How big do they get before they are always released by you?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by baptistpreach, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. baptistpreach

    baptistpreach New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Oklahoma!
    I know there is a lot of different opinion, but how big does a catfish have to be to get let go? I have heard anything less than 5lbs doesn't taste as good, and I have heard others talk about the huge delicious steaks they eat off of big 25+lb cats. So how about you? Can you notice a difference in taste? What is your eating size?
     
  2. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    I release everything 10 lbs and up, but it has nothing to do with taste; I'm far more interested in helping make sure my kids and their kids have the same opportunities to catch huge fish that I've had.
     

  3. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    Now and in the past it has been ten pounds give of take a few ounces. This however is not written in stone. Circumstances may dictate a deviation from this practice at a future time. I never noticed a deference in taste from say a two pounder to a ten pounder and I have not to my knowledge tasted one above ten, but I sure wouldn't wast it if I were offered a piece. :wink:
     
  4. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    It depends on the fisherman. But I think all cats taste the same.
     
  5. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    A large cat will eat just fine if properly dressed, but, that said, I seldom keep anything over 12# for eating, just because my electric filet knife will handle them in one pass. :wink:
    I don't keep many anyway, only what I need to eat, but a 20# or larger is pretty much guaranteed to be released.
     
  6. catfishsolich

    catfishsolich New Member

    Messages:
    62
    State:
    kentucky,metcalfe county
    I keep one big one (over ten) if I'm not getting enough eaters he's food , if I get enough smaller ones for a good meal he gets a reprieve. good luck, Chris
     
  7. Catman

    Catman New Member

    Messages:
    102
    State:
    Randolph, Nebraska
    I will keep a catfish if I have a need for food, regardless of size. But I think a little different than most people. If you keep 1 10lb catfish and let 8 go that are under 2lbs which would have the opportunity to produce more new fish, the one 10lber or the 8 2lbers? I could be wrong but a 2lb catfish will spawn, in my opinion. as for the original topic.. when cooked properly small and large catfish are delicious.
     
  8. teaysvalleyguy

    teaysvalleyguy New Member

    Messages:
    9,751
    State:
    GC, OHIO
    Usually I keep em no bigger then 8#'s or so. I like to eat the little guys. The big ones need to be around for our future generations to reproduce.
     
  9. TONTO

    TONTO New Member

    Messages:
    198
    State:
    ILLINOIS
    I release everything over 20 lbs can't tell any difference in taste because of size.
     
  10. catchaser19

    catchaser19 New Member

    Messages:
    221
    State:
    UTAH
    I never keep anything over ten. I think if a cat kicks it out and survives that long it needs to pass its genes on to make catfish for my son. and his children
     
  11. dewboy24us

    dewboy24us New Member

    Messages:
    339
    State:
    Missouri
    when i keep any ( idon't eat fish that often) i try to keep it under ten pounds. i like the idea of catchin a 20 this year then going back to see how much bigger he got next year.
     
  12. Zombie76

    Zombie76 New Member

    Messages:
    73
    State:
    Nebraska
    I'm not much for eating fish most often but, some times I will keep a 4 lber. Just enough to make some poppers for a snack. All the others go back right away.
     
  13. Ed1

    Ed1 New Member

    Messages:
    102
    State:
    Virginia
    I like to catch catfish more than I like to eat them, But I will keep a couple of 2 to 5 pounders a year to eat on. Most I release no matter the size.
     
  14. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    Over 20 lbs goes back in the water for me.

    Sometimes the smaller ones also get a lucky break if I don't feel like cleaning them.
     
  15. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    Flopeye I agree with u. some rivers it aint safe to eat the fish u caught from there.
     
  16. Big Sam

    Big Sam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,286
    State:
    Booneville AR
    Name:
    Sam
    I keep 5lb and under for eating they hold less contaminates especially mercury. Blues dont reproduce till they hit about 10lbs so they need to go back for future generations to enjoy catching them.
     
  17. radish

    radish Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    ms
    two are three lb. unless it a flathead
     
  18. Alsey

    Alsey New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Louisiana
    I used to say ten pounds but I've cut enough of them open to find spongy greasy looking meat that now I throw back anything over 5 pounds. I used to keep 20-30 pounders to show everyone I could catch big cats but I quit doing that. I guess I'm secure in my catting abilities now. None of those big ones tasted as good as a 1-2 pounder and I hate I didn't let em go. I guess the moral of the story is the smaller ones are better eating anyways. At least down here in north Louisiana.
     
  19. porboy

    porboy New Member

    Messages:
    629
    State:
    TX Panhand
    I like the smaller ones and release the ones over 5 lbs.
    Bill
     
  20. scott1

    scott1 New Member

    Messages:
    90
    State:
    North Carolina
    I release all of the cats I catch, eventually even the little ones grow up to be big ones.