Bass fishing during the eclipse

Darkhorse

Handloader
Mar 14, 2014
747
18
I had a pretty good day. The bass hit good all day but really turned on during the eclipse period. The largest weighed 6 pounds with a couple more just under. All were over 18" long.
I was fishing a family pond where all they have to eat are bluegill, bass and crawfish. So I fish with crankbaits that resemble bluegill and bass most of the time. And of course plastic worms. The bite was about 50/50 between a 10.5" Junebug colored worm and a bluegill crankbait. The largest came on the crankbait.
I released at least as many as I caught but the big ones are still eluding me for this year.
For visual comparison the fish are on a 100 quart cooler. Photos hardly ever look as impressive as seeing fish in real life. Still I think it's a pretty nice stringer of bass.
 

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DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,183
1,724
That is an excellent stringer! Congratulations. I've told several people up here that if they ever hooked into a solid bass, they'd throw rocks at trout.
 

gerry

Ammo Smith
Mar 1, 2007
6,117
10
Nice catch, those look pretty similar to the rock fish over here in the ocean. How do bass taste?
 

Darkhorse

Handloader
Mar 14, 2014
747
18
gerry, Bass are the only freshwater fish my wife likes to eat. I think they are excellent table fare. I grew up eating bass and bream as I came from the old, really country stock where eating wild game and fish was just the normal thing to do. I season my filet's with salt, pepper and cajon spices, then fry them in hot oil. Just plain old good!
Dr. Mike I agree completely. A good bass, say 5 pounds and up, can put on a strong burst of speed that's really hard to stop. There's just something thrilling about calm water and a big bass jumping clear of the water, and shaking her whole body trying to throw the hook.
Of course all game fish have their special attributes. I fished off the SE Coast for years for King Mackeral and various other fish. I caught 2 sailfish on 20 lb. test line. The speed and long runs of a sail is just amazing. You watch your line where it enters the water and out of the corner of y our eye see your fish jumping 200 yards away in a different direction.
But I digress. Saltwater fishing is another story altogether.
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,183
1,724
I grew up on smallies (and crappie and cats) in KS. Excellent table fare, without a doubt. Then, in TX, it was largemouth bass. Again, fine table fare. The smallies did put up a more extended and awesome fight--pound for pound, it is difficult to imagine another fresh-water fish fighting any harder. I do enjoy hooking into a good winter run steelhead. It is exciting. It may only be my advanced age and the inevitable mythologizing of a long-past youth, but I do recall those bass on the end of my line with a sense of awe.
 

truck driver

Ammo Smith
Mar 11, 2013
6,908
240
gerry":lsby589t said:
Nice catch, those look pretty similar to the rock fish over here in the ocean. How do bass taste?
Simply delicious. Cold water small bass is even better and have a flavor all their own.
 

gerry

Ammo Smith
Mar 1, 2007
6,117
10
Darkhorse":22f3otzw said:
gerry, Bass are the only freshwater fish my wife likes to eat. I think they are excellent table fare. I grew up eating bass and bream as I came from the old, really country stock where eating wild game and fish was just the normal thing to do. I season my filet's with salt, pepper and cajon spices, then fry them in hot oil. Just plain old good!
Dr. Mike I agree completely. A good bass, say 5 pounds and up, can put on a strong burst of speed that's really hard to stop. There's just something thrilling about calm water and a big bass jumping clear of the water, and shaking her whole body trying to throw the hook.
Of course all game fish have their special attributes. I fished off the SE Coast for years for King Mackeral and various other fish. I caught 2 sailfish on 20 lb. test line. The speed and long runs of a sail is just amazing. You watch your line where it enters the water and out of the corner of y our eye see your fish jumping 200 yards away in a different direction.
But I digress. Saltwater fishing is another story altogether.


All the video's I have seen there was no mention of eating them so I was wondering if they were even edible. Sounds like they are great to eat :) I have never even seen a bass let alone catch one but they are on my bucket list. Everything I have heard about catching them is that it is a blast.

The way you cook them up sounds awfully good (y) Mike and Rodger would also like to hear how you both cook them too if possible.
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,183
1,724
Gerry, bass are a white meat that flakes nicely when cooked properly. The meat is quite tasty.
 

Darkhorse

Handloader
Mar 14, 2014
747
18
Gerry, the way I cook them is pretty simple. It's the same way my mother cooked them, except now I use one of those new, square copper frying pans you see advertised on TV. The one I use has deep sides and cleans up with a good wipe.
I keep my bass on an old fashioned stringer in the water. I give them a lot of line so they can seek cooler water. As soon as I pull my boat up to shore I transfer them to a iced cooler while still alive. How you handle fish is just as important as handling your big game meat.
I usually fish all day so I pack the fish in fresh ice to the cooler top and filet them the next morning. I put enough filet's for a meal in a one gallon plastic bag, fill it with water and freeze for later.
After thawing I pat the filet's as dry as possible and place 1/2 in a aluminum tray like you buy in packs at the grocery store and the other 1/2 in another tray. I season with salt, pepper and a cajun seasoning, turn the filet's over and do the other side. One of the trays is seasoned heavier than the other. This one's mine.
In the heavier seasoned tray I pour ground corn meal straight from the sack, enough to cover both sides of the filet's. In the other I pour flour as my wife prefers flour. At this time I mix up some hushpuppy mix.
I pour enough canola or vegetable oil into the frying pan so the fish will be deepfried. Heat this on high until it's hot enough that a fillet will immediately begin to fry. The fish will absorb less oil when the oil is hot.
I make sure the fillets are completely covered with flour or meal then slip them into the hot oil. I start with the flour because the oil stays clear and cleaner. After a couple of minutes I turn them with tongs. I fry them "Just long enough" to get golden brown on both sides. For years I used a plate with several paper towels on top, when the fish come out of the oil they go on the paper towels to help absorb excess oil. Now we use another one of those copper things, this one with a screen that the oil will drip through. After filling with fish it goes in the oven to help keep them warm. Works great.
Next I fry the corn meal coated fish followed by the hushpuppy's and your ready to eat!
This is how I do it at home but there are slightly different methods when done over a campfire or a fishcooker but it's all basically the same. And it works for most any kind of fish but your white meat fish fry up the best.
The reason you never see any mention of eating bass is because with the advent of Bass Tournaments catch and release became the thing to do. Good thing as some lakes have many, many large bass tournaments a year and if not released a lake could become depleted. But I come from an era before that when a bass was just good food for the table.
But I practice catch and release on my fishing ground also. If we have an overabundance of a certain age, or size of bass then I will target them and take some out. I've been doing this for years with the goal of growing big bass and a good population of eating size ones also. And since I control the bass fishing pressure I can make it work.
 

gerry

Ammo Smith
Mar 1, 2007
6,117
10
That does sound really good, now I'm hungry again :lol: . I'm like you and cook fish till it is just done, some like to overcook it and it tastes terrible.
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,183
1,724
The flesh should flake readily, but not be chewy. Bass is a white meat, Gerry, and it is delectable. I must say that only crappie and/or sunfish could rank higher on the culinary scale of fresh water fish in the lower forty-eight.
 
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