Are Big Catfish Good Eating?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by ironbelle, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. ironbelle

    ironbelle New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    San Diego, CA
    Okay, I gotta ask. When cats get to be 40 lbs plus, are they good eats? I can't phathom a 50lb catfish tasting like a 2 or 3 lb cat. Are these cats caught and released, mounted or do people have catfish for 3 months? I caught one that was a nice pan size, probably 1.5 lbs(on capt America powerbait while fishing for trout) but that is typical eating size for me.
     
  2. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
    I don't think they are. My first big cat weighed 37 lbs. Before I knew what CPR was all about. Wouldn't have mattered to me though. That fish tasted terrible compared to what I had been eating. Whice were smallish 3 to 6 lbers. Now I don't keep anything over 10 lbs or so. Nice to put them back to keep the population up. And too many smaller ones out there for me to worry about how a bigun tastes. But as with anything it's a choice you have to make. And if it's legal it's your call and nobody elses.
     

  3. FRANK

    FRANK New Member

    Messages:
    96
    State:
    Welland,Ontario,Canada
    I have only eaten ones under 1 pound, the reason for that is because I have always been told that the bigger they are the worst they taste, but I couldn't tell you from experience.
     
  4. ironbelle

    ironbelle New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    San Diego, CA
    I never said I was going to attempt to cook/eat a big cat, I was just wondering if people try to eat cats that are that large.
     
  5. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    Not only do bigger fish taste worse than smaller fish, they are also more likely to carry higher amounts of mercury due to their age. So, there is a health concern to consider also.
     
  6. drc3

    drc3 New Member

    Messages:
    131
    State:
    Cleveland TN
    Years ago a neighbor caught a blue cat in the low 30lb range and had a fish fry. It tasted just fine, he said to cut any dark colored meat out and cut the fillets small enough to cook well.
     
  7. kspor

    kspor New Member

    Messages:
    716
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    I have heard to cut the tails off a big cat and let him hang and bleed out. Cutting the dark meat out as well. Seems like you get through whittling the cat down and bleeding it out you have more waste than table fare. I say smile, snap, and turn back. Besides I cant really lift a skillet over 24" wide. Cant imagine what a skillet over 40" would be like, not to mention the snow shovel to turn them over.
     
  8. retired stump jumper

    retired stump jumper New Member

    Messages:
    115
    State:
    KANSAS
    any fish over 10 lbs. I personally would turn back into the water after I took a picture of it. that is if I was fishing for a cat to eat. other wise turn them all loose.
     
  9. blkhawkdwn

    blkhawkdwn New Member

    Messages:
    169
    State:
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    I have eaten 3 lbs to 20 lb cats blues they have a mud line (brown area) on each side cut that out and theres a yellowish pocket that runs on each kinda looks like fat storage line. remove this line as well . this is done before I would fillet it. i use lemon, onion and/or garlic juices to get the muddy taste out chill in frig. for 1 hr and it good to go season up the way u like it and u have some good eaten. haven' t kept anything over 20
     
  10. brandon

    brandon New Member

    Messages:
    58
    State:
    oklahoma
    I understand that larger fish supposedly carry (poison). But so did the paint we grew up with in our houses. And the buildings we went to school/work in. How many of you played with mercury in science class when you were little. Are you dead. Because excessive amounts of these poisons have been found around certain factories etc. doesn't mean our home lakes are infultrated with them. Warning if fish are contaminated from water they live in the little ones were born, developed, and grown in them. Since every second of their lives they have been exposed they theoretically are just as dangerous. My opinion would be this if I felt threatened by the fish I eat. Little fish little poison, big fish lot of poison, enough little fish to equal a big fish still alot of poison. I have eaten in the past a few large fish. Not necessarily caught be me and I think they tasted fine. just my opinion
     
  11. Deltalover

    Deltalover New Member

    Messages:
    1,227
    State:
    Tracy Calif
    I agree completely! I only eat the smaller ones, 5 pounds or less and even those I try not to eat to often! Also the flesh just seems firmer and taste better under 5 pounds. I have heard that bigger flats are good to eat, but there is still the polution problem!
     
  12. Nobody Special

    Nobody Special New Member

    Messages:
    614
    State:
    TN
    Even commercial fishermen who sell their fish by the pound don't keep the big ones. They say there's no market for them.
     
  13. bwolcott

    bwolcott New Member

    Messages:
    27
    State:
    Illinois
    the reason is the same as mentioned above, the larger cats taste like the water, and also contain mercury. if i happen to catch one over the 10 lbs and decide to eat him i'll soak it in milk which is said to draw out the nasty water taste and then fry it. the hot grease will kill anything left behind by the milk. most restuarants who serve cats have small fillets so that should tell around what size is edible. i had the opportunity last year to eat some fiddler(1lb or below) cats i caught out of Baldwin in ILLinois and they were so fresh, so that should tell you about what weight taste the best. thats why i eat 10 lb and under.
     
  14. pendog66

    pendog66 New Member

    Messages:
    2,121
    State:
    Brookville OH
    I cant ever see eating a fish that was over 30 pounds, thats not fish fillets thats catfish steak
     
  15. SangamonCatKiller

    SangamonCatKiller New Member

    Messages:
    488
    State:
    central illinois
    I don't no if they are good eating or not but, I wouldn't see the point in killing such a fish anyway. Fish of the size you are referring to are toxic in most cases and the meat is rumored to be tougher as well. It irks me to see people taking big fish out of the water like that. If you want to eat catfish take small eater sized channels or a few small flatheads but I prefer to do neither.
     
  16. 5gallonsofsafety

    5gallonsofsafety New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    illinois
    well i will have to say, ironbelle, i dont know the taste of a mature catfish but i do know that i wish to say this: eating fish is for the family bbq so i would say catfish w/ ur kids; keep the eating fish from you local fishin lake. I will openely protest the needless killing of the higher gene pool. keep the bigguns alive(again i will say im from a smaller lake) but i also used to hunt whitetail and i relate the two (as far as tactics) but it is survival of the fittest. I used to hunt over presured woods and i want i real buck on my wall, but i dont want to shoot a unicorn next year. we also keep a low profile and always catch and release! i will also say that cats are good eatin, but you must eat the right size. 14-26in yall. im no cook but i do know a good fillet when i see it(thank you long john silvers)
     
  17. Creteus

    Creteus New Member

    Messages:
    1,030
    State:
    Loganville, GA
    Haven't caught any big cats. The only big cat I ate was one someone caught at a jackpot lake and gave me on my way home from work. Kindda tough.
     
  18. rasimmons

    rasimmons Guest

    only keep fish over 20 pounds if they are bleeding and i do not think they will live. the larger fish taste fine if cooked right and pendog your right bake it just like a salmon steak
     
  19. Crispy Critter

    Crispy Critter New Member

    Messages:
    431
    State:
    Missouri
    20 yrs. ago I would, and did eat anything we caught. I've ate many of fish in the 30 lb. range.We used to fish the KS.river around Lawrence Kansas and fish of that size was pretty common.If they're cleaned and cooked right they taste just fine to me.I've since learned to catch and release the big ones if they're not hurt bad.The 2-3 pounders fit much better in the livewell:)
     
  20. HARVRAD2003

    HARVRAD2003 New Member

    Messages:
    316
    State:
    ILLINOIS
    When I was a young kid a friend of mine caught a 15 lb. cat at her grandfathers pond, her mother cut it up into stakes with the bone in the middle. I just remember that it was wonderful, don't know about a bigger cat I suppose it's possible to do the sam to them.