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Why no love for rock bass?


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I'm a recent Minnesotan, going on two years now, grew up in NE SD and had an 8 year exile in the land of Idiots Out Walking Around. I've noticed a definite stigma surrounding keeping and eating rock bass. I had a group out in NE SD this last weekend and we picked up a few rock bass in the 10-12" range while catching big bluegills and smallmouth. They wondered if we should keep them, I said absolutely - just like a big bluegill. All they are is a member of the sunfish family, which pretty much everyone agrees the rest of the members of this family are pretty tasty, but rock bass are looked on as a trash fish. Can anyone shed any light on this? They fight hard and taste great, what's not to like?

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I know in parts of Michigan they are very prone to neascus, even moreseo than other panfish in the area - which is why I never enjoyed eating them.

I agree though, mix em in with bluegills and nobody knows the difference

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Neascus, eh? I've seen it, but never knew the scientific name for it. Thanks for the info, gobluem.

I remember fishing up in the Hayward Wis. area when I was a kid and the people on vacation from Illinois always cleaning bucketloads of them in the fishhouse, and the locals giving them grief because they considered the red eyes a trash fish.

I've never eaten them (as far as I know). smile

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I donno why but I got it stuck in my head eating rock bass is like eating road kill...long story short...well kinda, 7-8 years ago I had an 8hr trip with a few older guys from southern MN, we were catching nice slots out on three mile bobber fishing and like someone flipped a switch the rock bass moved in. I said "reel up I'm going to re-set the anchor line and get away from these things".....the response I got... "what for? these are great!" I thought these guys are kidding me...nope!

Anyway, an hour later I had a box full of rock bass and limits of walleyes so we headed in. I've never got so much flack in a fish cleaning house in my life lol! People kept coming in..."what are you doing..your not eating those?" "ish man" " what the heck are those" " you catch them out here?" lol the list goes on and on.

I cleaned and bagged them for the the guys, they put the walleyes fillets in the cooler to take home and brought one galon bag of rock bass fillets into Buzzies and had them fried up, they even passed them out to people and everyone said they were great. Not one person said anything negative about the taste....I had a burger and fries so I can't comment on the taste lol.

Some people like them, So I guess the old saying is true, you can fry anything.

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Quick look at the post title right above this post! "garbage can feed" Says it all! wink

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As long as you and your friends like the taste of them, whats not to like? I usually don't keep em, but have filleted a few when they get gut hooked off the dock. No one has complained with the taste, or even noticed a difference from sunnies.

My biggest rock bass complaint is the really big ones like to bite my trolled cranks at night. I think I have a small walleye and reel it in to find out it's a huge Rockie. Dooohh!

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They're pretty "boney". Used to eat a lot of em' when I was a kid.

I think Rockbass are often prone to contracting Echinococcus Granulosus. I think that's the correct parasite, isn't it GoBlue?

It's the one that shows itself as little white balls of stuff in the flesh of the fillet? It doesn't hurt you...as long as the meat is cooked completely through, but it's not very attractive to look at though.

There's certainly nothing wrong with eating a mess of Rockbass. Now-a-days there's a "stigma" around everything we do! From what I've observed, most people today complain if their ice-cream is too cold! crazy They look for, and find something wrong with virtually everything and anything!

If you want to eat Rockbass, it's completely up to you. Don't even give a second thought to what "other people" might think.

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Believe, I don't have a care what other people think about the fish that I eat, especially after I serve these trash fish to them and their eyes are opened. I love catching a big rock bass, especially jigging over the side of the boat. My daughters think they are some of the coolest looking goggle-eyed fish out there. smile

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Someone told me once they kept them for company. So came the name "Company Crappies"... Crappies for me, and Company Crappies for others.. Haha

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Another name is Party Crappies......fry up a bunch at a big party and no one will no the difference. Similar to Brad's story, end up spending time at a resort filled mainly with Mid Western Southern Folk and after growing up being indoctrinated by the Cult of the Walleye Gods, was originally horrified with what they ate. But after getting to know them year after year and realizing they were not certifiably insane, learned if you "shore lunch" and deep fry almost anything, odds are pretty good it will taste good. While I personally do not eat much fish, what I get a kick out of is all the people that go home hungry because they cant catch the coveted eyeball when there are plenty of other decent tasting fish out there. Similarly, will fish all day long barely getting bites, when there are plenty of other fish to provide some action. Who's crazier?

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I love em! Maybe not in the middle of the summer, but in the spring they are very tasty!

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Hush! Dont tell the WalleyeGods on here that other fish taste good.

Rock bass, green sunfish, pumpkin seeds, white bass, bullhead, tullibee, whitefish, channel catfish, the list goes on and on...

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Love to catch them but there not around in the metro area. Fun to catch on lite line!

Brian

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I'm convinced more and more that people's perceptions about fish are inherited from heresay and not from personal experience.

I went to a pier this past weekend and found a couple of anglers visiting from Las Vegas. They were catching bluegills left and right. Then one of them caught a dogfish and dragged it on shore. I asked them what they were doing. "Well, we were told we have to leave these on shore and we can't release them." I kindly told them that unless they planned to use the fish for something, they have to immediately release it back into the water or it is wanton waste. The couple had no idea; they told me that someone had told them that they were to be left on shore.

The same is true of underutilized fish like rock bass, sucker, bullheads, etc. Everyone gets the idea that they are trash fish, icky, shouldn't be touched, whatever, but nobody has ever eaten them! Try it once, you may like it! At least you can form your own opinion instead of adopting anothers.

At least do this: if you have kids, let them decide what is worth getting excited about. I used to do kids fishing clinics. With the really little kids, they would get all excited if they hooked a white bass, a carp, a rock bass. Once I got the teenagers, they were dismayed to catch those same fish...most of the time, when pressed about their reactions, it was because "my dad doesn't like those fish." Pass on a love for all fish and fishing to the next generation.

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VERY well put Chise! I think the exact same thing can be said about insects. So many people freak out about any little insect that lands on them. Our kids learn to panic at the site of an aphid or ladybug.

For heavens sake, they're just insects. Relax, bugs are really cool when you really look at em". Even bees, wasps and hornets come in a huge range of colors, shapes and sizes, and everyone of em' is kinda cool if you don't make em' angry.

Rockbass are tasty, if you've got a sharp knife and get all the bones out of em'.

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I'm questioning you guys that say "if you get all the bones out of them". They're a sunfish, fillet the side off, skin the fillet, cut out the ribcage. There aren't any other bones in the remaining fillet!

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... Can anyone shed any light on this? They fight hard and taste great, what's not to like?
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It's like drinking really cheap beer... Most people do it when they're desparate and/or when they think nobody they'll ever see again will see them doing it because it has a stigma of being "no class".

Or

Those who do and don't care if anyone sees them, do so because they can easily consume mass quantities.

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