Keeping Fish To Eat!

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by BigCatter54, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. BigCatter54

    BigCatter54 New Member

    Messages:
    811
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    Ok, Hope nobody gets mad at me but I wanted to hear what is everybodies standards for keeping and throwing back fish, I like to keep fish that are between 15lbs and 30lbs, like I said in a earlier reply to a post fish smaller than fifteen need to be thrown back so they get bigger, and fish over thrity are truely trophy fish and not to mention quality breeders and need to be put back to ensure adequate reproduction so everyone can experience quality fishing all the time, not only will you see more big fish, but you will see a lot more fish, now this rule only applies to flats and blues, I do keep all channels. I figure that it would be really hard to hurt the channel cat population, keeping a couple her and ther is not gonna hurt it.

    It has been proven that slot limits do work, I think slot limits should be imposed for all fish everywhere, now the slot limits can be tallered to that specific body of water and they work if everyone would adhere to them, what hurts the most is removing those trophy fish from the rivers and lakes, when you remove them it takes so long to replace them, most of those fish are older than everyone on this site
     
  2. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I'll take my chances and thr wrath of the cpr club,If I'm wanting fish to eat ,I keep enough to fill my needs,size dont matter except ,with bigger fish you just harvest less numbers to get the same amount. That being said ,I wont keep ANY cat under three lbs ,all others are fair game for me.
     

  3. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    My limit is #10 but I find myself keeping the 4-7 pounders. We eat around 10 cats a year.
     
  4. ArmyCatfish

    ArmyCatfish New Member

    Messages:
    210
    State:
    Georgia
    i tend to keep more channels than anything to eat ill switch to liver and try to catch some around 4-8 lbs to keep and eat.
     
  5. krowbar

    krowbar New Member

    Messages:
    664
    State:
    South Caro
    Never caught 1 over 30lbs so it's hard to say what I would do if i caught a monster. They sure are good to eat though.
     
  6. TexDan

    TexDan New Member

    Messages:
    41
    State:
    Texas
    If it is a flathead I'm going to eat it. Sorry, I love'em...they are the best eating in fresh water. We eat a lot of catfish and bass. Our channel cats don't generally get all that big and I'm not fond of blues when they get over 10 or 15 lbs so I let them go after pics and weigh in.
     
  7. bumper

    bumper New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Georgia
    When I keep fish to eat (not often), I usually keep 10 lbers. or less. I release the bigger fish to help maintain a trophy fishery and because larger fish accumulate far more contaminants than smaller fish. Older, larger fish have higher concentrations of mercury, PCB's, and other contaminants that I'm not real comfortable feeding to myself and especially not to my children.
     
  8. neocats

    neocats New Member

    Messages:
    2,130
    State:
    Steubenvil
    What I find strange is that you mention the fact that it takes a long time to replace a trophy fish over 30#. How much longer would you have to wait for that 30 pound fish to become a trophy if you released him. He is almost there already. Another year or two at the most.
     
  9. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    I like fish!!!!! Love it actually. Never had a problem deciding what to cull, i never catch BIG fish:crazy:. But,,,i'm still fishin an wishin
     
  10. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    i like to keep blues under 10lbs and only keep 4-5 a day. If i need fish for a fish fry, we chum an hole and fish for channels. No big deal to catch a limit (25) of fish that are perfect eating size, between 1-3 lbs
     
  11. craddock1

    craddock1 Active Member

    Messages:
    957
    State:
    TENNESSEE
    If i keep any less than 20 pounds it is usually because i don't think they will live anyway. I am still hoping to eat that 200 pounder. Just a matter of time till i catch him.
     
  12. deerhunter4

    deerhunter4 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Illinois
    Don't feel bad Brother I have been fishing for 30 years and I have never caught one over 30 lbs either...I can tell ya for sure they sure are good to eat...

     
  13. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    hello frank. good to see ya.

    i have no problem either. if the first thing i catch this spring ia a 40# flathead is a gonner. it is to me also the best eating fresh water fish next to crappie. i usually have close to 100lbs of catfish bass ect by winter in freezor. i like to have a fish fry every year for me and 10-20 buddies to drink some beers and make some homade coleslaw and river rat potato wedges and bread and butter. size dont matter when i dont have any froze. dont think i would kill anything over 15lb in the channel cats because they are a work of art but have filleted ones up to 12lb. never caught anything over 20lbs yet so doesnt matter yet. but catch over 100 on a year to year adverade. i do all rod and reel though. i dont run lines. i boat fish the lake here mostly. flatheads. i never caught a big one yet. i wouldnt have any regrets keeping them up to the 25lb range. thats not huge for them guys. thats a teenager. trophys are one thing. feeding me is another.

    and the lake i fish is a perfect catfish lake, flooded creek. 5000acres. its abundant with catfish. channels in the 1-3lb range are a dime a dozen. there is no reason to throw all back if ya want to eat em.
     
  14. Parasite

    Parasite New Member

    Messages:
    34
    State:
    N.Colorado
    Where I live keeping any catfish practically ruins the fishing, so I never keep them. If your talkin trout then I keep ones in between 13-18 inches.
     
  15. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    Even if I kept a big one, I wouldn't enjoy eating it. I eat a lot of fish, but usually the channels that make the mistake of hitting big baits meant for their big cousins. I just honestly couldn't imagine talking myself into thinking I wanted a fish dinner bad enough to kill a fish like the one in my avatar. Just me, but getting a decent fish into the bottom of the boat long enough to take a picture is good enough for me. You can also tell by my avatar I'm a fan of eating, but not a big enough one to kill a big flathead or blue when there's plenty of other things to eat:smile2: Also, once they've been breaded and hit the grease, I'd have a hard time telling the difference between channels, blues, and flats. Not like they're being pan-seared in a bit of oil and lemon.:wink:
     
  16. BigCatter54

    BigCatter54 New Member

    Messages:
    811
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    SOme of you mention the fact that keeping a fish between 15 and thrity is strange, but my thinking is that I only have to take one 15lbr instead of three 5 lbrs, and that just makes more sense to me
     
  17. ronlyn239

    ronlyn239 New Member

    Messages:
    270
    State:
    Bartlesvil
    My whole family loves catfish, and crappie, and walleye, and redfish, and specks. That being said, I just don't see keeping a large fish. You can't convince me that they are as good as a 5-10 pounder. I release large ones to make babies to give me smaller ones for the table.
     
  18. Katatonik

    Katatonik New Member

    Messages:
    1,262
    State:
    Ogden, Kansas,
    I have yet to boat a flathead over 35lbs but if I did I would most likely let it
    swim away. Yeah, even if I forgot the camera. If the big ones are out there
    spawning that means a lot more little ones coming up. I also tend to let the
    little fiddlers loose. I think a cat shy of about a pound and a half is more trouble to cut up than its worth. 2lbs to 15 are freezer stock. I think the
    best tasting cat I ever ate was an eight pound flathead that my younger
    son Orren caught when he was about 7 years old. Little guy ate his share
    of it too. He's taller than me now as I predicted. Of course, if the freezer
    is full, then all fish get let loose until we catch up with the backlog.
     
  19. deerhunter4

    deerhunter4 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Illinois
    ty nice job...:smile2:

     
  20. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    It might make more sense until you stop and think about the distribution of fish sizes in a given body of water: The most abundant fish of any given species are always going to be the smaller ones (for blue cats, we're talking about fish under 5 or 7 lbs or so). As the size gets larger, the number of fish drops off dramatically, due to all sorts of pressures - harvesting by anglers, increased competition for food, natural mortality, etc.

    You can, for the most part, harvest as many small fish as you want from a given body of water. But when you start keeping the big fish, you have the potential to impact the fishery in a very negative way.

    To use your example, a 15 lb blue cat is just getting into prime breeding age and size, and if not harvested may produce several thousand offspring each year, with the numbers increasing as the years go by. The bigger fish are able to secure and guard the "best" nesting sites, which contributes to a higher success rate in producing offspring. Harvesting this fish essentially robs the body of water of many years of active reproduction.

    However, a 5 lb blue cat is not likely to be an active breeder, and even if it is "of age", it won't be likely to get the "good" nesting sites. Which means that its efforts at reproduction will probably either fail completely or produce minimal results. Harvesting that fish will have little if any immediate impact on the fishery - you could argue that it would become an active breeder "eventually" - but since we know few fish survive to larger size, the odds are stacked against it. Furthermore, failure to harvest a good percentage of the smaller fish can result in a growth-stunted population: too many small fish competing for a limited forage base, which keeps all of them from growing to their full potential size.

    I'm completely in favor of keeping fish to eat - but it's a matter of choosing the "right" fish in a particular species and body of water. The concept is called "Selective Harvest" and has been made popular by the folks at In-Fisherman. Their mantra is that a big fish is too important to only catch once. And that's a great way to look at it.

    When you practice Selective Harvest, you'll always be able to keep a few (usually smaller) fish for the dinner table or a fish fry, and release the bigger fish for others to enjoy. In doing so, you get to enjoy a great fish meal while simultaneously assuring that there will be plenty of fish available for future generations.