Can You Eat Smallmouth Bass?

Eating Smallmouth Bass

Bass fishing is great fun, and it’s something that tons of people enjoy all across the country. There is nothing better than floating down the river and reeling in smallmouth bass. You might be asking yourself, Can you eat smallmouth?

This is a common question, but it’s one that many people ask. Let’s dissect the myths and find out if the smallies are worth it.

Although smallmouth bass are usually released for sport, they can be eaten. Smallmouth bass is a delicious and healthy choice for fish dinner. Smallmouth bass is considered “taboo” by anglers, which is why most people won’t eat it. Bass are a very popular sport fish so many people feel it is wrong to keep them.

Even though it may be controversial, bass can be eaten, provided you know how to properly prepare it. Nothing is better than fishing your own fish and then cooking it yourself. It adds a new dimension to fishing.

Is Smallmouth Bass safe to eat?

Smallmouth bass and all types of bass are safe to eat. They are about as healthy and as clean as freshwater fish. The white meat fish bass is high in protein and low fat. There are obvious reasons why you might not want to eat the bass that you catch.

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Freshwater can contain high levels of mercury. Depending on where you live, water may also have dangerous minerals like copper. You should consult your local Department of Conservation of Natural Resources before you eat the bass.

Is it possible to eat smallies raw?

Although eating bass can be delicious and enjoyable, it is not possible to eat freshwater fish raw. There is a huge difference between freshwater and saltwater. Even if you only eat a small amount of freshwater fish, such as smallmouth bass, there are many parasites that can make you sick.

This problem can occur with any fish. However, the risk is much greater in freshwater. You should avoid smallmouth bass because it can be infected with tapeworm or lung fluke.

Tips for Preparing Smallmouth Bass

Now that you have caught a smallie, you are ready to cook it. Before you can cook the bass, you will need to carefully scale it, debone it, and clean it. You can also cook the bass whole. However, it will be much more enjoyable this way. Use a knife to remove the scales starting at the bottom. This is a simple process that can be done quickly and easily.

To remove all scales, rinse the fish in cold water. Next, use a sharp knife to cut through the head. Push the knife outwards until it reaches the anal vent. Holding the fish vertically, separate the meat from the bones. Then cut through the rib cage. Remove any excess fat and soak the fish in water. Rinse it off. You should be all set once you have done this!

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Important Factors to Consider About Bass

Remember that each state has its own laws regarding catch and release. You need to know how big a smallmouth bass must be in order to keep it. There are severe penalties for taking smaller bass.

It’s our job, as anglers, to protect the waters we fish. So, do your best to obey the law to preserve the bass population, and make sure everyone has a safe, enjoyable fishing spot.

You can now add another item to your bucket list. Instead of releasing smallmouth bass, next time you will check the regulations. If you catch one large enough, put it on ice and take it home to cook.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.