Cermele: Does Anyone Care About Rock Bass?

Not long ago I was wading a local river for smallmouth and mixed in with the day's catch were a bunch of chunky rock bass (a.k.a. redeye, goggle-eye and rock perch). I've been catching these fish since I was old enough to cast and enjoy them very much. If you ask me, they fight a hell of a lot harder than crappies and bluegills, and they might just be prettier. So I wonder, does anyone else target or care about them?

I cannot recall reading a single article about targeting them, nor do I recall seeing any grip-n-grin photos with rock bass submitted to our site or elsewhere. They're the gamefish that seems to not exist in the world of outdoor media.

A little research shows that rock bass are not highly regarded as a food fish, which doesn't bother me. Now granted, they don't get as big as other panfish, but they also don't peck like a sunny. They slam. They love artificials and small streamers. They blast poppers and just provide hours of ultra-light fun. So is it the food thing that causes these scrappers to get no love? What do you think?

Am I the only one who likes rock bass? -- JC