What is a Trash Fish?

What is a Trash Fish?

If you have been fishing for game fish for a while, there is probably a good chance you have reeled in a few trash fish here and there.

When trying to reel in big bass, many of these trash fish tend to go after the same bait and lures you are trying to catch your game fish with, making it easy to hook a few.

What Is a Trash Fish?

A trash fish is a species that is generally considered as inedible or having no food value.

Many fishermen though, simply consider any fish they are not purposely trying to catch as a trash fish.

Ironically, these species actually play a large and very vital role in keeping the underwater ecosystem balanced and thriving.


What Species Are Considered Trash Fish?

There are many different kinds of fish that are considered to be trash fish, but there are a few that seem to be a little more common and prevalent than others.

If you are fishing in freshwater, one of the common ones you may come by is a bowfin.

The bowfin is usually caught when you are going after other groups such as bass, but they will typically go after anything from minnows, lures, and plastic worms.

Other popular types you may come by are gar.

This fish that looks like its straight out of Jurassic Park will put up quite a fight if you actually hook one as they long, sharp teeth with easily cut through your line.

If you do happen to come across one of these guys though, you may have a pretty cool photo opportunity on your hands.

If you are really up for a fight at the end of your line, then hope that you come across a freshwater drum.

A fish that will put up just as a strong of a fight as any bass you will ever hook, these are very large fish that have an incredible amount of endurance to really give you a test of your patience and strength.

What To Do With Trash Fish

While it is not the traditional practice to consume these kinds of fish, you can in fact eat them if you like.

The term "trash fish" has been coined by many commercial fisherman that find them in their nets of swordfish and shrimp and spread to the everyday fisherman focused on going after their bass and trout.

If you do catch some of these species though, many people have reported them to be very tasty.

If you are feeling a little too uneasy about eating something that is nicknamed "trash," you should have no problem simply releasing it back into the water and going about your business.

So the next time you are out on the water, keep an eye out for these unique species. You may be surprised at what you reel in next.

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  • John Harley