Blue catfish belly meat

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by bluesbro, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. bluesbro

    bluesbro New Member

    Messages:
    36
    State:
    tex
    If you have eaten catfish all your life, you can tell a big difference between the side fillets and the belly meat. I was wondering what special recipes some of you would have that might improve the taste of the belly meat. I usually soak mine in mustard water which give it a better flavor or when a neighbor asks for a bag of fish, guess what they get. (Of course it depends on which neighbor!) As far as the sides I want salt, pepper and corn meal.
     
  2. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Some folks like it, but I don't, and I don't eat it. Not only do I not care for the taste and texture, but toxins tend to build up much faster in the belly fat than the other, meatier parts of the fish.
     

  3. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    i cant really say anything on blue belly meat, but on channels up to 6lb the belly meat is very good. larger than that and the meat gets really tough and taste's funky. best way ive found to fix the belly meat is to buy a box of "Oven Fry for fish" and bake it. REALLY GOOD!
     
  4. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    If you cut out all the red out of it. theres not many people that will turn it down.
    Now you can tell it form the side meat. But I was raised to not throw it away. Mix it in and enjoy .
    your millage may vary.
    Pete
     
  5. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    One of the premier guides on Santee prefers the belly meat from flatheads to anything else for his catfish stew and believe me it is wonderful.He does clean it meticulously though.I try and time my annual guided flathead trip to his hankerin for some catfish stew.!!!!:) ;)
     
  6. Scott Daw

    Scott Daw New Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    State:
    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    Ive always just fillets my cats. Never thought of the belly (other then mine). I'll have to give it a try sometime. I can tell the difference betweeen farm raised and wild cats when I cook em. farm raised always tastes like its missing something.
     
  7. Chuckb

    Chuckb New Member

    Messages:
    211
    State:
    Pana Illinois
    If you make sure and remove all the red meat and the thin silverish skin ( this stuff is what gives it the really nasty taste) you can't tell it from the rest of the fish other than texture. It does take some time to get all that silver off though.
     
  8. Arkie55

    Arkie55 New Member

    Messages:
    669
    State:
    Mississippi
    I agree with Chuck. On a larger blue, say 7 to 15 bls, I keep the belly meat and do exactly as Chuck suggest. That silverish skin has to go. I don't really see any red on the belly but if I do I remove it just like on the rest of the meat of a blue. The whole key to a real good tasting blue is remove the fat, remove the red, and remove the silver skin. If you do all that, it's about as good as it gets.
     
  9. SeedTick

    SeedTick New Member

    Messages:
    1,414
    State:
    Conway Arkansas
    I'll be the odd man out. That is my favorite part. The wife says it tastes like the bottom of the river. The part that cooks up and looks almost black, that's mine I like it. If you'll listen while I eat it you can hear my arteries hardening.

    ST
     
  10. slimepig

    slimepig New Member

    Messages:
    666
    State:
    Kerrville Texas
    im really astounded that this is even debated. Ive lived my whole life eating the belly meat and being real careful when cleaning catfish not to waste any. lol, no wonder ive seen some people claim they filet catfish the same way they do bass! filet the 2 sides off n throw the rest away? Nooo sir!
    one camping trip i got up early to fish off the state park pier n saw about a 45 lb fresh caught blue in the fish cleaning trash bucket. his sides had been carelessly fileted off and the rest left to go to waste. I got probably 3 lbs of meat by cutting off the belly meat and other meat that was missed. Needless to say, i had a good catfish breakfast at camp that mornin. oh, btw! you can also get 2 lil squares of delicious meat from the top of a catfishes head.
     
  11. Rmills

    Rmills New Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    South Carolina
    i think that catfish from different waters taste different. i actually prefer the belly meat for frying and the side for stew. the side i what taste muddy to me even with the laterline cut out. i cut the belly meat in strips and soak it in saltwater over night and then batter and deep fry.
     
  12. CrawDaddy

    CrawDaddy New Member

    Messages:
    379
    State:
    Texas
    We've never done anything with the belly mewat. I wasn't even aware that it could be done :) But we do get the tenderloin near the head on the 3-4 pounders and heavier. I'd like to see some pictures of someone cleaning a blue cat just to be sure of what we are talking about when it comes to "belly meat"
     
  13. Rmills

    Rmills New Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    South Carolina
    on a fish over 10lbs there is plenty of belly meat to do something with. runs from ribs one side of fish around to the ribs on the other side.and from head to anal fin. usually inch or more thick. texture is different but i think it is the best eating.
     
  14. LarryW

    LarryW New Member

    Messages:
    523
    State:
    Abbeville Louisiana
    Being Native American we waste no part of the fish. It is all good table fair if cleaned properly. Did you know that the stores sell the belly meat as catfish nuggets and when we are running low we buy it. It usually has a much lower price then the other fish. My wifes favorite part of the fish is the tails, and along the bones. When I flay a smaller fish I just cut off one side and leave the other side connected to the bones for her, and leave the tail on. Everyone to there own taste.
     
  15. catwacker

    catwacker New Member

    Messages:
    202
    State:
    illinois
    don't have much experience with blues, but flathead belly meat is as good as it gets.
     
  16. CrawDaddy

    CrawDaddy New Member

    Messages:
    379
    State:
    Texas
    Well that explains why we haven't messed with the belly meat. We don't keep anything above 10 lbs. We believe in leaving the bigger ones and let them get bigger and make more baby cats :)
     
  17. Mr Phatkat

    Mr Phatkat New Member

    Messages:
    222
    State:
    Charleston sc
    You can fillet the silver lining off and fillet the skin side. That way theres no oily fatty lining either. Ive done it with larger blues for stew. I always par boil it then rinse/rub the oil(actually i do it twice because icant stand the taste of that oil/fat/red meat. If the piece is really bloody i dont use it either. The belly on flats provide a lot of very good meat, even the small ones.
     
  18. mjbarby

    mjbarby New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    oklahoma
    i have found that removing the red will improve any part. however, unless it is a good size fish, the belly does not produce much. 2 to 4 lbs seems to be the best eating
     
  19. catter5000

    catter5000 New Member

    Messages:
    198
    State:
    TULSA,OK
    I cut the belly meat(blues only) into about 1" by 4" strips.This is one of my favorite baits for blues. Largest I've seen taken was 52 lbs.Largest I've taken was about 25 lbs.I prefer cut shad,but I always bring a bag of belly meat strips as back up.I will eat belly meat on small blues or flats.I actually prefer fishing for smaller cats,up to about 8 lbs about 90% of the time. They are easier to clean,and they do seem to taste a little better.
     
  20. catseeman

    catseeman New Member

    Messages:
    1,189
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    I've always heard the 2 pieces of meat from the head of cat fish called CHEEK MEAT . Taste real sweet to me.