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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All of this bass talk has got me thinking. Does anyone keep and eat either small mouth or large mouth bass? Are they safe to eat from smaller lakes around the King County area? I have read the regs. and the health advisories, but I am curious if they taste good.
 

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I have eaten some of the bass i have caught, they impose a slot limit on size I think so that they are not contaminated, they are sure tasty with butter, I actually prefer bass over trout, but one is more abundent than the other, and easier to clean, what I really want to try are some of Doctor hooks mom's bacon wrapped largemouth, oh my those looked fantastic Tup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I remember seeing the pictures of those bacon wrapped fish. They looked awesome. I saw the slot limit and that got me thinking. Is it worth it to keep bass under 12"? I too prefer white fish, but I have never tried freshwater bass.
 

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STEELIE ADDICT said:
I remember seeing the pictures of those bacon wrapped fish. They looked awesome. I saw the slot limit and that got me thinking. Is it worth it to keep bass under 12"? I too prefer white fish, but I have never tried freshwater bass.
You should try it if you never have, just descale the thing before cooking or just take the skin away from the fillet alltogether, but I think the slot limit says nothing under 12" and nothing over 17", so they have to be in between those numbers, I will have to check again. well I just checked and you are right, I always thought it was the other way around. the regs say no minimum size, only bass less than 12" and 1 over 17" can be kept.
 

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Some lakes have a 10 bass limit this year so read the lakes special regs. If I rrmember right you can only have one over 14" on those lakes.

A 12" fish gives you 2 real nice fillets. They have a stronger flavor than perch or crappie but make a real nice fish and chips. like all fish soak the fillets in milk for a few hours before you cook them and it mellows the fish flavor.

My son has trouble throwing fish back at his age so we bonk a lot of bass.
 

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Bass smaller than 12 inches are DEE LEE CIOUS. Tender and flavorful. The larger ones over 17 inches are OK, but the meat is a bit less tender.

With the new 10 fish limit on smallmouth, I foresee myself slaughtering a bunch of those tasty critters and placing them in my hot oil bath.
 

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Another good recipe to try... fillet out your fish, then cut your fillets into bite size pieces. Roll these pieces in tempura, then roll the battered fish in crushed up ruffles potato chips, and deep fry.
 

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Bass are exelent eating Tup: .I like to cook mine southern style by rolling the meat in a corn meal and flour mix and then deep fry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Having never filleted a bass, is there anything special that would be different from trout or salmon? Can I just run my fillet knife flat along the skin to remove? If I am deep frying, what is the best way to remove the pin bones? I am super excited to try bass. I have caught many throughout the years, but always released them. Thanks.
 

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NO BONES

Bass are real easy to fillet. Just like a salmon, run your knife along the backbone and cut toward the tail. Just before you cut the skin at the tail, flip the fillet over (skin side down) and run your fillet knife between the fillet and skin. Then just trim away the guts/bones. A pure meat fillet is the result. Bass don't have pin bonde. 3 minutes per fish when you get good.

fool
 

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A little southerrn style for yall. I have caught and eat bass my whole life. For a fish under 12" I would scaled and gut the fish, if you fillet him you'll loose alot of meat. The bigger ones I would fillet. Here is how I do them.
Milk is good to soak them in for a while, then I make up a batter made of Zatararains Crispy Southern Style Fish Fry, if you like it a bit spicy add Tony Cacheries Spicy Cajun Seasoning to the Fish Fry (which is what i always do). I usually use about a 1/4 bottl of Tony's to one box of Fish Fry. Out of the milk into the fisy fry then the grease. Another secret to hide the fishy taste is out of the milk, roll in mustard then into the fish fry and then the grease. Beer is another good thing to soak them in for added flavor instead of milk. Makes for some finger licking good eating!!! Tup: Tup:
Geno
 

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We eat every legal bass out of Lk WA. Their diet consists of 90% crawfish in the spring/summer/fall...they are what they eat and that translates into fantastic eating for us. I have never found it necessary to soak them in milk, but that's a good trick for fish from shallower waters/other diets where they can have that 'muddy' aftertaste. (I soak sea ducks in buttermilk which has an enzyme that gets rid of the fishy taste completely)

I think the most important thing to do (as with all fish) is bleed them right away. We have a bleeding bucket set up on my boat just for this purpose. We do this will all perch as well. Simply snip the gills and let them swim it off in the bucket... Then on ice after they are done bleeding. If you treat your catch with care, I guarantee you'll never have a 'fishy' flavor from Lk WA fish. YUMMY in the tummy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you do soak in milk, how long? Does it add any unusual tastes? I have eaten trout that had that muddy taste to them, I wonder if that could be removed with a little milk bath.

On a bass related note, what depth should I be looking for bass in smaller lakes this time of year?
 

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Milk just neutralizes the acids that make the fishy flavor strong. It won't help muddy. When trout are muddy tasting they are usually eating snails of brine shrimp IMO.
 

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IMO bass are great eating, much like perch or any other sunfish. Bass are also pretty prolific so i would think keeping a few would be alright. We can get away with that i think unlike in the south where the fishing pressure is often very heavy.
 

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I don't keep too many, but the smaller ones taste much better that the bigger ones. Plus we need to keep the big ones around anyway.
 
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