“Wacky Rig” Bass Fishing- then make fish stock and chowder!

Bass Fishing With Kids

Don’t get frustrated! Get Wacky!

By Edward Woltmann

So your kids have reached the point where they’re no longer satisfied catching sunfish with a bobber and worm. They want to go after New York’s #1 sportfish, the largemouth bass. Problem is, their aspirations may have changed, but their attentiveness and patience haven’t-two qualities typically required for successful bass fishing. Enter the “wacky” rig. Any child capable of casting a line and reeling it back in with a spin-cast outfit can have success wacky rigging for bass. Slack line and poor hook sets are not a problem….read the rest of this article from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Once you’ve caught some tasty bass fish and used the fillets to your pleasing, perhaps Bass Tacos, then you can use the bones to make fish stock.

Fish Stock

2 pounds meaty fish bones, or a fish head, split
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 large leek, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 sprig flat-leaf parsley
1 sprig thyme
3 whole peppercorns


Rinse fish bones well with cold water. Place bones in a large pot; add remaining ingredients and 10 cups cold water.

Bring almost to a boil over high heat (do not let it come to a boil). Reduce heat to low and cook at a bare simmer, skimming any foam that rises to surface, until flavors meld, 20–30 minutes.  Skim foam often.

Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth into an 8-cup measuring cup or another pot; discard solids. You may have to strain the stock a second or third time to remove all solids and for a clear stock.

Stock tastes best when freshly made.  It is a great base for fish chowder!

fish stock label











Fish Chowder


2 tsp. olive oil

2 leeks, finely sliced

2 1/3 cups potato, cubed

4 ¼ cups fish stock

Zest of 1 lemon

1 ¼ cups milk

1 1/3 cups sweetcorn

1 lb. skinless, boneless bass, or other white fish, cut into chunks

Handful of chives and/or parsley or dill, snipped with scissors,

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: Old Bay-type seasoning to taste


Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add in the leeks and fry gently for 5 mins until softened, but not brown. Add the potatoes and cook for a further min. Pour in stock and lemon zest, cover and simmer for 12-15 mins or until the potatoes are tender. With a slotted spoon, remove half the potatoes and leeks from the stock and set aside.

Transfer the remaining potatoes, leeks, stock and milk into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour back into the pan, add the sweetcorn, fish and reserved vegetables. Cover and gently heat for 3-4 mins until the fish is just cooked through – don’t boil. Stir in any desired herbs, then season to taste with salt and pepper (maybe a dash of Old Bay).

fish chowder label

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