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      Eater size smallmouth?     
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Reke0402
member (15)member
 
04/24/2018 08:18PM
I have never kept a smallmouth before while fishing but i want to have some fish for my group when we go up July. What size of smallmouth do you guys like to keep?
 
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cyclones30
distinguished member(1335)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/24/2018 09:14PM
I'm like you, I don't
Guest Paddler
 
04/24/2018 09:20PM
12" roughly...taste just like sunnies!
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13080)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
04/24/2018 11:29PM
I don’t usually eat them, but when I have it’s the smaller size. They tend to get kind of mushy when they are bigger.
mastertangler
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04/25/2018 07:03AM
Smallies are excellent table fare from my perspective. 14" or 15" fish will hit the pan for me as I like filets with a bit of thickness to them.

While the walleye in canoe country and Canada in general have a nice flavor to them such its not the case in the great lakes of Michigan and walleye basically have no flavor and are quite mild and bland. After 30+ years of eating St Clair and lake Erie walleye our preferred eating fish is Smallmouth. Weird I know but they are mighty good.
ParkerMag
distinguished member(1042)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/25/2018 08:08AM
Wife and I both love eating a few. Typically just try to ID the males, and keep them when we keep any at all.
AmarilloJim
distinguished member(1243)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/25/2018 08:59AM
I've had to keep a few when feeding a group of non-fisherman and weather/fishing was poor. I kept the 12" size and bled them out. Put them in a soup dish and can't tell much difference.
QueticoMike
distinguished member(4666)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
04/25/2018 09:16AM
Northern pike can be good eating too. You shouldn't have any problems finding them.
WalleyeHunter24
member (48)member
 
04/25/2018 10:14AM
If you prefer to eat walleye (most people do), you can usually find them just to the deeper sides of shoreline and structure breaks of where the Smallmouth are relating (pending time of the year and if the Smallmouth are in the beds).

If you're finding a challenging time getting other fish for meals, then I suggest Smallmouth 12" or less.
buzz17
distinguished member (243)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/25/2018 10:24AM
Personally, I would rather eat northern pike. In the bwca/quetico, they taste the same as walleye imo. We have eaten smallmouth when necessary, and only when necessary.
My rankings for fish eating in the bwca:
1. Crappie/sunfish
2. Walleye/perch/northern pike
3. Trout/lakers/brookies/rainbow/splake
4. Largemouth
5. Smallmouth
6. Whitefish/tullibee
GearJunkie
distinguished member (134)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/25/2018 11:51AM
Reke0402: "I have never kept a smallmouth before while fishing but i want to have some fish for my group when we go up July. What size of smallmouth do you guys like to keep?"

I tried one once.

Not sure what went wrong as I’ve fried every fish under the sun.....but it taste like a cross between mud and arm pit sweat.

I’m thinking I cooked it too soon after being caught. Maybe the meat had a ton of adrenaline in it. Going to try it again one last time if nothing else is available.
CityFisher74
distinguished member (322)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/25/2018 12:17PM
I have eaten Smallmouth when we are short on Walleye and Pike. So order in terms of eating preference is: Walleye, Pike, Smallies/Largies. We have found that if cut the right way and if using Cajun Shorelunch, it's quite difficult to taste the difference.

Plus, the way my friends and I trip, if you don't like the fish that is being fried then you don't eat.
nofish
distinguished member(2699)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/25/2018 12:39PM
A few years ago when i was staying in the cabins at Rockwood I cooked up a bunch of fish that we caught and did a blind taste test with everyone. I did all the prep and cooking so only I knew which fish was which. I cut a fillet of walleye, smallmouth, and pike into chunks all about equal in size and then fried them up all the same way. I then gave each person one piece of each type of fish.

No one could tell which one was walleye and in general the preference of the group was for the smallmouth when I asked their favorite. So if you're short of walleye, pike and smallmouth are more than an adequate fill in. If people weren't told what they were eating most wouldn't even know.

As for what size I keep that all depends on how hungry I am, but in general smallies in that 12" range are probably best.
KarlBAndersen1
distinguished member(856)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/25/2018 12:56PM
mastertangler: "After 30+ years of eating St Clair and lake Erie walleye our preferred eating fish is Smallmouth. Weird I know but they are mighty good. "

No - it's not weird.
I've never understood the popularity of walleye as an "eating" fish. In my family - going back 60+ years - we've always said that walleye taste like whatever seasoning you put in the flour. I guess they're popular because they're abundant.
At least smallies taste like something!
When in the B'dub, I always make sure I have a northern or two for camp. The only thing better is either perch or bluegill.
icefishbaby
member (23)member
 
04/25/2018 01:06PM
I would rather clean a few pike than bass. Usually can catch dinner that way at least. Depending on the lake-walleye can be a tough customer. Depends on the day and lake.

I have kept small mouth that the kids caught for dinner, small is best. Make a good chowder soup.
mastertangler
distinguished member(5271)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
04/25/2018 01:10PM
KarlBAndersen1: "mastertangler: "After 30+ years of eating St Clair and lake Erie walleye our preferred eating fish is Smallmouth. Weird I know but they are mighty good. "


No - it's not weird.
I've never understood the popularity of walleye as an "eating" fish. In my family - going back 60+ years - we've always said that walleye taste like whatever seasoning you put in the flour. I guess they're popular because they're abundant.
At least smallies taste like something!
When in the B'dub, I always make sure I have a northern or two for camp. The only thing better is either perch or bluegill.
"


Karl B Anderson, a man after my own heart.

(With one slight exception LOL)..........I have noticed that the yellow belly type Walleye are a very fine eating fish indeed and do possess a nice flavor. And yes I prefer the firm texture of pike over smallmouths generally speaking............. but perch beats them all!
Mad_Angler
distinguished member(1578)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/25/2018 01:24PM
I like to eat fish. I try for lakers and walleye. Next choice is pike. But I don't hesitate to eat smallies if that what I'm catching. I find it hard to tell the difference between them all...(except lakers and that may be because I usually just cook them over the fire "fish on the halfshell" style)
Tyler W
distinguished member (117)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/25/2018 01:41PM
Smallmouth bass are actually an invasive species in the BWCA. Eat as many as you want, any size. When fried they don't taste different from walleye or pike. I would eat more of them, but they don't taste as good as lake trout.
KarlBAndersen1
distinguished member(856)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/25/2018 05:51PM
mastertangler: "KarlBAndersen1: "mastertangler: "After 30+ years of eating St Clair and lake Erie walleye our preferred eating fish is Smallmouth. Weird I know but they are mighty good. "



No - it's not weird.
I've never understood the popularity of walleye as an "eating" fish. In my family - going back 60+ years - we've always said that walleye taste like whatever seasoning you put in the flour. I guess they're popular because they're abundant.
At least smallies taste like something!
When in the B'dub, I always make sure I have a northern or two for camp. The only thing better is either perch or bluegill.
"



Karl B Anderson, a man after my own heart.


(With one slight exception LOL)..........I have noticed that the yellow belly type Walleye are a very fine eating fish indeed and do possess a nice flavor. And yes I prefer the firm texture of pike over smallmouths generally speaking............. but perch beats them all! "


Tonight I'm having a platter of last year's bluegill from around Grand Rapids.
I feel lucky.

shock
distinguished member(3445)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/25/2018 06:08PM
All sizes of smallies taste good out of the deep cold water of the BWCA , now your local lake or river system maybe different , 12"-15"-18" there all good out of the BW/Q , I took a friend on his 1st BW trip recently and had never ate smally before and he thought they tasted fantastic out of seagull lake
murphylakejim
distinguished member(598)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/25/2018 08:04PM
I prefer a smallie >14" if thats what its come to :)

quick and easy to fillet you have to admit....
carmike
distinguished member(1458)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/25/2018 10:05PM
I almost never keep fish, but I'm not opposed to a few small smallies once in a while. They're good eating, and like nofish said, in a properly controlled experiment, most people can't tell most fish apart.
mastertangler
distinguished member(5271)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
04/26/2018 04:33AM
carmike: "I almost never keep fish, but I'm not opposed to a few small smallies once in a while. They're good eating, and like nofish said, in a properly controlled experiment, most people can't tell most fish apart. "

You guide? My best bud is a guide on Lake Okeechobee and he, or his clients, NEVER keep any bass. Now salt water fish or shell crackers are fair game with him however. I'm a fish head and LOVE to eat fish and basically never really target fish I can't eat. Call me a neanderthal I guess. I don't fish for bonefish or target Tarpon for that reason.

Had some sesame seed encrusted salmon last night......yummy with "yum-yum" sauce (LOL, gourmet dining ;-)
 
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