Are White Bass Good to Eat?

The white is a familiar haul to seasoned fishermen and anglers who frequent freshwater rivers and lakes in the United States. But due to the preconceived notion that it has a strong ‘fishy’ taste, several anglers uphold the catch and release philosophy for the white bass. You might be musing that it is a fish, so it should naturally have a fishy taste. Well, some people have an aversion to it as it is dominant compared to some other freshwater fish species like the carp.

So, are white bass good to eat? White bass is the actual definition of an acquired taste. You are probably frowning right about now and regretting why you accepted that gift of white bass from your fishing buddy. But don’t throw it out yet. We took the liberty of finding the correct answer for you.

White Bass 101

White bass, colloquially known as sand bass or silver bass, belongs to the temperate bass family Moronidae. They possess several incomplete lines running horizontally on each side of the body, making them look like young striped bass. However, if you want to differentiate the two, the answer lies in the mouth. The white bass has one tooth patch on the back of the tongue instead of the striped bass that has two distinct tooth patches.

White bass typically matures to about 10 to 12 inches in length and weighs in at about 1 pound. However, a few white basses have broken the record with length recordings of a whopping 17 inches and about 6 pounds in weight. That sounds enough for a small family feast or a ‘mukbang’ if you have quite the appetite.

The white bass is a carnivore by nature and a visual feeder. Their diet consists of small crustaceans, midge larvae, fishes like shad, silversides, sunfish, and sometimes even fellow bass.

Seasoned angler or not, always choose fish caught in clean waters as they taste better and are also safe for human consumption. Some inland waters contain mercury, which could be transferred to your body after ingesting the fish when consumed by the white bass. If

So, what exactly contributes to the powerful aftertaste of the white bass? Here’s why.


The white bass has a prominent unappealing fishy taste that may not be to everyone’s taste. The lateral line in the fish is a significant contribution to this; therefore, you can remove it when prepping to cook it to get rid of some ‘fishiness.’

Unlike most fish which are either purely white meat or red meat, the white bass is both. Interesting, right? You can, however, skillfully separate the red that contributes to the strong aftertaste from the white meat for a toned-down scrumptious meal.

How to get rid of the ‘fishiness.’

There are a few ‘tried and tasted’ methods of alleviating the nasty taste from the fish for a delicious finger-licking dinner. Hell, you’ll even be fishing for white bass before you know it.

Always store the white bass in a cooler filled with crushed ice upon catching. Keeping it in a live wall with the rest of the slime and grunge from other fish affects its taste and might even cause death from overcrowding. Cooling it down is a vital step to getting it prepped for cooking for a fantastic taste. If you don’t have a cooler, you can soak your catch in either lemon or lime juice to remove the fishy taste. This also gives it an extra tangy, zesty punch.

Second, ensure you remove the red meat precisely, then clean the remaining meat properly and thoroughly to get the right taste. Remember to use a sharp knife here to shave the red meat out instead of slicing it to avoid wasting most of the meat.

Finally, the white bass is not fit for freezing and storing for extended periods; therefore, ensure you immediately clean and cook it within a few days. If you caught a lot of white basses, however, you should clean and fillet them to remove the red meat before freezing them. This way, they can stay for up to two months without tasting bland.

The case for eating White Bass

Just like other fish in the bass family, they come packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B12, and proteins that are essential for your health. They are also relatively low in calories, therefore a sumptuous meal for those trying to lose weight.

The white bass is a gift that keeps on giving. Apart from being highly nutritious, the fish play an essential role in reducing blood pressure, reducing your body’s cholesterol levels, and minimizing the risk of coronary ailments.

While the fish doesn’t have the best reputation for its taste, a few tricks can make it more palatable for you. First, soak the fish in buttermilk for about 20 minutes for the milk protein to bind with compounds that cause the fishy odor. After soaking, you can either bake the resulting sweet-smelling, brighter fleshed fillet, pan fry it, or boil it in oil.

You can baptize the fillets with garlic, onion slices, butter, and potatoes for weight watchers before throwing them in the oven for baking. The other less healthy option is to roll the fillets in a spiced-up corn meal-milk batter then deep-frying for about 3 to 5 minutes.

You can also opt to eat the fish raw. Having a little white bass fillet in your sushi now and then still gives your body all the nutrition this fish has to offer. You should, however, ensure that the fish has been cleaned thoroughly before consumption. In addition, you should refrigerate the meat beforehand to ensure all the bacteria present in the fish are killed before consumption.

The case against eating the white bass

Taste varies from one human being to another; therefore, if you can’t handle a strong aftertaste, the white bass might not be for you. In addition, the white bass is known for its pointedly strong, fishy taste, which may not agree with everyone.


  • How expensive is white bass?

White bass costs about $25 to $30 per pound. However, you can quickly get this at absolutely zero cost if you are a seasoned angler, as white bass is prevalent in freshwater rivers and lakes.

  • Are white bass rare?

The female white bass lays between 242,000 to 933,000 eggs; thus, you can rest assured that they are not endangered.

We have already researched another kind of fish taste like can you eat mantis shrimp? Crawfish taste is good or not? Are grass carps delicious?


So, are white bass good to eat? The quick answer is YES! You might be opposed to eating the white bass because of the ill-famed taste or the appearance of the fish. It could also be because of a rumor you heard that it is chockful of toxins, or maybe you just don’t know how to cook it. Whatever the reason, don’t let it stop you from trying this nutritious product of nature.

Knowing how to handle the fish before prepping it to cook is a crucial step to ensuring a divine taste. You should also use different recipes that incorporate various spices in them to mask the fishy aftertaste for an enjoyable meal.

When out fishing with the boys, don’t release that white bass you catch, as it could make for a tasty dinner treat for you and your family. Who knows, you might even fall in love with this acquired taste everyone speaks of.

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