Mike Hehner offers up some tips, tactics, and a fantastic recipe for catch and cook largemouth bass.
Catch and Cook Largemouth Bass
A majority of lakes in the Minnesota and across the Midwest have an abundance of mid to small sized largemouth bass. These 1 to 2 pound bass are easy to catch and provide a great table fair, especially during the winter months.
The key when targeting largemouth bass through the ice is to find shallow weedy bays or shallow weed beds. Look for standing green weeds with bluegills, minnows or other forage mixed in.
One tool that is really beneficially when searching these shallow water weed beds is an Aqua Vu Micro Revolution 5.0 Pro HD. This camera allows you to check these areas quick and locate fish in a fast and efficient manor.
Once you’ve located some largemouth bass catching them is fairly easy. There are three go-to presentations for targeting largemouth bass under the ice.
The first is a setline with a shiner minnow. In these shallow water situations a tip up set with Sufix Performance Tip Up braid paired with a three to four foot lead is a deadly combo. It allows you to spread out and cover a larger area. There are very few bass that will pass up a shiner.
The second presentation that works great for largemouth bass is the Rapala Slab Rap. It does a great job of calling fish in from a distance and when largemouth bass are aggressive it’s hard to beat.
If the fish are inactive that’s when you’ll want to switch to a small tungsten jig paired with a wax worm or plastics. Those three presentations will catch bass all winter long and are the only baits you’ll need if you want to catch and cook largemouth bass.
Blackened Bass Recipe
If you’re looking for catch and cook largemouth bass recipes one of the best ways to prepare largemouth bass is by blackened it.
It’s a very simple and easy way to prepare bass and it taste great!
Here’s what you’ll need.
- Bass Fillets
- Half a stick of Butter
- Blackened Seasoning ( I prefer Chef Pauls Blackened Redfish Magic seasoning but any blackened seasoning will do)
- Cast iron pan
- burner/flame to heat cast iron
Start by coating the bass fillets on both sides with the blackened seasoning.
Once the fillets are coated in seasoning, place half a stick of butter into a hot cast iron pan. If possible I’d recommend doing this outside, because it is going to be fairly smoky as the butter melts.
When the butter is completely melted place the bass fillets into the hot pan.
After one and a half minutes flip the fillets. This process should only take about three minutes.
Remove from the pan and then enjoy!