White Perch vs White Bass: Which Is Better?

Some of my clients wanted to know if white perch or white bass is better than the other. So, I looked into the data, and here’s what I found.

White bass is healthier than white perch because it contains less calories, saturated fat and cholesterol. White bass contains only 1g of saturated fat while white perch contains over half, 2.3g per 7 ounce serving. Unhealthy saturated fat is associated with increased body fat and bad cholesterol. 

This article will contain a side-by-side nutrient comparison found in both fish. In addition, I’ll examine their taste, texture and why some people consider white perch to be bad.

White Perch vs White Bass: Nutrient Comparison

The numbers are based on quite a generous serving of 7 oz (200g). This is about the serving size in a dish like fish with salad and root vegetables or fish and chips.

NutrientWhite Bass
(7 ounces)
White Perch
(7 Ounces)
Total Fat4 g9.4 g
Saturated Fat1 g2.3 g
Protein37 g37 g
Cholesterol81 mg187 mg
Sodium135 mg81 mg
Potassium508 mg520 mg
Calcium20 mg47 mg
Nutrient comparison between white perch and white bass.

From the table above you can see how white bass contains less calories, total fat and saturated fat1. Saturated fat is something people want to stay clear of. It’s associated with an increase in body fat, weight and bad cholesterol.

White bass is also lower in cholesterol. White perch contains less sodium and has double the amount of calcium. Other nutrients like protein and potassium are very similar between the two fish2.

These numbers give you a good idea of how the nutrients differ between them. It’s also helpful to look at the number of nutrients they contain based on the recommended daily intake of each of the nutrients.

Nutrient White Bass
(7 Ounces)
White Perch
(7 Ounces)
Calories 7.76% 9.34%
Total Fat 5% 12%
Saturated Fat 5% 11%
Protein 74% 74%
Cholesterol 27% 62%
Sodium 6% 4%
Potassium 11% 12%
Calcium 2% 4%

The percentages of protein and potassium are high for both fish. For those looking to build muscle, the 37 grams of protein are ideal.

Typically, it’s recommended for bodybuilders to consume 1g of protein per 1 lb of body weight. The average male needs much less protein and can fulfill over half of the daily requirement in one serving.

Potassium is extremely important for high blood pressure. It helps rid the body of excess sodium and fluids. Maintaining the potassium to sodium ratio of 4:1 is recommended. Consuming that much potassium is not always easy, therefore, the 500 mg in the fish is helpful.

Calorie intake is correlated with putting on and losing weight. For example, it’s common wisdom in the weight loss space to consume fewer calories than you burn. 

Both white perch and white bass have a fairly low amount of calories. Therefore, all things considered, both fish are great for maintaining or developing a really good physique.

Which Is Better Eating: White Perch vs White Bass

White bass and white perch have quite different flavors and textures. In general, most people prefer white perch to white bass. It does vary from person to person based on how strong of a fishy taste you like.

In general, white bass has a medium fishy taste, and the flesh is medium firm. Whereas white perch has a sweeter taste and has a crumbly and firm texture. White bass has more oil than white perch which can account for the more fishy taste.

However, it does depend on each individuals preferences. There is a special trick to preparing white bass to remove the fishy taste. In addition, it’ll make the texture more delicate and crumbly.

To remove the stronger fishy flavor, some people remove the red flesh long the ribs before eating it.

Some people don’t mind a fishy taste and particularly like stronger tasting fish like salmon and sardines. Therefore, taste varies from person to person.

My Taste Taste at Home

To conduct original research about the taste, I setup a blind taste test at home comparing the two fish.

Five people, including myself, were part of the test. Both the white perch and bass were cooked and seasoned identical to each other.

Four out of five people chose the white perch as the better tasting fish. Most people in the test concluded they didn’t enjoy the extra fish flavor in the bass. I agreed with them.

Now that you’re aware of the flavor and nutrient differences, let’s examine the differences between the two and how to identify them.

Are White Bass and White Perch the Same?

White bass and white perch are both silver colored fish that look very similar. Some fisherman have a difficult time telling them apart. For this reason many people ask, are white bass and white perch the same?

White bass and white perch are different species. White bass has the scientific name Morone chrysops, whereas white perch has the scientific name M. americana, or R. americanus. White bass grow larger in size than white perch and have horizontal stripes running down the body that white perch doesn’t have.

Why Are White Perch a Problem?

Although white perch is one of the most delicious fish, it’s also considered a pest in some States. I was curious why this is, so I looked into it further and found the answer to, why are white perch bad?

White perch are considered an invasive species that competes with other native fish while destroying the natural habitat in certain municipalities. White perch prey on fish eggs. In these areas, it’s encouraged to take them with you once caught, rather than catch and release to help control their population.

White perch prey on fish eggs and compete with native fish, particularly white bass and walleye. In some areas, once white perch have established themselves, native fish populations have drastically reduced3.

It’s often mistaken for white bass native to many of the same waters where white perch is found. As they look very similar in appearance to young white bass. The exact municipalities where it’s considered an invasive species varies and is updated from time to time. 

So, it pays to check the Fish and Wildlife website for your municipality if you’re unsure about its status4. In addition, some state laws forbid the possession of live white perch.

White Bass vs White Perch: Mercury Levels

The FDA and EPA have issued advice regarding consuming fish and mercury levels5. They developed an easy to read chart about which fish has higher mercury levels than others and how many times each fish should be consumed each week based on their mercury levels.

White bass has safe levels of mercury and is listed under the FDA’s good choices of fish to eat. The FDA recommends eating one serving of white bass a week.

White perch is lower in mercury and listed under the FDA’s best choices for fish to eat. The FDA recommends perch fish are safe to eat two to three servings a week.

Some large fish caught by family or friends, like some trout, perch, carp and catfish, are more likely to have fish advisories for mercury or other contaminants. Always check with your state for advisories which will advise you on how often you can safely eat those fish.

White Bass and White Perch Substitutions

While we don’t always have the same exact fish available for a particular recipe, you’ll want to know what other fish can be used.

White bass and white perch can be substituted for each other, although they have different tastes and textures. Use the same weight, proportions and preparation when substituting white bass and perch. 

What are white bass substitutes? White bass substitutes include ocean trout, Arctic char, bluefish or salmon.

What are white perch substitutes? White perch substitutes include branding, tilapia, catfish fillets, lake trout, snapper or sole fillets.

If you have any questions to ask me about this article don’t hesitate to comment below or email us. You can find an email on our contact page.

Read Next – More Food vs Food Articles!

Trout vs Salmon: Is One More Healthier Than The Other?

Shrimp vs. Salmon: A Complete Comparison

Char vs. Salmon – A Complete Comparison

Farm Raised Salmon Compared To Wild Caught Salmon

Frozen Salmon vs Canned Salmon: Which is Healthier?

  1. Nutrition Value: Fish, raw, mixed species, sea bass []
  2. Nutrition Value: White perch fillets, white perch by Turbo Ice []
  3. Michigan State University: Invaders on the move: Mystery Snails and White Perch []
  4. University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Impact of White Perch on Walleye []
  5. FDA: Advice about Eating Fish []

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