Flathead catfish you have kept

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Pylodictis Olivaris, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. Pylodictis Olivaris

    Pylodictis Olivaris New Member

    Messages:
    257
    State:
    Iowa
    I practice CPR on all the flatheads I catch. I am not a huge fish eater and I have never really had the desire to harvest flatheads for the table. However that is just me. I have always heard that they are very, very good to eat and usually the bigger ones are even better. I have heard of people who eat 30 pounders and up and swear that the "steaks" that come off of them are tough to beat. Is this true? What is the biggest flat you have harvested? Is there much taste difference between a big flat compared to a 1 pound channel? I'm not trying to make this into a debate of catch and release...I am just curious because I have always heard this as hear-say and have never experienced it for myself. Let me know.
     
  2. jsharper

    jsharper New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    TX
    I have never kept a flat over 10 lbs, even that size had some tough sinew type meat. I like channels in the 5 lb range best for the table. I have eaten some large blues that were good. Flat heads seem to dress out more meat because of the belly fillets. My opinion is that the smaller fish are better and less worry about pollutate build-up that can occur over the years in larger fish.

    Jim
     

  3. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    ive eaten my share of larger fish as for myself since ive never caught anything over 8 lbs all i ever keep are in the 3-5 lb range i would much rather clean a three pounder than three one pounders though
     
  4. Wayne J.

    Wayne J. New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    OHIO
    I only eat channels, the fight of a big flat. or blue is so much fun, that id rather lrt them go to fight another day. Also keep what you eat and turn the rest back. I keep enough channels for the freezer for the year early and then a picture is good enough, unless im stocking a pond. :cool2:
     
  5. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    I have only eaten flathead in the 15# range. Everyone I know says that the big ones are just as good, but I wouldn't know. Most of the channel cat that I've eaten tastes like what it swims in. I eat it, but I like flathead and blue cat alot better at any size. To me it is more mild flavored. I will release fish over 30# unless I question their suvivability. Like if they get gill hooked. I don't really have to worry about that alot because I rarely catch one over 10#.
     
  6. flatheadsteven

    flatheadsteven New Member

    Messages:
    195
    State:
    ohio
    the only flathead i ever kept was the first one i ever caught and that was because we didnt have a camera and we wanted to get a pic of my first one.have never kept any more tho always relese them.
     
  7. grizzly

    grizzly New Member

    Messages:
    229
    State:
    Griffithville, Arkansas
    I have kept and eaten every flathead over 5lbs that I have ever caught. The largest that I've caught and ate was a 35lber and it was just as good as the 6 or 8lbrs. I personally think it is because of thier diet, being a little more picky with what they eat. Any large blues that I have eaten came from a fish market for fish fries and they allways were a little tough and grainy. They were maybe 20lbs. The channel cats around here have so much of that yellow colored meat to trim off thier backs, but not to bad if trimmed good. The biggest channel cat I have caught and ate was an 18lber and it was ok, just not as good as flathead. Please before you scream about me eating every fladhead, I would like to add that I don't catch that many in a years time, maybe 10 or 12. grizzly
     
  8. NIMROD

    NIMROD New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    Arkansas
    I've eaten steaks off Flatheads to 60 lbs. They are good if taken from good clean water and all the red trimmed off. I sport and commercial fish so I keep them all. The belly meat is best part of a Flathead. We have a high mercury level in our lake so we are suppose to limit intake of large predator type fish. I probably have a high level of Mercury in my blood.
     
  9. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    I have never eaten flatheads, I only eat saltwater fish!!!!!!
     
  10. sph fisherman

    sph fisherman New Member

    Messages:
    2
    State:
    Alabama
    I ate an 74# once,,,,,It tasted like oily jerky.......never again:confused2:
     
  11. martinman

    martinman New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    Clinton, Iowa
    As with what others have said, most fish that are of considerable size I put back. I will say that I have eaten larger catfish before, flatheads included and they taste just as good as the small ones.

    One comment that you made is what the difference would be between a large flathead and a 1lb channel. If it were me, I would eat the large flathead over the channel. The flavor of the fillet is very different between the two. Think about what each fish had been eating before you caught it....the flathead has been eating live bait...probably medium to large panfish. The 1lb channel cat has probably been feeding off of small aquatic bugs and dead things. That sums it up enough for me.


    Ryan
     
  12. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    Messages:
    2,252
    State:
    Bedford,Ky
    fish eat fish and so do i . iv got my freezer full of flatheads from this years catch . most of the fish i clean are in the 5 to 15 pound range i keep and fellet only blue and flathead cats , i dont care for the taste of channels . i cpr the big cats for restocking the smaller ones of all the fish iv caught this year iv only cleaned around 30 or so .
     
  13. GilbertBassRookie

    GilbertBassRookie New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    Arizona
    The largest flathead I've had was only 6 pounds, and that was caught by accident - I was fishing for bass and caught it on a plastic bait!
     
  14. smoke

    smoke New Member

    Messages:
    107
    State:
    Indiana
    i would have to say that flatheads are the best cats to eat if one was going to eat them. My first big flathead i brought home to take pic of and lost so i did not waste the meat it was very good. I have always keep and at channel before but if i catch a few small flatheads i will eat them but as for the big ones they have to go back for someone else to enjoy...keep you line in the water
     
  15. doughboy

    doughboy New Member

    Messages:
    675
    State:
    newcomerstown,ohio
    I like the fats the best but will eat channels to as long as you trim off all the meat that isnt white
     
  16. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Messages:
    3,764
    State:
    Yuma, Arizona
    the biggest I have ever taken home was a 12lb'er. I try to stock up my feezer towards the end of the year in case the winter fishing is unsuccessful. I might take a few...depending on size.
     
  17. whiteriverbigcats

    whiteriverbigcats New Member

    Messages:
    3,452
    State:
    Indiana
    I dont eat fish very often and i wouldnt eat a flatty ever!!! They are gold to me..lol.. But on occasion i will put one or two in my brother in laws lake to catch again.... And i know some look down on that but i wouldnt put it in any type of harm...
     
  18. Bullhead61

    Bullhead61 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    State:
    Wisconsin
    I have eaten flats from 13 to 25 lbs. They are the best fish I have ever eaten and I've had alot of different kinds. As with any cat, you want to get rid of any dark meat. I cut it in 5 or six inch strips about an inch or so thick, use your favorite fish breading and pan fry in a couple inches of sizzling hot peanut oil. I had a flathead fry the other night and more than one person said they could pass for chicken tenders! I also eat alot of channels and they just are'nt as tasty as the flats. They have a stronger taste a softer meat. In these parts flats are considered a delicacy. Maybe it varies from one region to the next, but around here they can't be beat.
     
  19. slimdaddy

    slimdaddy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,600
    State:
    Nelsonville, Oh
    Name:
    Keith
    only because it died after i got pics it was good soaked it in salt water for about 3 days all the oil came to the top of the water
     
  20. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,690
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    ive kept more large flatheads than i care to remember.when i was younger we fished for food and by fishing i meen noodling.we kept every fish we caught blues channels and flatheads.some of these fish went into the 70 lb.range.now i dont keep any fish ove 20 lbs.and seldom keep a blue or channel over 6.