There is nothing quite like feeling the tug on the end of your fishing line, seeing that bass on your hook, and knowing you’ve got fresh fish for dinner.

It helps that Georgia’s bass fishing is superb and earning it the title “Black Bass Capital of the World.” Home to 10 different species of Black Bass, and we encourage you to take a shot at catching all of them as part of our Georgia Bass Slam! Up your Bass Slam challenge by trying 5 different ways to cook your catch. Grab your fishing license, #GoFishGeorgia, and give a few of these recipes a try!

 

Cajun-Fried Bass

Adapted from www.buckmasters.com

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Photo credit: Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

 

Ingredients:

¼ Cup Hot Sauce

1 Cup Buttermilk

Up To a Dozen Bass Fillets

10 oz. Cajun Fish Fry Seasoning Mix

Peanut Oil

Salt

In a lidded container, combine your favorite hot sauce (everyone who likes hot sauce has a favorite) and buttermilk. Soak fillets in this mixture for no less than 2 hours. Soaking overnight gives the best results. Allow fillets to drip-dry in a strainer before seasoning. In a flat pan, put seasoning mix and press fillets firmly into meal on each side. Do this two or three times to create a nice crust. Heat oil to 375 degrees, in a skillet or deep fryer. Fry the fish until they float and turn crispy and golden (approximately 2 minutes). Once fillets are done, salt immediately on both sides as you remove the fish from the oil. After that they’re ready to be gobbled up! If you are going to wait a couple minutes to eat, put those puppies on a tray lined with paper towels so they don’t get soggy.

 

Pan Fried Bass with Lemon Garlic Herb Butter Sauce

Adapted from www.foodnetwork.com

 

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Photo credit: Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

 

Ingredients:

4 Bass Fillets, Skin Removed

Salt

Pepper

1 Cup Flour

4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

1 Tablespoon Garlic, Sliced Thin

¼ Cup Mild Fresh Herbs (such as Basil, Parsley, thyme, Oregano)

2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

Season fillets with salt and pepper. Heat a sauté pan on top a grill or stovetop. When the pan is good and hot add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and let that heat up. Dredge the bass fillets in the flour and shake off any of the excess. Place the fillets in the pan and pan fry for around about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove the fish from the pan. To make your lemon-garlic-butter-herb sauce, add the rest of the butter to the pan and melt. When the butter is hot, add the sliced garlic. Fry the garlic until it just begins to turn light golden brown. Add the herbs and remove from the heat. Carefully, add the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, place a fillet on a plate and spoon some of the lemon garlic herb butter over the fish.

Blackened Bass

Adapted from: The Everything Wild Game Cookbook by Karen Eagle

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Photo credit: Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

 

Ingredients:

2 Pounds Bass Fillets

¼ Cup Plus 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

1 Tablespoon Lemon Pepper

1 Tablespoon Paprika

2 Teaspoons Garlic Salt

2 Teaspoons Dried Basil

2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano

2 Teaspoons Red Pepper

2 Teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Rinse fish fillets and pat dry. Place in a bowl and lightly toss with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Set aside. Combine lemon pepper, paprika, garlic salt, basil, oregano, red pepper, and black pepper in a bowl and whisk to blend well. Transfer to a larger, shallow bowl. Add ¼ cup oil to a cast-iron skillet and place over high heat. If you do not have a cast iron skillet then a regular pan will do the trick. Also, if you do not have any cast iron cookware, you should look into getting at least one or two skillets. I mean this is Georgia, and any good southern cook should keep some cast iron at the ready. Back on topic, dredge the fish in the spice mixture, lightly coating both sides of the fillet. Sear a batch of several fillets at a time in a hot skillet. Cook for about 1 to 1 ½ minutes per side. Fillets should be crusty. Continue cooking batches of fillets until done. Be careful not to eat all of your cooked fish between batches, this stuff is tasty!

 

Grilled Bass

Adapted from www.lakefishingtechniques.com – Contributed by the Kitchen of Brian Ward

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Photo credit: Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

 

Ingredients:

4 Bass Fillets

¼ Teaspoon Garlic Powder

¼ Teaspoon Paprika

¼ Teaspoon Onion Powder

2 Teaspoons Dried Parsley

Lemon Pepper (to taste)

Sea Salt (to taste)

3 Tablespoons Butter

2 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped

1 ½ Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This one is simple and scrumptious. Preheat grill on high heat. In a bowl, mix together garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, lemon pepper, and sea salt. Sprinkle the mixture over the bass fillets. Melt your butter and combine with the garlic and parsley. Place fillets on lightly oiled grill grates. Cook for 7 minutes on each side, while brushing with butter mixture. Grill until tender enough to pull apart with a fork. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving. Serve fish over rice, with fries or tots, or between two pieces of toast with some lettuce and mayo for a light fish sandwich.

 

Bass Tacos

Adapted from: www.fieldandstream.com

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Photo credit: Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

 

Ingredients:

6 Bass Fillets, skinned with Lateral Line Removed, Cut Into 3×1-inch Strips

1 Large Egg, Separated Into Yolk and White

1 Cup Flour

1 Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

1 Cup Beer or Water

1 Cup Crema Mexicana*

2 Teaspoons Chipotles in Adobo, Chopped*

4 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil

6 oz. Fresh Chorizo Sausage

12 Corn Tortillas

2 Limes

2 Cups Green or Red Cabbage, Shredded Fine

Kosher Salt, To Taste

*Crema mexicana and chipotles in adobo are available at most Latino markets. Many grocery stores stock crema media, a slightly sweeter variation. (If using this, add a teaspoon of salt to offset the sweetness.)

 

Mix the egg yolk, flour, salt, pepper, and beer or water together until you have a pancake-like batter. Refrigerate until ready to use (up to 24 hours). Make the chipotle crema: Combine the crema mexicana with the chipotles–adobo sauce and all–in a food processor until smooth and pinkish. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Slice the chorizo lengthwise, peel off the casing, and chop. Cook chorizo, using a wooden spoon to break the meat into pinto bean-size pieces, until very crisp (about 5 minutes). Drain and set aside.

In a large pot or deep fryer, heat the oil to 350 degrees. While it’s heating, whisk the reserved egg white until stiff and fold it into the batter. When the oil is not quite fully heated, wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and place in the oven, preheated to 350 degrees, until soft and warm. Dip the bass in the batter, coating the pieces well. Shake off any excess and fry in batches until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels and lightly salt.

To serve, place two or three pieces of fish on a warm tortilla. Squeeze lime juice on them, scatter on a few bits of chorizo, and top with cabbage and dollops of salsa and crema, to taste. Serve immediately.