Best size

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by JMarrs328, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. JMarrs328

    JMarrs328 New Member

    Messages:
    471
    State:
    York/Harrisburg, PA
    What do u think is the best size channels to keep to eat? I've heard people say that once they get to a certain size, they aren't as good to eat as smaller ones. Any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
     
  2. Bigun

    Bigun New Member

    Messages:
    234
    State:
    Burnet, TX
    The fish in the 2.5 to 3 lb range are better if filleted. This has more to do with the size and thickness of the side of the fish. I personally like blues better than channels. The all time best ones though are the small ones that just fit in the frying pan with the head removed cooked out on the creek bank right after they are caught.
     

  3. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Josh I would say five pounds and under are what you looking for. I:lol: :smile2: would CPR the rest.
     
  4. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,177
    State:
    NC
    3-5 pounds are the best. The fillet sizes are the easiest to cook evenly. Also, the fish are relatively young and contain less contaminants than larger fish.

    Eat too many big contaminated ones and you will forget how to fish!! :lol:
     
  5. samh

    samh New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Damascus,Arkansas
    I think water quality and temperature has more to do with good eat'n than size, most of the catfish I eat come out of our ponds, in the winter and early spring when the water is clear and cool they taste a lot better than in August when the waters in the 90's and the ponds are scumed over.
     
  6. chuck99

    chuck99 New Member

    Messages:
    95
    State:
    Georgia
    Says all..................
     
  7. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    I agree with this. Even small channels in dirty or warm water can have alot of yellow meat, and bad flavor. I agree that the best tasting are less than 5 pounds.
     
  8. SSgt Fishslayer

    SSgt Fishslayer New Member

    Messages:
    1,241
    State:
    south carolina
    2-3 lbs are my favorite, with a side of hush puppies and some cornbread with a big ole glass of iced tea to to wash it all down.
     
  9. The_Mad_Catter

    The_Mad_Catter New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    Erie, Colorado
    5# is the limit, however I caught a 17# a couple years back that went into shock or something and wouldn't swim away so I kept him and it tasted suprisingly good for a bigger cat. The lake was also crystal clear where i caught him, they always taste better than muddy water cats
     
  10. ThomasMcCat

    ThomasMcCat New Member

    Messages:
    1
    State:
    Florida/Winnipeg
    My family has a spring fed pond down in Florida and all the catfish taste good that we've pulled out of there. Up to about 8 lbs. However, the meat texture of the smaller fish seems to be a little better. 2-4 lbs would be my preference.

    I totally agree with the clean water, clean fish theory. However, I do like grilling large catfish steaks, so if I'm grilling them, give me a 10 pounder. :big_smile:
     
  11. GrandpaGoneFishing

    GrandpaGoneFishing Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,570
    State:
    Linn Valley, Ks
    I stay with 2-5 lbs. Mostely I let em all go after a quick picture. CPR.:boss: ​
     
  12. Lynne

    Lynne New Member

    Messages:
    187
    State:
    Klondike, TX
    2 to 5 pounds is my choice. They cook up nicely. But you can beat the size that fit into the frying pan cooked right after catching them.

    I also agree, the cleaner the water the better the taste. I usually release most of what I catch, except when I want a good meal.
     
  13. Lost-him

    Lost-him New Member

    Messages:
    15
    State:
    Idaho
    I have found that cats in the 2 - 5 range like most others have said are the best. Growing up in Nebraska we used to raise cats and found this range to be the best eating, it didn't hurt either that they were fed corn.
     
  14. Kwakwacker

    Kwakwacker New Member

    Messages:
    15
    State:
    South Dakota
    I didn't read about anyone bleeding their cats? If you get a cat you want to clean then cut them cross-ways under the gills, put them on a stringer and let them bleed-out in the water or livewell. I keep 3-7 lb channels and bleed them, then I fillet the tailmeat from the belly to the tail. When you bleed them the meat is pure white when you fillet them, nobody can even tell it is catfish when you cook them. Try this and you won't beleive the difference it makes!
     
  15. wishiwasfishin

    wishiwasfishin New Member

    Messages:
    776
    State:
    kentucky
    ime and my family eat alot of fish. i don't really have a weight limit or any of that stuff but like somebody said i thank it has more to do with the water then anything.
     
  16. criggster

    criggster New Member

    Messages:
    66
    State:
    Virginia
    Most of the rivers I fish have a fish consumption advisory, so I let'em go and only keep trout to eat.
     
  17. TWEEDER

    TWEEDER New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    SC
    I cut the tail off of any fish over 2lb to bleed it out. Cut the fins off any fish smaller to bleed out. But any fish over 5lb I have to fillet mutiple times to get a desired frying thickness. My mom gets mad if I cut the tails off the smaller cats as that is her favorite part to eat.
     
  18. Game_Of_Inches

    Game_Of_Inches New Member

    Messages:
    63
    State:
    Ohio
    While I enjoy channel cat I have found that flatheads in the 4-6 lb range deep fried are stellar. You should give them a try. I also let my fish sit in my bait tank with clean water for a few days and it really improves the taste.
     
  19. bud1110

    bud1110 New Member

    Messages:
    1,096
    State:
    East Texas
    2 to 5 pounds would be about the right size, however I have kept some up to 9 pounds that was good. I always trim all the yellow off mine, and I cut out the red vein. Wash several times with clean water and your ready to go...