When it comes to the Bass family, there are more than a hundred varieties of bass found in the world. Striped bass is just one among them, they are found mostly on the east coast of North America.
Yes, you can certainly eat a striped bass. Ask any fishing enthusiast who lives in the East Coast region, they would vouch for that a striper is one of the best bass fishes to eat.
Another major fact about the bass fish family is that every variety has its type of biology, preferences over habitat, and preferences over living conditions. Just because they fall under the same family group, it doesn’t mean that most of them are similar to one another. There are a lot of things that set apart the striped bass fish from other fish. The main difference is its incredible taste!
What is a Striped Bass or Striper?
A striper or striped bass is the type of fish that is a fisherfolk favorite. They are one of the most delectable species which are found in the waters of the coast. Stripers find the striped bass fish very tough to catch but it gives you the kind of having worked out whenever you try to catch this fish.
This fish is said to have made the American waters as its home way back in the 19th century. The number of fishes in this type grew large in number with the expedition carried out by the Europeans.
It has got its name, as the body of the fish is striped in nature. There are about 7-8 horizontal lines on the body of the fish. They are silvery in color or sometimes they are olive green in shades as well. There are other kinds of bass fish that are either spotted or they are colored as well. As the population of the fish is dwindling constantly, the government has fixed certain norms like the fishes below the size of 28 inches should not be caught and the fishes above the size of 28 inches should be caught in limited numbers or only one fish has to be caught.
The striped bass is anadromous. Anadromous means that the fish can live in both the sea waters and in freshwaters. The fish migrates towards the freshwaters for spawning. Spawning refers to the activity of laying of eggs by the female fishes. Each female fish can lay up 3 lakh eggs. Once these eggs hatch, the baby fish, after they grow to a certain size, are found moving to areas of saltwater.
Where are Striped Bass found and how are they distributed?
Striped bass is one of the most famous sporting fishes ever. A lot of organizations that work on environmental conservation and biodiversity management have looked out for different ways by which this bass can be conserved. They are found extensively in the North American region, especially along the Atlantic coasts. They are found in abundance in the tiny island that dots the entire region of the Atlantic coast. Many consider fishing the striped bass as more than just a pastime.
The striped bass is known by other names like stripers, rockfish, etc., They are known to live most of their lives in the seas and for spawning, the freshwater tributaries are made use of. Until the fish grows large and before the winter could set in, they start migrating towards the sea. Fishes like salmon can spawn only once in their lifetime and after they spawn, they die, whereas the striped bass variety of spawn fish can spawn more than once in a year itself. This gives them the name of multiple spawners.
Like a lot of dams and other structures that were erected across the rivers and the other freshwater bodies, the movement of fish from the freshwater to the seas was highly blocked. The number of stripers also reduced very much. The striped bass is known to live in the deep waters during the summers as they don’t have eyelids and their eyes are extremely sensitive to sunlight.
The extent of striped bass can be found in places like St Lawrence river in Canada to St John’s river in the northern part of Florida just across the Atlantic coast. They are also found in Mexican Gulf and it is also a fact that some of the species found on the coast are said to have originated from this region.
The striped bass belongs to the predatory class and they consume different types of zooplankton, insects, and other small varieties of fish as their diet.
How to Prepare a Striped Bass
You need to be aware of how to clean and prepare the striped bass as the flesh in the mid-region of the fish is one of the tastiest you will ever eat. It is not easy to clean this type of fish due to the red meat that runs down the middle region of the fish and if you don’t handle it properly, it might lead to the fish getting very oily in texture. This is also known as the bloodline.
You need to have two types of knives. One knife will be used to slit the fish sidewise across the body, in the horizontal fashion right below the region where the eye region is located. From there, you need to draw a vertical line on both sides of the fish. By doing so, you can drain all the blood from the fish, this is the most crucial part as the blood can ruin the taste of the muscles of the fillet.
Using the same knife, you can remove the scales.
The other knife can be used to cut the fish into fillets. These fillets need to be stored in tight air locked covers and kept in the freezer to be used for cooking purposes.
What does a Striped Bass taste like?
The striped bass tastes very flavorful, fully loaded with minerals. There are a lot of nutritional benefits that can be obtained by eating one of these kinds of fishes. The taste of the fish would depend on the place were it is caught. One can note that the fish caught in the brackish and the swampy waters are normally very flaky in texture.
When you taste the fish from saltwater locations, you can find that it is very mild in flavor and tastes like just any other fish in the sea. This is due to the kind of fish that it feeds on over the years in its life. Also, when you taste the fish from freshwater sources, you can find that the fish is very clean and lighter in taste. The ones who like to eat the fish that doesn’t have too many muscles, can go for the saltwater stripers and the ones who like the fleshy type, can go for the freshwater stripers.
Be it seawater or the freshwater, the red line or the meat that runs through the mid-region has to be removed because of the oils in the region are contaminated with bad minerals which leads to a whole different taste.
How to Cook a Striped Bass
Cooking the striped bass is more or less similar to cooking the other kinds of fish. But, it is much preferred not to use this fish in a soup since they provide a very pungent flavor.
Broiling is one of the best ways to retain the flavor of the dish. Place the fish on the broiling plates and coat it with 6 to 6 tbsps. of butter, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, and some paprika, salt, and pepper. You can control the temperature of about 180 degrees and turn the fish after every 5 minutes and the entire fish can be cooked in 10 minutes
While you are broiling the fish indoors, you can grill the fillets outdoors. Place the heated charcoal underneath the grilling plate and place the pieces of fish on the grilling tray and then you need to add the flavor of your choice that the fish gets cooked excellently.
This is one of the recipes which the children are fond of. You need to blend the fish, flour, one onion, pepper powder, salt, and egg and then make it into triangular pieces, dip it in a cornflour paste, coat it with bread crumbs and then toast it.
What are the Health Benefits of eating a Striped Bass?
This fish has been consumed for over two centuries owing to the umpteen health benefits it provides. Several studies have been conducted in universities all across the globe, which further reveals the amazing benefits of eating this fish.
- Good for cardiovascular health
The fish with its high level of muscle quality makes the muscles of your heart very strong.
- Good source of proteins
The amount of proteins found in one serving of this fish is equal to the amount of protein you would be obtained from three servings of most fish.
- Iron and Vitamin B12
Iron is the most important part of a Red Blood Cell. The body needs Vitamin B12 to make sure that the Iron is absorbed into the hemoglobin of the Red Blood Cells of the body.
These are some of the extraordinary facts about Striped Bass which we can all appreciate and love as a dynamic sport fish. Also, by making use of the best cooking methods, you can enjoy devouring this fish to the fullest, enjoying its delicious texture. Not only in taste, but also in terms of its nutrition benefits, the Striped Bass provides a lot of great benefits for consumption.