Many South African’s prefer things like beef steak, Boerewors and lamb chops on the camp braai and it’s a running joke that white meats, especially fish and chicken, often get referred to as the side ‘salad’. Similarly, on recent trips to the Tankwa with my family, red meat featured on the evening braai menu, but any big bass caught during the day was added as the side ‘salad’.

Decent largemouth bass from the Doring River

A nice spotted bass from the Doring River – big spotted bass have chunky white meat, like blocks of fresh Tofu.

Although the Doring River has some very big bass in it and considered as one of the best venues for a trophy spotted bass in South Africa, I feel strongly about removing the alien invasive black bass from especially the upper reaches of the Olifants/Doring system as these fish have had a significant negative impact on the amazing indigenous sport fishes that occur there, i.e., Clanwilliam yellowfish, sawfin and Clanwilliam sandfish. Most of the bass we remove are relatively small, but if a big one is caught on a family trip there is no better way to utilize the fish to its full potential by cooking it on the braai for dinner!

Any big bass caught during the day was added as the side ‘salad’

The recipe is simple:

  • 1) go catch a big bass,
  • 2) gut the fish (leaving the skin and scales on – easy-peasy),
  • 3) butterfly the bass by slicing along the fish’s backbone toward the tail with a sharp knife,
  • 4) place the fish on the coals after the steaks, boerie and/or chops came off (low heat) and cook for a few minutes, mainly with the skin facing down over the coals,
  • 5) sprinkle some Robertsons Steak & Chops spice over the white meat of the fish and cook further until ready (meat should be juicy, so don’t overcook it, +/- 10-15 min).

This big smallmouth bass caught in the afternoon was carried back to camp and thrown on the coals, some of the best fresh fish I’ve ever eaten.

Bass on the braai, healthy chunky white protein cooked light brown over the coles = Tankwa Tofu.

Kids happily devour Tankwa Tofu like nothing else on family fly fishing trips!

Leave a comment



Subscribe to our newsletter and get all the latest to your inbox!