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Bream Master

how do ya'll cook your bass

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I had some bass my buddy prepared and all he did was roll it in some flour and salt/pepper. It was more on the rubbery side.  I mean, it isn't like eating rubberband but it definately was more rubbery than another fish I have tried.

Are bass supposed to be this texture?

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I'd say improperly cooked if they were rubbery.     Never ate a rubbery bass.

Always white and flakey meat.

Matt.

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I myself, do not eat bass. I have relatives that do, so I catch and keep them out of their ponds for them. I think they just cut off the heads, remove all the innards and just cook 'em just like that. I would rather release them to fight another day seeing as they are better fighters than tablefare in my opinion. Now...on the other hand, walleye, catfish, and crappie...them are some tasty creatures right there.  ;)

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Guest the_muddy_man

Good recipie I got when I lived in New Orleans

  Beat a couple of eggs, add some milk a couple of dashes of Tobassco and Worcestershire Sauce and soak your fillets in that for 15 minutes

 Get some Zataran"s fish fry and drag the fillets after they are soaked through the fish fry MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD COATING

  Using vegtable oil get it hot in a frying pan( Black cast iron pref.) and fry them no longer than 4 min to a side THATS SLAMMIN!!!!!!!!! 8-)

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i fillet them, coat them with olive oil and put some sea salt and fresh cracked pepper and sometimes a little bit of fresh lemon thyme on them then just throw them on a fairly hot grill.

I also like to put them in some aluminum foil with some white wine, butter, fresh dill and salt and pepper and some fresh lemon juice.  wrap the foil up and throw em on the grill.

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It sounds as though the bass that you ate were undercooked. They should be light a flakey. I like mine whith a healthy dose of lemon pepper or battered up with a flower and egg mix seasoned with Lowry's.

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depends on how big the bass was ,a 5lb. bass could be a little peithy.small bass 14-15'' can and should be very firm and tasty.i would recommend skinning your bass as the mercury build up is in the skin and between skin and meat.one thing that can make any fish rubbery or tough is over cooking.you can cook bass any way you want and it is good ,not as good as panfish or catfish but good just the same.some people i know would rather eat bass than any other.i practice catch and release,but every once in awhile i will harvest a bass,especially if the lake is stunted.it is the only way to get a lake back in balance is to harvest the dinks.any thing over 2 lbs. shouldnt be eaten unless it is a dead fish.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

The bass was over-cooked.

For the folks wanting crust I dredge fillets in whipped egg, salt lightly, then toss in a bowl with Potato Buds. That makes a really tasty, thick crunchy crust. Simply dredging in egg then flour or Masa works if you prefer light coating of crust. Heat a deep fryer of peanut oil hot enough to light a wood kitchen match. It should have the oil churning, around 375 degrees. Fry until a very light golden (not brown), usually around 4-6 minutes. It's come out moist and flaky, every fillet, even frying up 100 pounds of fillets at a time. For large cookoffs like that set up a screen with clean cloth liner to filter the oil every 20 minutes to keep it cooking right. When done, store the oil with a chunk of white potato which absorbs fish taste and odor.

If your bass came out of muddy or weedy water, soak it an huor in whole milk before cooking. That's a treatment for stripers too.

Jim

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Here's a little healthier alternative. Just put a little olive oil in the bottom of a glass pan, coat generously with Pappy's all purpose seasoning and bake fillets for about 6-8 minutes at 350.

My grandpa used to gut 'em and fry 'em in corn meal, fins and all! Then he'd eat the tail fin and smile and say "it's like crackers"...I have to admit I've eaten more than my share of fried tail fins.

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Guest avid

I haven't eaten a bass in years.  They just don't have it when comes to being tasty.

Tilapia, grouper, mahi dolphin, ...now that's good eatin'

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As usual, Quachitabassangler has the right answer.

I fancy myself as a chef and 375 degreees is EXACTLY the correct temperature to fry fish. I too dip

fillets in milk and then dredge them through an egg batter, finishing with a 1/4 flour - 3/4 cornmeal coating. I heavily season the coating with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. The key is 375 degree peanut oil which is effectively a "flash fry." At home, I fry in an electric skillet so I have an exact temperature. Otherwise, I am suggesting "hot" oil.

My secret is in the tartar sauce.

4 tbl mayonnasie

1 tbl diced onions

1 tbl sweet pickle relish

1 tbl dill pickle

1 tsp Worchester Sauce

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp dill

Salt & pepper to taste

Bass are particulary delicious this time of year. Maybe that has to do with a predominately crawfish diet, but whatever the reason, the meat is light and flakey. I highly recommend 1 1/2 to 3 lb bass, they make for a perfect fillet.

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Easy folks - this thread isn't about catch and release. That subject has already been over-debated on this site without resolution.

Keep in mind the topic of today and stay focused on that.

Thank you.

Glenn

(off-topic posts have been deleted)

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Guest the_muddy_man

Wow great tatar sauce recipie RW

How come the boss is gettin grouchy HUNGRY GLENN?

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I haven't eaten a bass in years. They just don't have it when comes to being tasty.

Tilapia, grouper, mahi dolphin, ...now that's good eatin'

I have to agree, LM or SM Bass are not anything I would even consider eating.  I save the Cats that I catch and filet them up for my dishwashers to take home and eat.  Gave a Cuban prep cook some larger walleyes that I caught early this spring; she fried them up and man; let me tell you!  Never had Cuban Fried Walleye before but it was good.  I do like some panfish and cats once in a while but I'm very picky about the origin, processing methods, and cleanliness.  Occupational hazard I guess.  One quick rule of thumb from a Chef; if the fish smells fishy or has to be soaked in milk to cover up the flavor; don't eat it!

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Guest ouachitabassangler

Our bass cook up tasting like $10 a pound cod to a lot of folks here, with almost no flavor at all. It rivals crappie, not quite as sweet as bream. Not many will tackle a boney whole bream, but will chow down on crappie fillets. Bream fillets waste too much so I cook those whole, head removed and scaled.  Lake catfish are pretty strong, not as much as pond-raised. I always fill in with catfish since there never is enough bass to satisfy a group. The cat fillets and steaks are the last to go. That's something people can buy all U can eat for $6 a plate in many restaurants serving commercial pond cat. Many say cat tastes like dog food smells after eating bass or crappie side by side. Walleyes here are like bass up to 5#, then they take on a striper taste above that.

Soaking in milk is for stripers, which are not bass. You remove every hint of red meat, then soak it. It tastes somewhere between catfish and bass. If you get a bite of the red, you likely stop eating fish and load up on french fries and hushpuppies  :-/

I agree, bass up to 3-4 pounds is quite a fine delicacy.  Smallest fillets get put on plates first, so I cook up half small, half large at a time to force eating of larger fillets. Really thick fillets are sliced into two thinner halves so they cook crisper. Over 1" thick fillets remain too moist for many, but not for me. I love wet bass flakes with a touch of salt & peppered crust.

My goal is to keep a limit of small keepers, always releasing any bass over 4#, keeping any other species (except Paddlefish) of any legal size, even gar and chain pickerel. I supply many elderly fish eaters not able to go fishing, so regardless what kind it is, it gets eaten. I'm not into trophy hunting, had my share of that. I use baits no larger than half the width of a bass' mouth except of course when using soft plastics like worms which are nowhere near half that diameter. That helps limit size of bass biting.

Lately my wife & I have been using virgin olive oil and pan frying fish for just the two of us, dusting in masa flour. Breaking out the deep fryer isn't worth the trouble except for groups. I doubt anyone we know would eat them the way we do. I also broil over charcoal, a real treat. Put some fresh ears of corn under the hood earlier, saving some of the outer leaves to wrap fish in. Time the fish cooking to coincide with finishing the corn. Walleye cheeks get quick fried in real butter. If you've been tossing those cheeks, you've been missing a real treat. Panfish are pan fried the old fashioned way. We have a neighbor who shares his bream from a pond, and I take him the stripers.

Jim

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There is nothing like waking up from a night of camping, going out catching a small bass or two, and hearing that frying pan sizzling and popping with the sounds of breakfast being prepared. I'm a simple man when it comes to cooking them, just oil, flour, cornmeal, milk, salt, and pepper. However, I'm definitely going to have to try doing bass the way some of you have described. My mouth is almost watering just reading the descriptions!

And, as always, it's really great to hear from folks who have a good handle on the balance between harvesting fish and catch-and-release.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

A bit fattening, but a great way to get a small child to get some fish down them, a fillet resembling what you get at Captain D's. Dip in waffle mix then into rolling hot oil. Pancake mix works too.

It's toss up for us over type of coating, so we alternate. I like masa harina, a finely ground corn flour used to make tacos. That keeps the calories down, making a very thin crust. On the other end of corn flour we prefer locally stone ground corn meal, a lot more gritty than store-bought. You can also use corn bread mix, either yellow or white, for a thicker crust. I use the Potato Buds for times we have lots of teenagers eating. They can handle the extra calories. Of course the rest of us that don't need that sneak a piece anyway.

Don't forget the hushpuppies. I like the big free-form catface "bisquit" type a lot better than the tube-formed ones coming out of the machine for that. My old deer club had one of those hoppers that churned out the little ear plug sized tubes maybe 100 a minute, but that mashes the ingredients too finely, too tough like the ones in the frozen food section. It's a lot better tasting looser like corn bread, just dropped in oil from a teaspoon. You northerners probably don't know much about cornbread. I looked all over Delaware to New Hampshire for just one bite and couldn't do it. "Corn WHAT?" Maybe it was a language problem like when my wife asked for a "cup of ice" at a New Jersey McDonald's drive through window. They asked among themselves "Cup...of...ice? Cup..of...ice. Huh. Sorry, we can't do that. She got mad and took off inside, grabbed a cup, filled it with ice, held it up and hollered "CUP OF ICE". They replied "OH, that. You meant "cup WITH ice. None here ever heard of making a cup out of ice."

Some chives or just regular green onions finely chopped up in those hushpuppies is good. So is plain old white diced onions sauteed in hot butter. Try a little shredded cheddar cheese and Jalapino powder, or Old Bay seasoning and minced garlic for a little variety.

Talked my way right into HUNGRY at midnight!

Jim

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Soaking in milk is for stripers, which are not bass. You remove every hint of red meat, then soak it. It tastes somewhere between catfish and bass. If you get a bite of the red, you likely stop eating fish and load up on french fries and hushpuppies :-/

Lately my wife & I have been using virgin olive oil and pan frying fish for just the two of us, dusting in masa flour. Breaking out the deep fryer isn't worth the trouble except for groups. I doubt anyone we know would eat them the way we do. I also broil over charcoal, a real treat. Put some fresh ears of corn under the hood earlier, saving some of the outer leaves to wrap fish in. Time the fish cooking to coincide with finishing the corn. Walleye cheeks get quick fried in real butter. If you've been tossing those cheeks, you've been missing a real treat. Panfish are pan fried the old fashioned way. We have a neighbor who shares his bream from a pond, and I take him the stripers.

Jim

I have the same problem with stripers; the meat is very flakey and flavorful but the bloodline is nasty.  I either purchase small to medium wild stripers (8-14 oz filet) or extra large filets (4-7 lbs).  The smaller filets don't have such a dominant bloodline; most comes right off with the skin.  For the larger sides I skin them first, then split the filets lengthwise down the lateral line.  You can then get in and trim out the bloodline and have a clean, white filet.  The milk will bring out impurities but also the fresh flavor of the fish.  I pan roast and grill fish alot at work; very rarely fried.  The extra moisture added by soaking in the milk can also affect a direct dry heat method, most likely by sticking to the pan.

Fresh fish cheeks ROCK! I usually run Alaskan Halibut cheeks in the early summer as a featured menu item.  Grouper cheeks are good as well.  Never had walleye cheeks but I honestly think walleye is the best eating freshwater fish I've handled.  

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i too am now hungry in the middle of the night.  the only time i eat any bass or crappie is usually when im camping with my son when we just fry em up with some hushpuppies.   they are not generally my favorite but we always enjoy them when camping.

im in as a third vote for fish cheeks.  that was always a treat that i got to eat regularly back when i was a chef.  the cheeks and collar section (the only part of salmon that i especially care for) always end up thrown away and its a shame.  not on my watch.

matt

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I never have filleted a bass, but when I catch trout, I usually either deep fry them in batter and eat them with a little ketchup.   Very good.  Also, a healthier alternative is to just put the fillets of trout (or bass) on the grill with a little lemon pepper.

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Our bass cook up tasting like $10 a pound cod to a lot of folks here, with almost no flavor at all. It rivals crappie, not quite as sweet as bream. Not many will tackle a boney whole bream, but will chow down on crappie fillets. Bream fillets waste too much so I cook those whole, head removed and scaled. Lake catfish are pretty strong, not as much as pond-raised. I always fill in with catfish since there never is enough bass to satisfy a group. The cat fillets and steaks are the last to go. That's something people can buy all U can eat for $6 a plate in many restaurants serving commercial pond cat. Many say cat tastes like dog food smells after eating bass or crappie side by side. Walleyes here are like bass up to 5#, then they take on a striper taste above that.

Soaking in milk is for stripers, which are not bass. You remove every hint of red meat, then soak it. It tastes somewhere between catfish and bass. If you get a bite of the red, you likely stop eating fish and load up on french fries and hushpuppies :-/

I agree, bass up to 3-4 pounds is quite a fine delicacy. Smallest fillets get put on plates first, so I cook up half small, half large at a time to force eating of larger fillets. Really thick fillets are sliced into two thinner halves so they cook crisper. Over 1" thick fillets remain too moist for many, but not for me. I love wet bass flakes with a touch of salt & peppered crust.

My goal is to keep a limit of small keepers, always releasing any bass over 4#, keeping any other species (except Paddlefish) of any legal size, even gar and chain pickerel. I supply many elderly fish eaters not able to go fishing, so regardless what kind it is, it gets eaten. I'm not into trophy hunting, had my share of that. I use baits no larger than half the width of a bass' mouth except of course when using soft plastics like worms which are nowhere near half that diameter. That helps limit size of bass biting.

Lately my wife & I have been using virgin olive oil and pan frying fish for just the two of us, dusting in masa flour. Breaking out the deep fryer isn't worth the trouble except for groups. I doubt anyone we know would eat them the way we do. I also broil over charcoal, a real treat. Put some fresh ears of corn under the hood earlier, saving some of the outer leaves to wrap fish in. Time the fish cooking to coincide with finishing the corn. Walleye cheeks get quick fried in real butter. If you've been tossing those cheeks, you've been missing a real treat. Panfish are pan fried the old fashioned way. We have a neighbor who shares his bream from a pond, and I take him the stripers.

Jim

You said it Jim ...

that red stuff has to go ...is it some kind of protien buildup or what ?

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Guest ouachitabassangler

The red is blood-rich fatty tissue filled with omega oils. Stripers are greed-feeders, storing much more fat than largemouths. Fats are first stored in tissues closest to the main blood veins. I have some neighbors, immigrants from India, who eat that part. They doctor it with hot spices and can make a really good dish from it, but our problem is the spices in that case. Way too hot to go back for seconds. Interesting people. The man just takes it on himself to mow my yard before we need it, picks up trash blowing in, etc., and somehow knows when to come relieve me of stripers  :D

Jim

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Here is an alternative to frying:  oil the bottom of a baking dish, slice potatoes to cover the bottom of the dish.  Then half cook bacon in a frying pan, remove bacon.  Then fry pepper, onion, and garlic til it is nearly done in the frying pan.  Then take half the veggies, put them on the potatoes.  Then place a layer of filets(bass, crappie, bluegill).  Then place the bacon pieces over the filets, and cover with the remaining vegetables.  Then cook at 350 for about 35 minutes.  It is a delicious flavorful dish that is a healthier alternative to frying, which I still love to do.  

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