There is an old saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.”
Although I practice catch and release, all good fishermen keep at least one meal from every fishing trip to inspire them to keep the waters clean, it is a, “Don’t defecate where you eat moto.”
This is the best Big mouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, or Smallmouth Bass recipe you will ever try.
Step 1: Catch the Bass
On my last fishing trip I caught 30 fish and only kept two 5 pound bass about 20 inches long. There isn't one technique fits all or one lure fits all when it comes to fishing, but I find custom lures work best for me and I customize my lures. My favorite lure is a # 3 Blue Fox with a Mr Twister curly tailed grub on a single pronged hook.
Most fish like hiding places like weeds or rocks and wait for food to pass their hiding place, then they strike. If you see a fish following your lure slacken your line so the lure falls to the bottom, this makes the lure act like a sick or dying fish and triggers a fish’s strike response.
Step 2: Cleaning the Bass Filets
Cleaning and preparing the Bass filets is easy if you have had a lot of practice, this advice is for those that do not get the opportunity often.
To make the perfect boneless filet start by cutting the skin along the red lines from the inside out.
Starting at the anal vent make your first cut along the belly to the head and remove the icky bitts.
Make the second cut up the side of the fish to the back.
Make the third cut along the back to the tale.
Separate the meat from the spine and ribs at the same time as you make the cut in the skin from the anal vent to the tail, leaving a piece of skin holding the filet to the tail of the fish.
Holding the fish in one hand, place the filet skin down on the cutting board and pass the knife between the skin and the meat. This will give you a skinless filet with just a couple bones along the lateral line.
Repeat the same cuts for the other side of the fish to get the second filet.
Step 3: Leaching
Before cooking leach all the blood out of the bass filets, leaching the blood out of the filets prevents the blood from tainting the flavor of the fish. Place the filets in a bowl of cold water and place it in the fridge checking it every couple hours. When the water is bloody, rinse the filets with clean cold water and put the filets back in the fridge to soak. Repeat this step until the water no longer gets bloody then cut the filets into single servings and remove the lateral bones.
Behind the ribs cut off the tail filet.
Using your finger feel for the lateral line bones and cut a thin strip of meat out of the filet taking the lateral line bones out of the filet.
Step 4: Ingredients
Griddle or large frying pan, I like an electric griddle for frying my fish for its regulated even heat.
Step 5: Spicing the Bass Filets
Since the fish filets only take 10 minutes from preheat to cooked, start the sides in time to be ready at the same time as the fish filets. Start cooking the sides 45 minutes for baked potato, 20 minutes for rice before you preheat the griddle or frying pan as an example.
Preheat your large frying pan on high or plug in your electric griddle and preheat it to 450 degrees.
While the griddle is preheating place the filets on a plate or tray.
Sprinkle the filets with black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
Step 6: Cooking the Bass Filets
When the griddle is hot add butter to the griddle and spread it around.
Place the filets spiced side down and sprinkle the unspiced side of the filets with black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
When the filets go from opaque to white half way through flip the filets putting the uncooked side down.
When the filets go from opaque to white all the way through, the filets are cooked. This should only take 2 minutes a side.
Step 7: Serve
If you timed it right the bass filet's and sides should be ready at the same time, so dish it out and serve.