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Can You Eat Largemouth Bass and How do They Taste?

The voracious largemouth bass is a top freshwater predator and the most popular game fish in America.

person holding largemouth bass that they caught

Fishermen talk for hours on end about the best ways to entice and hook one, as catching largemouth bass is quite the challenge, but can you eat largemouth bass?

Most fishermen will agree that the hunt is more exciting than the taste. If you have a good recipe and a fresh largemouth bass handy, it makes for an excellent, delicious meal.

What Does a Largemouth Bass Look Like?

The largemouth bass, or Micropterus salmoides, got its name because of its huge mouth and an upper jaw that extends past the eyes.

person holding largemouth bass

The largemouth bass has no teeth and an elongated body. The color of the fish ranges from silvery white to a dark green upper body and a whitish belly. A dark line runs along the sides of the fish.

How Big are Largemouth Bass?

Adult largemouth bass has an average length of 18 inches but could grow to 24 inches or even more.

The biggest largemouth bass ever was caught in Lake Montgomery, Georgia, in 1932 weighed a whopping 22 pounds, 4 ounces. Largemouth bass are found in warm water throughout America.

Are Largemouth Bass Edible?

This is an interesting question. It depends on your taste buds and what kinds of fish you prefer. Some people love the taste, and others hate it.

There doesn’t seem to be a happy medium. If you tend to dislike fish with a strong fishy taste and smell, largemouth bass is not something you will enjoy.

largemouth bass jumping out of the water

On the other hand, if you find a strong fish smell and taste enjoyable, you just have to try a juicy piece of well-prepared largemouth bass in a butter and garlic sauce.

Are They Safe to Eat?

They are safe to eat as long as they were hooked in clean, fresh water. Avoid eating bass that was caught in stagnant pools, ponds, and rivers.

raw fillet of largemouth bass

They tend to have a more muddy taste and also contain more mercury.

What Does Largemouth Bass Taste Like?

The meat is white with a firm but tender texture and quite tasty. That is if you like a fish with a distinctly fishy taste.

Largemouth bass also don’t have a lot of bones and they have a meaty consistency.

What Is the Best Way to Prepare It?

Those in the know say there is nothing tastier than largemouth bass lightly dusted with a mixture of pepper and salt and pan-fried in olive oil until golden brown.

cooked largemouth bass fillets

It is then recommended to drench the fish in butter, basil, garlic, and a squirt of fresh lemon juice for that extra taste sensation.

Can You Eat It Raw?

You can eat it raw, but remember that strong fishy flavor and sometimes muddy taste. We won’t recommend eating this particular fish raw, but try it, maybe you’ll like it.

Is It Healthy?

The largemouth bass is a very healthy choice and low in calories. The fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and a great source of manganese, selenium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12.

Can You Freeze It?

You can freeze a largemouth bass for three to five months without it losing quality if you place it in a freezer bag and you remove all the air. It can be frozen for longer, even for up to eight months, and it should still be fine.

With its distinct flavor and taste, the largemouth bass might not be for everyone. Fish lovers who do enjoy it absolutely love it.

So, next time you come across a largemouth bass, have a taste. It might just become one of your fishy favorites.

Final Thoughts

It really comes down to personal preference whether or not you want to eat largemouth bass. Largemouth bass are edible, in fact, and some people say that they are a very delicious fish.

Either way, largemouth bass are always a fun fight on a rod and reel, regardless of whether you plan on keeping it for the dinner table.

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