Eating big catfish

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Moswaprat, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. Moswaprat

    Moswaprat New Member

    Ive read a bunch of the threads on here and it seems that most of you turn back the big kitties and i was wondering why? Is it because they have lived their lives and made it too big ones or what. My granddaddy caught a 63 pound flathead and we had a family fish fry on that one fish and it was good eatin. just wondering. I dont want to rough up no feathers cause we did. but granddaddy was raised when you ate what you caught or killed. And thats what he put in my head.
  2. airforceben

    airforceben New Member

    I put the big ones back so someone else can have the pleasure of catchin them. Plus I think bigger older fish dont taste as well as smaller ones.

  3. catchinghogs

    catchinghogs Well-Known Member

    I dont eat any fish. Just enjoy catching them. If you release the big ones they still have a chance to get bigger.
  4. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat Well-Known Member

    In the case of flatheads, bigguns tase every bit as good as the little ones. There are a couple of philosophies regarding what should be turned back. Big fish beget better spawn, and the big genes. My thought is that if a fish has been alive for 20 years, it has contributed it genes to the pool, and is reaching the end of the line. Releasing a fish does not insure it's survival. Anoyther philosophy is to release the smaller ones to let them grow. Until we all agree on which is best for the fish population, neither will have a very dramatic effect. The waters that I fish, have produced trophy size fish for years and years. There is no reason to believe that harvesting fish according to the law has, or will effect the size or numbers of fish caught. In recent years, a couple of things have been done to improve trophy fishing in our state. #1, commercial fishing has been banned on the Missouri river. #2, instead of 10 blues in the past, now you can only keep 5. Only 5 flats can be kept. Less than 5% of the Missouri river recieves fishing pressure, so you will never convince me that sport fishing will ever effect the fish poulation there. I worry more about the asian carp, and polution reducing the population.


    a 30 pound flathead taste better than a 10 pound channel to me, flatheads hold their flavor right on up in size, dont know why maybe cause they are a predator???
  6. godsglad8tor

    godsglad8tor New Member

    Riverside, CA
    all i know i get my info from my grandfather, who has fished over 50 years....

    channels are good eating when they are under 10lbs, anything more just dosent taste that good, which by the way to his knowledge are more selective to what they eat besides anything that comes under their nose

    flathead of anysize are just good all the time no matter what size, and to his surprise from some guy that told him that their is meat on the belly

    so words of wisdom from HIllary Riddick of TENN
  7. Jay Jay

    Jay Jay New Member

    My brother just caught a 47lb ,female , flathead. No eggs, it was 46 1/2 in. long. A friend of ours who works for the D.N.R. fiqures she was over 25yrs old and no longer good produce eggs, he took the carcus for futher study. Proper cleaning and freezing will give some of the best eating around ,it yielded 21 1/2 lbs of meat. The D.N.R. guy has tagged 7 of our released flatheads. Setliners and bankpolers have been working with the D.N.R. for the past 5 years on a study of flatheads,alot of info has and is being gathered to find out more about this great fish !The study is being done on the Fox and Wolf rivers in Wis.
  8. jedt

    jedt New Member

    Have to agree with those who said flatheads any size are good. I don't care much for blues over 15. Just the texture not as good. Channels about the same only I've never caught a channel over 8.
  9. I make oil

    I make oil New Member

    I don't fry big fish I usually cook them in a Coubiaulon. A red sauce that you put over rice. AWESOME. Also I cut out all of the blood lines and fat and soak the fish in cold clean water changing out often to get as much of the oil out as possible.
  10. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    i release my big fish because i feel good doing it.has nothing to do with hurting the fishery or how they taste.i do belive that if you kill it you should eat it.
  11. ryang

    ryang Well-Known Member

    Blacklick, Ohio
    I could possibly agree with not eating a big female due the the amount of eggs that she can produce, however there is nothing ensuring that a big male is going to insemenate them it could just as easily be a smaller one. Im not saying CPR isnt bad or good, I personally CPR cause my wife doesnt like fresh fish :eek:oooh::confused2:. If I were to catch a biggun (which to me is over 10lbs LOL) I would probably give it some thought if I were to eat it or not.
    1. Channels are a dime a dozen here in Ohio so eaters are very prevelent
    2. Flats are there but finding them in mass like channels probably isnt going to happen
    3. Blues as far as I know are only in the Ohio River which is is a couple of hours drive and Im lazy so I dont fish it as much, and there is a fish advisory not to eat alot from there.
    4. Bullheads are a dime a dozen also so finding eaters for those is not a problem.

    So the jist of it is, if I ate what I caught (I would die since I dont catch that much :lol:) Then I would probably target Channels or Bulls maybe Flats depending on where Im at.
  12. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    So far I haven't killed a Flathead over ten pounds, to my knowledge. If I had kept any fish over 20 pounds through the years I would have killed four fish! lol As you can see I am not a detriment to the fish population. If I needed food I would keep any thing that I caught, size wouldn't be an issue. I did turn back the bigger fish I have caught mainly because they looked like too much work to The pressure in the area that I am in is no threat either. You cant buy the size of tackle you need with out ordering it through the mail! Believe me when I say some people only see one or two big fish their whole lives. If there is a problem it lies with all you big time catters, if the flathead population declines it will be all your fault! lol:eek:oooh::big_smile::lol:
  13. 72hdflh

    72hdflh New Member

    West Salem, Ohio
    I will only keep 5# and under to eat, I think the bigger ones are a little tough and dry, not to mention that they are so much fun to catch.
  14. Arkie55

    Arkie55 New Member

    I have to agree that a flathead of any size is very good eating. As far as big fish are concerned, I normally release any fish I catch over 20lbs and keep most of what I catch under 20lbs. Why? I like fish and I love eating fresh river caught cats. I choose to release fish over 20lbs because of two reasons:
    1. I personally don't like the texture of the meat of a big fish.
    2. There is more fat and blood lines to remove for a large fish and that is a lot of work.

    I don't have one thing against anyone keeping a big fish to eat or mount, or both. I love catfishing, keeping what I catch and then feeding my family with those fish.
  15. flathead jack

    flathead jack New Member

    Well, i've always heard that chemicals and stuff build up in a fish thats old and shouldn't be eaten:confused2:
  16. platrvrjake

    platrvrjake New Member

    best thing to do is nail the big old flattie to a tree tail down, cut off his tail and let him bleed out. It is just like when you butcher an hog or any other animal, you need to get the blood out as fast as possible. The meat will turn snow white. No matter the size 5#-55# we do it to all of them.
  17. rushing

    rushing New Member

    All my flats get put back. I don't eat fish and even if I did I wouldn't keep a big one. 20+ years of eating pollution filled bait fish, no thanks.

    I am glad on the river I fish people are more into protecting the current fishery than putting meat on the table.

    Just because you can doesn't always mean you should.
  18. katfishbangin

    katfishbangin New Member

    in my own opinion, the larger fish are much more tougher. My opinion, On another note. Im still waiting to catch my bigg 50 pounder to find out. Ha Ha.
  19. criggster

    criggster New Member

    Flathead Jak nailed it! Please let me explain why bigger older fish potentially contain more harmful chemicals than smaller younger fish.

    Let's start from the beginning. Most of the chemicals that persist in the water today are there for one of two reasons. They are heavy and sink to the bottom, or they "cling" to features in the water such as logs, rocks, etc. And, they all take a long time to break down in the water. They also bioaccumulate in the tissue of organisms, meaning that they don't break down and are carried with the animal throughout it's life. So, the older it is the more likely it has consumed more chemicals.

    Let's imagine a young one year old catfish. He is big enough to eat insects, small crawdads, and very small young fish. These food items are also very young and small, and therefore don't contain much chemicals. As the catfish grows to five years old he is much bigger and eats mostly larger crawdads, and small to medium size fish. These food items are older and contain more of the chemicals. Finally, by the time the catfish is ten years old he eats only medium to large size fish, and you guessed it, they contain more chemicals than the smaller food items because they are older!

    It is kinda like a snowball effect. As the fish grow the chemicals start to build-up in their system. At age five they may have eaten the equivalent of half an ounce of chemical XYZ, but by the time they are ten years old they may have eaten three ounces of chemical XYZ.

    It is the same with humans. Based on the above I will not eat catfish over three pounds in size whether or not there is a fish consumption advisory on the waters I fish. You be the judge.
  20. catfisherman60

    catfisherman60 New Member

    Greenwood AR.
    My biggest fish has been 25#flathead and I eat it. Just dont catch that many big fish.