Are White Bass Good To Eat? Things You Need to Know
The White Bass is probably one of the most common catches that you can get. However, there has always been much debate and aversion towards eating this fish; so are White Bass good to eat?
I love fishing and have been fishing for years now and I have to say that white bass is one of the most common catches I get. As a lover of seafood and all types of fish, I tend to not really discriminate between fish types. But I understand why some people prefer not to eat white bass.
Are White Bass Good To Eat? Why do some people not like it?
Talking to some friends and other people who fish, I realized that there are two main reasons why people don’t like serving white bass and instead opts to throw it out.
1. The Fish Taste
The fact that you enjoy fishing doesn’t mean that you are immediately fond of the strong fishy taste of most fish. This is why not all those who fish keep all their catch. I know a lot of people who dislike the strong taste of white bass and this is the reason why they usually throw it back in the water when they catch it or give it away.
This strong taste is present in all fish but it’s amped up in white bass. In my opinion, this is actually what gives this fish its uniqueness. Yes, it is an acquired taste and maybe the reason why I am not as bothered by it is that I grew up eating fish; but once you get over that initial shock and the aftertaste you’ll start enjoying the fish for what it really is.
2. The Red Veins
Aside from the taste, the appearance of the white bass is something that a lot of people, even me find interesting -- to put it nicely. Unlike most fish which are either white or red meat, white bass actually has both.
The red/pinkish meat is actually what gives it its unique taste and appearance. Although you can always remove this red meat, it tends to stick to the white meat making it hard to separate. Even when you do successfully remove it, there would still be some pieces of the meat stuck together.
Do’s of Handling White Bass
Whether you don’t like white bass for the taste or the appearance there are many ways for you to make this fish more palatable for you.
Storing in Crushed Ice
Managing white bass starts as soon as you catch it. Keeping your white bass in a live wall like other fish species is a common mistake. When you keep it in a live wall it would usually get overcrowded and will die before you even finish your fishing trip.
The slime and grunge from the other fish will also affect its taste even more. The best way to keep your white bass fresh is by keeping it in a cooler filled with crushed ice. Keeping the white bass cooled down is the key to getting it prepped for cooking and to tasting better.
Most of the time when you catch white bass it’s not really on purpose. Because of this, you might not have a cooler with crushed ice on hand. Don’t let this stop you from taking it home since there is still another way to lower down the taste of the fish.
Soaking your white bass in either lemon or lime juice will remove the fishy taste that some people dislike. This would also give it a tangy taste one you’re cooking it. Aside from lime and lemon, soaking them in cold salt water also makes it more palatable for those with sensitive taste buds.
Removing Red Meat Properly
Knowing how to clean your white bass properly is also key to getting the right taste. Once you have cut it open, you will notice that there is a red line on the bass and this is actually the lateral line.
This gives the fish an even stronger taste. You can remove this part using a sharp knife making sure that you are separating the white and the red meat entirely.
Cook and Serve it Fresh
I always steer away from the frozen fish section of my supermarket because I personally think that freezing fish is the top reasons why it’s quality goes down. I apply this same principle to the fish that I catch.
I get it, when you are on a pretty successful fishing trip you won’t really be able to immediately cook all the fish you caught but you should prioritize cooking your white bass.
White bass are not really fit for freezing and storing for long period of time.
You should immediately clean it and cook them within a few days.If you really need to freeze and store them because you caught too many, make sure that you have cleaned them properly and have filleted them removing the red meat.
Once you have your fillet you can store it in the freezer for up to two months.
Here is a video which shows you ways on how to prepare your white bass
So, going back to our first question, are white bass good to eat? The quick answer is, “yes”. However, the answer might also depend on your personal preference. If you’re an angler who knows what to do with the white bass then it can be a real treat to have on your dinner table.
If you are still inexperienced with handling this fish, you may just follow the tips above to not waste good fish meat. If you really cannot get over the taste of the fish, it's best to either give it away or put it back in the water.
Being a good angler doesn’t just mean that you can catch fish well, it also means that you know how to prepare the fish for cooking. I hope that this article helped you in deciding for yourself whether or not white bass are good.