What Does Bass Taste Like? Read This First!

February 11, 2021

What Does Bass Taste Like? Read This First!

The taste of Bass fish depends on which species you are preparing and which method of cooking you are using. There are a variety of bass species, and they do not all taste the same. That being said, all of the bass species are edible with their firm white flesh with a general mild flavor. So what does bass taste like?

Largemouth bass is described as being a little bit too “fishy.” Most anglers tend not to keep their Largemouth bass catch. Instead, they release them back into the water, only to be caught another day. Smallmouth bass has a sweeter taste than largemouth bass and is generally a bit more popular to eat. 

Striped bass, on the other hand, is absolutely delicious. You have to live close to the east coast beach if you want to catch and prepare one yourself.

What Are Bass? 

Bass is a broad term used for a few different species of fish, which includes salt and freshwater. Bass is one of the most popular fish species to catch for fishermen and women all over the world.

The “black basses,” such as the largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted Bass, are fished all over North America.

It is a predatory, opportunistic, ambush hunter and is tremendous fun to catch as it puts up a big fight every time. Bass breach the water often after striking your lure. 

The temperate basses are the Striped BassWhite Bass, and the European sea bass.

There are a couple of Asian sea basses as well, like the Japanese sea bass and the Blackfin sea bass.

Where Do Bass live?

Largemouth Bass

Bass can be found all over the world as they have been widely introduced. In North America, the freshwater Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted Bass are arguably the most popular type of game fish. They live in lakes, rivers, dams, and creeks. The Smallmouth bass prefers rivers more than the Largemouth bass does. 

As said, the black bass species have been introduced into dams and ponds all over the world. If you are traveling overseas, do some research and take some lures, collapsible rod, and reel with you.

What Do Bass eat? 

Bass are opportunistic hunters and eat a large variety of fish, insects, frogs and even small birds, depending on the species.

The Largemouth bass has, as its name suggests, a rather large mouth and eats just about anything that moves when it is hungry. The larger the fish, the larger the prey it hunts. Largemouth bass eat predominantly insects up until they reach 8 inches and then switch over to a diet of predominantly fish and other types of bigger prey. 

Spotted Bass eat insects, insect larvae, small fish, crustaceans and crawfish, or any other types of small prey in their environment. 

How to Store Bass? 

Bass should be prepared as fresh as possible but can be kept in the fridge no longer than two days and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

After feasting, de-bone the leftover fish and keep it in the fridge for no longer than two days. By adding cream cheese, you would get another extra day shelf life in the fridge.

How to Clean Bass

After a big fight and landing of the Bass, it’s time to clean the fish and prepare it for cooking. First, it needs to be scaled. Using a descaling brush, remove all the scales by brushing and scrubbing the fish from the tail towards the head. Once all the scales have been removed, rinse the fish thoroughly.

Turn the fish, to cut the belly side, and insert a sharp knife into the excretion hole, and cut the skin towards the head. When you hit the breast bone center, lay down the knife, open the fish up and remove the intestines by pulling it out with your hands. 

Remove the head by cutting from the top of the head down to the backbone. Cut around the gills, and lay the head over the edge of the working surface. Hold the body of fish with one hand, and with the other, push the head down and release it from its body. Discard with intestines.

Remove the bottom fins, cut the tail off, and rinse properly.

Turn the fish so you can cut all along the top. Make a cut next to the dorsal fin and cut towards the tail side. Try to stay as close to the bones as possible while you cut deeper into the fish. Cut until the fillet has been released. Rinse again. Your Bass is now ready to be cooked or stored.   

How to Cook Bass

Three sea bass fillet

There are many ways people suggest how to cook Bass. Some say you should not cook Black Bass inside. Some suggest cooking it over wooden coals only. Whichever way, this white, firm-fleshed fish can be enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced diet adding starch and two vegetables. 

If you are cooking Striped Bass, you can cook it in any possible way, and you will have a delicious result. 

There is, however, a Mercury warning on Striped Bass as a person should not eat it more than six times a year.

Pregnant women and children should refrain from eating it at all. This is because of the pollution of toxins into our oceans, and some fish are more susceptible than others. Now it is in the food chain. 

When freshwater Largemouth bass is on the menu, get the wood smoker ready with some soaked hickory or maple chips. Melt butter as a basting sauce with some garlic and smoke it until cooked through. De-bone when cooled, mix with cream cheese, and add some chives. Add to some sliced crusty bread and top with spring onion. Yum! 

For the Smallmouth bass and Spotted Bass, it is suggested to heat some vegetable oil and butter in a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat. Slightly dust fillet in a mix of flour and some store-bought fish spice. Place in the skillet and cook about 4 minutes a side, turning once. 

Recipe of Choice 


  • 2 pounds sea bass
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch of lemon pepper (to taste)
  • 1 pinch of sea salt (to taste)


  1. Preheat grill to a high setting
  2. Mix paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, and lemon pepper together in a small bowl.
  3. Rub all the seasoning in and over the fish until it’s fully coated.
  4. In a small pan, melt the butter on medium heat and add the chopped garlic and parsley. Remove after 30sec and set aside.
  5. Lightly brush some oil onto your grill, and place the fish on top.
  6. Grill the fish for about seven minutes, and turn.
  7. Drizzle the garlic and parsley butter over and leave it on the grill for another 7min until cooked.
  8. Before serving, drizzle some olive oil over the fish.

Nutritional Benefits of Bass 

Bass fishing

Bass contains high levels of proteins and are extremely low in calories. They are an excellent source of selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. Bass has a high vitamin B12 content as well as vitamin B6. Freshwater Bass contains 77% more vitamin B12 than sea bass does (according to the USDA).

In a 3 ounce serving, the protein content will be 16g for sea bass and 20g for freshwater bass species. This about 40% of the recommended daily amount needed, according to the USDA.

Bass helps to balance omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the brain, and anecdotal reports claim it to be suitable for preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that reducing the levels of omega 3 fatty acids is associated with an increased risk of age-related cognitive decline.

There is a Mercury warning on sea bass and it should be limited to 6 portions per year. Pregnant women and children under 8 should avoid it altogether, as it interferes with the nervous system’s development.


Bass can be caught and fought all around the world. Bass fishing is arguably the most popular type of game fishing in America. 

There are many different types of Bass, and each one has its own character and flavor. Some say spotted Bass is sweeter and the Largemouth is fishier, while the sea bass is delicious.  

Bass eat mostly fish and insects, but the Largemouth bass can take much bigger prey like small birds and frogs. Check out our guide for the best lures for Smallmouth bass in lakes for more info.

You can prepare it in many different ways, and some ways of preparation are more suited for certain species. With Largemouth bass, it is recommended to wood smoke it. Spotted Bass pan-fried in butter and herbs.

Bass is a healthy fish to add to your diet with high levels of selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 has been shown to have beneficial effects on cognitive function. 

On sea bass, there is a high Mercury warning. The fish is absolutely delicious though, and should only be enjoyed 6 times a year. It can be boiled, fried, grilled, smoked, and seared.

Any way it is prepared, it will be tasty. So make an occasion of it! We hope you enjoyed this article on what does bass taste like.

Happy Hunting!

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