Is Bass Good To Eat?- Let’s Put The Misconceptions To Rest!

There’s a frequent question that gets thrown around by many people. That is, whether you can eat bass or not. Well if you’re looking for answers you’ve come to the right place.

So, is bass good to eat?

Yes, definitely! Bass is a healthy fish to eat considerably. However, there are a few conditions you need to have a good idea about. Firstly, you need to clear out what type of bass that is. And whether you’ll be able to consume it or not. After that, check the size of your fish and whether it matches the legal limit. Finally, after you’ve crossed out everything,  you can cook it and have a great day!

These were just the key instructions regarding this species. But for in-depth insight, you know what to do! So, keep on scrolling and you’ll get to the good parts.

Why Do People Fish Bass But Don’t Eat it?

Bass fishing is a worldwide recognized multi-billion dollar sport. From organizing tournaments, competitions, etc. catching these fish has become quite an attraction among many tourists. 

However, for this specific reason, some fishermen have become greedy.  They consider the water and the bass to be their own. Hence created a misconception that catching and releasing is the appropriate approach. And that keeping the fish is frowned upon. 

Besides, bass eating might not be some people’s cup of tea. Some say that the fish might have a muddy taste to it. Which is once again technically a lie. We’ll talk about the taste and more in the upcoming sections so keep on reading.

In addition, some people simply prefer smaller fish. Hence they avoid eating bass. 

Can Everyone Eat Bass?

Bass is considerably safe and healthy for everyone to eat. It’s high in protein, low in fat and calories. Moreover, it contains selenium, essential omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B12 and B6. And if cooked right, it’ll turn into a great meal. 

However, just like eating skunk, there are some serious concerns regarding eating bass. So, the question often arises, is bass good for pregnant women?

Typically, pregnant women are advised to avoid eating fish with toxins. Particularly, sea bass has high levels of mercury in them. Thus if consumed in high proportions, might cause harm to the mother and the baby.   

Moreover, always take into account the type of water the bass is from. Since it’s not venomous like a water moccasin, there’s very little risk involved. Sometimes it comes from the lake or the river, which might be polluted. And if you consume these fishes from such water you might put yourself in harm’s way. So it’s better if you consume freshly caught and thermally processed fish. 

Now you might wonder if sea bass might affect pregnant women only. But that’s not the case, because sea bass can be fatal to adults and children too.

So, why is sea bass bad for you?

This is because the mercury in it can be fatal if consumed in high proportion. The toxins might result in kidney and nervous system failures. Therefore, if you’re an adult two portions a month is okay for you. In the case of children, it’s one proportion monthly. 

Therefore, it’s necessary that you be cautious about the quantity. 

But, Is Bass A Good Fish To Eat?

Yes, most definitely. Freshwater bass actually turns into a great meal. It contains omega 3 fatty acids and high protein. Therefore, it’s actually healthy and might also taste well if you cook it the right way. 

However, the size and type of the bass bring in a huge difference in taste. Moreover, the location from where the bass is fished also matters. 

What Kind Of Bass Is Good To Eat?

Mostly all types of basses are safe for consumption. Here we’ve discussed three categories of basses and how they vary. We also discussed the taste, texture, and location factors of each of these fish.  Moreover, we talked about the best eating bass

So let’s have a look.

Largemouth Or Smallmouth

Now, pitting one against the other, you’ll notice these are quite different from one another. Let’s start with the largemouth bass.

Largemouth Bass


First things first, the largemouth bass is mostly found in freshwater. This is because they like large streams and clean water. 

However, they do have a stronger, fishier taste and smell. Now, for some, this might be a deal-breaker. If you cook it right, you might whip up a decent meal out of it. The taste might become quite mild, pleasant with the meat is white, tender. This right here is good food if you ask me. 

Smallmouth Bass


Now the smallmouth bass too is found in freshwater. The taste and smell, however, are comparatively milder. Now, for some people who prefer a less fishy taste, this might be very appealing. The texture once cooked is soft, tender white meat. Plus, no matter how you cook it, it’ll taste delicious. 

Well to help you out a little, we’ve some pretty amazing recipes down below. So keep on reading!

Freshwater Bass Or Muddy Water Bass Or Sea Bass

As for this, it’s always better to eat fish from freshwater. Especially in the case of bass. This is because as you know basses usually have toxins in them. 

So, the chances of the fishes having various other bacterias and parasites in them reduce significantly.  That is if you fish from freshwater. Moreover, the water here won’t affect the taste of the fish much. 

However, the muddy water bass might be contaminated. Plus there’s a chance of the fish developing algae. That’s not very good for the fish. 

Furthermore, the fish will develop a stronger and more fishy taste. So it’s better to fish somewhere else, where you can catch some good basses. 

Now as for the sea bass, they are mostly found on the shore near the East coast. Sea bass includes a lot of fishes besides the large and smallmouth. Striped, spotted, white, yellow, and black are to name a few. 

However, there are seabasses that aren’t technically basses. The white, black, peacock seabasses are saltwater fishes. But these aren’t technically related to the ‘bass’ family.

What Size Bass Should You Eat?

Well, it varies from one type of bass to the other. Basses that are larger in size tend to have a strong taste and smell. This is compared to smaller ones which are more tender and softer.

So, what is a good size bass?

Basically, basses that are less than 14 inches long are the best ones. These fishes might weigh about 1.5 pounds. However, this might vary a little depending on the type of bass. 

If you choose a larger fish, make sure they are from clean waters. Because the larger ones develop toxins and might not be the best choice of fish.

Caution: In the case of smaller ones, check for legal limits in your area

Can You Eat Raw Bass?

Many freshwater fishes can be consumed raw. So you might be wondering, is freshwater bass good to eat raw?

Well to answer your question, it is. However, that’s only if it’s caught in clean water. Now here’s the catch, even though it’s caught on freshwater it’s still contaminated. Which means it still contains bacterias and parasites. 

Now there’s a way it might be safe for you to consume raw fish. That is when it’s handled properly. You need to freeze them below freezing temperature. Then only, you can kill the bacteria and safely consume them. 

Nevertheless, you have the final say in it. But make sure you follow the freezing technique before you consume it raw. 

Caution: It’s safe to keep raw fish away from children and chronologically ill people.

How About Preserving Bass?

Like all other fishes, you can also preserve bass. We have two methods for you to store your fish. One is to refrigerate it or store it in ice. The other one is that you can turn your bass into dry fish. 

Option 1: Refrigerate It or Store It In Ice

The first way to preserve your bass is to refrigerate it. Now to do that, you need to follow a few steps. 

Firstly, after catching the fish you need to wash it in cold water. After that, with a clean cloth or paper towel, dry the fish. 

Next, wrap the fish in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. There’s also an option for you to use waxed paper.  After that, you need to store your fish in the refrigerator or on ice. 

If you follow this method, the fish might stay fresh for about 2 days. It might last longer if it’s a large fish. But it’s better to cook and eat it within the first 2 days. 

Option 2: Make Dry Bass

To make dry bass you first need to rinse the fish and pat dry it with a towel. Next cut the fish into quarter-inch strips and place them on a baking dish. 

After that, you need to add salt to the bass to prevent bacteria from growing. Use roughly 2 teaspoons of salt and ¼ cup of water per pound of fish. Mix it well and marinate your fish in it. This is optional, but you can add seasonings to the marination.  There are ingredients to add such as pepper, parsley, etc. 

Once you’ve marinated the fish, it’s time to drip off the excess. To do this, pick up each piece and let the saltwater drip. Then dry it with a paper towel. After that, place each strip on the dehydrator tray. Repeat this until you’ve laid all the strips on the tray. 

Caution: Make sure that the strips are not touching one another. 

Can You Eat Preserved Bass?

Yes definitely. If you follow any of the following methods above you can definitely eat it. 

Now for the refrigerated fish, you need to consume it within the first two days.  As for the dried one, it can last up to 2 months. But you can increase its longevity by vacuum sealing it.

However, in both cases, before cooking the fish, make sure it doesn’t smell unpleasant. If you smell a foul odor or rotten smell, discard the fish. 

How Can You Avoid Eating Bad Bass?

You need to keep in mind a couple of things to avoid eating bad bass. Firstly, the place where you caught the fish matters. The bass from muddy water will taste unpleasant and tasteless. 

Secondly, proper storage also factors in how your bass might taste. You must follow the prepared storage method to store your bass. Or else you’ll end up with a rotten bass. 

Lastly, check if the fish is too big (over 15 inches). If so, the fish might have a stronger smell and taste. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. But you’ll need to use stronger spices to camouflage the smell. 

Best Ways To Cook Bass

Cooking bass with the right recipe and ingredients can never go wrong. And the perfect recipe for you is headed your way. Now, these recipes are pretty simple and can be cooked at home or outdoors. You can even use these recipes for your next outdoor trip.

Keep on reading to find out the detailed recipe to make yourself a tasty bass dish. 

Choice 1: Roasted Sea Bass

Roasted Sea Bass


This recipe is quite simple and easy to follow. It will take about 20 minutes to cook. Plus it can serve up to 4 people. So let’s get ready and cook this tasty dish.


Here’s the list of ingredients and proportions for cooking this dish:

  • 4 sea bass fillets
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 6 fresh bay leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon zest
  • Lemon wedges 
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil


First things first, start the campfire. Now take your sea bass fillets and cut 4 deep slash marks on the skin. 

After that, crush the fennel and coriander seeds with pestle and mortar. Now take this powder and combine well with salt, pepper, bay leaves, and lemon zest. 

Put a little bit of olive oil over the fish and rub in the mixture. Then place the fillet over the hot grill skin side down. Now, on the skin side down, cook for about 5 minutes. Then flip it and grill the other side for another 2 minutes.

And voila! You have yourself a perfect lunch. Serve the fish with lemon wedges, bread, and a salad, and have a great meal!

Health Benefits

Here are the nutritional facts per serving for roasted sea bass-

Calories324 kcal

This about wraps up this recipe. So, let’s move on to the next one. 

Option 2: Greek Sea Bass Soup

Greek Sea Bass Soup

Source: Akis Petretzikis 

This recipe, like the other one, is pretty straightforward. However, comparatively, it takes a bit longer than the rest to cook. You’ll need about 70 minutes to make this dish. This sounds like a lot of time but this dish is worth the wait. 

So without further ado, let’s get straight to it.


Here’s a list of every ingredient you’ll be needing to prepare this dish:

  • 1½  Sea Bass
  • 1½ liters water
  • Bouillon Cube
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4-5 sprigs of thyme
  • 1-2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 cm slices
  • 2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 4 sprigs celery leaves
  • 2 lemons


Place the fish with the water in it. Add salt, pepper, bouillon cube, thyme, rosemary to it and boil over medium heat. Keep the lid on and heat it on for 30-35 minutes. 

Now, separate the fish and drain the broth. After that, put the broth back into the pot. After that add carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, and lemon juice. Cover the lid and bring it to a boil for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables soften. 

Now slowly remove the bones from the fish and serve it with the vegetable soup. 

Health Benefits

Here are the nutritional facts per serving for Greek sea bass soup-

Total Fat5g
Saturated Fat1.2g
Total Carbs12.5g

Well, this was it for the recipe and for this segment. 


Question: Can you eat bass from a pond?

Absolutely! You can definitely eat bass from a pond. But there’s a problem. These bass fishes contain mercury. However, if you watch the amount you’re eating each month, you can safely consume it. 

Question: What should you consider before eating bass?

You should always consider the size of the bass you’re eating. There is a huge difference between the smaller and the larger bass. The larger one has a stronger odor compared to the smaller ones. Therefore, choose one which is less than 35cm.

Question: What time of the day is best for bass fishing?

The best time to fish bass is during the night. This is because, at night time, the bass is more active comparatively.  Moreover, there will be fewer anglers and commotions there to bother you. So you can fish in peace. 


This brings us to the very end of this segment. Hope we’ve answered your question- “is bass good to eat?”. Let us know if you have any more queries about this topic.

This is it. We hope you have a great day ahead, goodbye!