Keeping Largemouth to eat

Discussion in 'Fishing' started by muddhunter, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. muddhunter

    muddhunter 12 pointer

    Oct 18, 2005
    I haven’t eaten a largemouth since I was a kid. Maybe 10-12 years old. I guess I fell into the camp of catch and release on bass. It kinda felt taboo to keep any, and I wondered when I saw others keeping some, why would they? There are plenty other fish to eat. Why keep a sport fish like a bass? Then I got into a mess of 13 inchers at a private lake where the owner wanted some taken out. Wow. Good eating. As good as the big bluegill I was catching.

    So, just wondering. What is everyone’s take on keeping bass to eat and why? Is it good for the fishery to take some out? Is it still taboo? Anyone have any thoughts to the pros or cons.
    Thomas Roberts likes this.
  2. kyoutdoorsman

    kyoutdoorsman 12 pointer

    Jan 19, 2016
    I'm sure there is more fish taken for to eat than being thrown back. Enjoy it at the table.
  3. ribsplitter

    ribsplitter Cyber-Hunter

    Jan 19, 2004
    Greenup, ky, USA.
    I don't have a problem with anyone doing it, but I personally don't care much for the meat, there is much better to be had. I also enjoy catching big bass, and there pretty thin in Kentucky as it is. I put the knife to my fair share of fish throughout the year probably 5-600 this year so far with more to come. Whatever you like, release to the grease, get your money's worth out of that license.
  4. bgkyarcher

    bgkyarcher 12 pointer

    Aug 23, 2011
    We don’t keep many largemouths. Eat the hell out of spots though.
  5. zone1

    zone1 8 pointer

    Jan 3, 2011
    Spots and smallmouth if water temp is 65 or below.
  6. xbokilla

    xbokilla 12 pointer

    Jun 28, 2012
    I don’t fish much anymore but always liked a good 12-16 inch bass fillet. I agree there are better tasting fish out there. Had a buddy that had a farm pond in his family and we used to go catch bass until our arms were sore. Hit a big one every now and then but most were 13-14 inches. I finally started keeping about 5-6 each time (we’d literally catch 50 plus in an outing) and I noticed the overall quality of fish got better in the pond. So depending where you are fishing, putting a few to the grease can be a good thing.
    deerturkey14, Brody, RLWEBB and 8 others like this.
  7. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

    Jan 2, 2009
    raised n Bullitt Co.
    nope, don't eat em. C & R all our bass with the exception of a legal fish that's swallowed a worm. there's other fish I'd rather eat.
    drakeshooter likes this.
  8. Munson

    Munson 12 pointer

    Dec 24, 2011
    Natural Bridge
    I don't guess ive eat one since I was a kid. Can't remember how it compared but I quit them and still eating most others so...
    Im sure if'n I couldn't catch nothing else I'd eat em, fried fish with cornbread and butter is hard to beat.
    drakeshooter and muddhunter like this.
  9. HappyHunter

    HappyHunter 10 pointer

    Sep 11, 2003
    12 to 16 inch fish out of cold water or up to July 1st or so, are great eating. I like to blacken them. Caught a limit of 14 inchers in January that were some of the best fresh water fish I’ve eaten. The spot I fish typically needs bass harvested. If the fishery can handle the pressure, catch and release in hot grease.
  10. RLWEBB

    RLWEBB 12 pointer

    Nov 30, 2005
    Staffordsville, KY
    One of the best meals I ever ate was rock bass (red eyes) and Smallmouth caught out of New River in Virginia. Caught that day and cooked that evening. I never keep any fish but need to start.
  11. Buzz151

    Buzz151 6 pointer

    Nov 26, 2014
    What's the deal on the cool water temps related to keeping the bass?
    NOCAMST likes this.
  12. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

    Jan 2, 2009
    raised n Bullitt Co.
    from my experience in Canada, the meat is more firm and taste better.
    Drahts and Buzz151 like this.
  13. bgkyarcher

    bgkyarcher 12 pointer

    Aug 23, 2011
    Bass are a good eating fish, especially spots. 12-14" spots are great.
  14. carnivore

    carnivore 12 pointer

    Nov 17, 2007
    I eat them when i gut hook them. Everyone i have gut hooked and released, died within a week. I tried various methods of removal including leaving it in. 100% death rate.
  15. bgkyarcher

    bgkyarcher 12 pointer

    Aug 23, 2011
    Same with the gills. If they bleed, they will die.

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