or largemouth fish. To get the answer to your question, Are Bass Good to Eat? Is it safe? Let’s take a look at the details to resolve these queries.

Can you eat a bass?

The bass is excellent for human consumption, and some people consume bass regularly. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a relatively large amount of protein. But still, there are few reasons that some anglers still don’t prefer to eat it, such explanations are;

  • Some people avoid eating it because it doesn’t taste as good as other freshwater fish species.
  • Bass caught in stagnant waters have a muddy flavor, which is very hard to disguise
  • The taste of bass is similar to the smell of the water they were caught in.
  • In the following section of this blog post, you can find more information about bass consumption, nutritional benefits, and even some essential recipes.

What is the Best Tasting Bass? Largemouth Bass Vs Smallmouth Bass

Now you also know you can eat bass, but it’s a question that arises in your mind which type of bass is best in taste, largemouth bass or smallmouth bass, for your next lunch. Its meat is white and tender when you will cook it.

Largemouth bass taste is relatively mild and pleasant. Therefore, you can be prepared in numerous ways as per your taste. However, largemouth bass has a more robust and more “fishy” taste and smells too, and most people find it too firm, so that’s why Largemouth bass will not appeal to them.

When we compared smallmouth bass to largemouth, it is a little bit different in its taste. It is milder and usually less muddy as compere to largemouth bass. That is the main reason most people prefer smallmouth bass to eat. However, both types of bass are safe to be consumed and, depending on your personal preference, that will appeal to you.

What are the Health Benefits of Eating a Bass?

Eating fish, including bass, contain omega 3 fatty acids, which are very healthy for your body. In addition, fish contains protein and other nutrients that are beneficial for your health. Besides this, bass already contains a lot of manganese, phosphorus, and the B12 vitamin.

Bass is also beneficial for reducing cholesterol levels, reducing high blood pressure, and as a result, eating healthy food reduces the risk of coronary diseases. Include bass, or any other fish, into your menu not more than twice a week.

Essential factors in cooking bass  

When eating bass, you need to clean it as soon as it is caught. Do not overcook the fish. Some essential factors that you need to consider for quality taste and health considerations. The best size to eat largemouth bass is about 10-14 inches and no bigger than 15 inches. In addition, small bass is also easier to cook because big fish are usually always a part of the meat that’s not fully cooked; they take more time to tender.

You need to follow the right equipment, prep, and method to cook a delicious meal when cooking bass. If you are a lover of fish, I recommend you add a bit of butter, herbs, and lemon to transform it into a light taste. Some people choose to roast the whole fish, while others leave the skin; the choice is yours. I recommend you use fillets with the skin off, which will create the least fishy taste that you will love.

Freshwater bass takes between 8 and 15 minutes to cook no matter what; you’ll use either a stove, fire, or grill to cook your bass. If you have the filets, prep time then in just you will require only5 minutes to prepare these recipes.

Best Way to Cook Freshwater Bass

There are several delicious recipes to cook freshwater bass, that you can enjoy every time. You do not need to overcook the freshwater bass. As long as you fish bass in clean waters, there are many ways to cook your freshwater bass. Cooking bass is also the same as other kinds of fish dishes. Cooking techniques of bass include frying, broiling, baking, and grilling. Are you ready to enjoy your freshwater bass? Here are some cooking recipes of freshwater bass;

How to cook freshwater bass?

The best way to cook bass is by fileting them, followed by one of the following methods of cooking:

  • Pan-frying/ Deep frying
  • Traditional Fish-Fry
  • Baking Bass
  • Grilling Bass
  • Broiling Bass

Pan-frying/Deep-frying Bass Recipe

  • Cut off the filets
  • Pull  off the skin
  • Cut the bass filet into smaller pieces
  • The firm white filets are perfect for covering with milk, flour, and breadcrumb batter
  • Pan-frying or deep-frying

Basic Pan Grilled Bass Recipe

To cook bass with a simple, pan-grilled version, you need to follow these steps:

  • Dry both sides of the fillet with a paper towel
  • Score the filet approximately 1/2 -inch deep in 2 to 3 spots
  • Season both sides of the fillet generously with salt and pepper
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a pan over medium heat
  • Use your favorite herbs and other spices, season the fish
  • Add two sprigs of fresh thyme, 2 garlic cloves, ten coarse-chopped olives, and 1 spring rosemary, and substitute orange juice for lemon juice,2 teaspoons capers, and three tablespoons of herb mixture of parsley, dill, chives, and tarragon to enhance its taste
  • Place fillet in the pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes
  • Flip the fillet and squeeze half of a lemon into it
  • Cook the fillet 4 minutes more
  • Dish out in the serving platter serve, and enjoy!

The Traditional Fish-Fry

People love to eat bass. Here’s is a recipe for how you can cook it;

  • Begin heating a vat of oil at 375 degrees
  • Mix well all these ingredients: ½ cup cornmeal, ½ cup all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoon paprika, ¾ teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon thyme.
  • Filet all the fish and rinse them in cold water
  • Coat the fish on both sides with the dry mix
  • Place them into the hot oil for 4 to 5 minutes or until it will turn in golden brown

Note: you can also use milk, beer, or lemon juice to dip the fish in before battering. It’s ready to serve; toss in some fries for a complete meal!

Baking Bass Recipe 

  • Preheat oven on 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Using a non-stick cooking spray on a baking dish
  • Sprinkle some pepper and salt on a baking dish
  • Squeeze in some lemon juice
  • Bake, the fish for 30 minutes into 160 degrees Fahrenheit

It’s ready to serve!

Can you eat bass

Broiling Bass Recipe

Another way of preparing a bass dish is to broil it, to prepare you to need to follow specific steps;

  • Turned on broiler
  • Spray non-stick spray on your broiler
  • Season the fish with spices and herbs depending on your taste
  • Put the fish on the rack
  • Broil it for 5 minutes


FAQs Section

Can You Eat Largemouth Bass Raw?

After reading the above recipes, I don’t recommend it to eat largemouth bass. Freshwater bass is generally acceptable to eat raw if appropriately handled.  The meat has a more robust flavor and is softer than other fish species.

Is Freshwater Bass Good for Eating? Does Taste Good?

As already mentioned, its taste is different, so most people don’t find bass tasty. Bass lives in all kinds of waters, and if the water is muddy, bass can have a very unpleasant smell and taste. Of course, there are recipes with so many spices that will enhance its flavor or cover its smell. However, if you like the taste of nice freshwater fish, avoid bass from stagnant waters. In short Freshwater bass, you probably find it more delicious.

What Size Bass Should You Eat?

Huge specimens have a more pungent taste and smell, and their meat is not as soft and tender as in smaller bass. Therefore, when choosing the best bass size for eating, try to pick less than 35cm/14inches of extended bass. This bass size is valid for both smallmouth and largemouth bass.

As bass gets older, it accumulates all kinds of things within its body, even some toxins, and eating large ones, especially from dirty waters, will not be the best option for you.


Bass meat is delicious in its taste if you will cook it properly. Clean it thoroughly, if a bass somehow gets injured during fishing, it may be better to consume the fish rather than releasing it back into the water. Largemouth bass has high mercury levels, which is safe to consume for adults, but children and pregnant women shouldn’t prevent it unless physicians recommend it.

Bass consumes pollutants and varieties of marine organisms. Smallmouth bass is healthy to eat because they are young and have less mercury inside their bodies. Largemouth bass fished from strictly freshwater, are safe to be consumed.

I hope, this blog post will resolve all queries of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass eating.  We would love to hear your opinion regarding the bass eating or perhaps an experience you’ve had. Let us know below in the comments!

1 thought on “Can you eat bass? – Is it safe?”

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