Meet the Striped Bass, a Stately Fish

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Maybe you’re wondering what the meaning is behind the title of this post. The fact is, the Striped Bass is the state fish of four different states. The states who salute the Striped Bass include New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and New Hampshire. Some of the other names of this delicious and famous fish include Rock, Rockfish, Atlantic Striped Bass, Striper, and Linesider.

The body of the Striped Bass is white on the underside, but is silver everywhere else. Along its beautiful silver sides are dark vertical stripes, which have led to the Striped Bass getting its name. In terms of size, this is a fish that averages about 4 feet in length at maturity and reaches a typical weight of about 30lbs. Some, however, can grow up to 6 feet in length and weigh in excess of 50lbs. The award for the biggest Striped Bass ever caught goes to one caught right in our neighboring town of Westbrook, CT and weighed in at an astonishing 81.88lbs!

The Striped Bass is most commonly found in the norther regions of the Atlantic Ocean. It is frequently found as far north as the coasts of the maritime provinces of Canada and as far south as the Gulf Coast of the United States and Northeastern Mexico.  Due to human intervention, some Striped Bass are found in areas to which they are not naturally native, with the most notable example being the Pacific Coast of North America.

Striped Bass are highly valued as a game fish. The larger they are, the bigger the fight they put up when hooked by a skilled angler. The 81.88lb Striped Bass we alluded to earlier provided local fisherman Greg Myerson with quite a battle and an unforgettable story. If you’d like to learn more about this legendary fish tale, read our blog entry about the World-Record breaking 81.88lb Striped Bass.

world record setting 81.88lb striped bass

Greg Myerson and his world-record setting Striped Bass

When it comes its role as a food source, Striped Bass has a taste and texture that is described as a happy medium1. It strikes the perfect balance between dense and flaky, which makes it a very popular fish among lovers of fine seafood. Its flavor has been described as rich and minerally and it can vary a bit based on its diet and location1. Its flavor is somewhat stronger than that of Cod and Halibut and it is on the more oily side as well. It’s truly a fish lover’s kind of fish. Later in the article, we’ll share a recipe for grilled Striped Bass that we think you’ll enjoy.

As is the situation with many fish, some of the most flavorful and delicious parts of the Striped Bass are found in the areas of the cheeks and just beneath the gills. Striped Bass that are sold as food are both caught in the wild and farm-raised. Many Striped Bass actually hybrids, bred between true Striped Bass and White Bass. These are what are true Stripers, though the name Striper is often used as a nickname for all Striped Bass.

In order to help conserve and sustain the Striped Bass population, fishing for them more than three miles off of the coast has recently been banned by United States law, so be careful where you fish for these tasty little (or not so little) guys. With that said, we’ll now share with you the Martha Stewart recipe for Grilled Striped Bass that we mentioned earlier.

Grilled Striped Bass

Ingredients: Four 6oz Striped Bass fillets (with skin intact), lemon wedges, 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3/4 strips of fresh chives, coarse salt, 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper, 2 smashed garlic cloves, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, and a small amount of thyme and/or oregano2.

Directions:

1.  Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme/oregano and pepper in a shallow bowl.

2. Add the fish fillets to the mixture and turn them over for a full coating.

3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a refrigerator for a half hour.

4. Heat a grill to a medium-high level.

5. Take the fish out of the bowl and let any excess marinade drip off.

6. Put the fish on the grill with the skin side down and add the desired amount of salt and pepper.

7. Wait for the skin to start crisping and then turn over the fillet and continue to grill until it presents a golden brown color.

8. Remove the fish from the grill and add in as much or as little of the chives and lemon wedges as you desire2.

Works Cited

1. Shaw, Hank
Cooking with Striped Bass
About.com
http://www.fishcooking.about.com/od/meetyourfish/p/striper_profile.htm

2. Stewart, Martha
Grilled Striped Bass
http://www.marthastewart.com/338824/grilled-striped-bass/

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