Size to release vs eat

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by fish_head, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. fish_head

    fish_head New Member

    Messages:
    121
    State:
    Mississippi
    I have a couple of questions that may have been answered elsewhere, but anyway, here goes:
    1. What is the top size for eating catfish? In other words, at what size should they be released? (We catch Channel, Flathead, and Blue Cats mainly where I fish).
    2. Are Bullhead catfish good to eat? I am pretty sure that's what we caught a few of earlier. They were good sized, like 3-4 pounds, but I wan't to make sure before I cook them up.
    Thanks in advance from a new guy and his fishing buddies (2 sons).
     
  2. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,263
    State:
    North Caro
    Brother fish_head, I only keep blues under ten pounds to eat. The reason being is that a blue ten pounds and up are the ones that are mature and do the best job of laying eggs during their spawn. Also, the smaller blues have less Mercury in them and are considered to be better for you and your family.

    As for channel cats, I don't normally eat them because we have plenty of blues. The flathead offers some good meat, including their bellies, but I seldom harvest them for eating purposes.
     

  3. baldy804

    baldy804 New Member

    Messages:
    48
    State:
    wyoming
    bullheads r good eating a 3-4 pound bullhead is a bigun channels blues and flatties up to 10 lbs r good eaters u can cook bigger fish and they taste good but u have to cut the fat and blood viens out i try to release those big fish and preserve the fishery but occasionally ill keep 1 for a fast fish fry if needed cpr if u can hope this helps and good luck :wink:
     
  4. 72hdflh

    72hdflh New Member

    Messages:
    262
    State:
    West Salem, Ohio
    I personally only keep 5 lbs and under to eat, the big ones are just too much fun to catch and it takes them too long to get that way.
     
  5. ateamfisherman

    ateamfisherman New Member

    Messages:
    297
    State:
    Texas
    I like to release all the yellows. Eat the blues and channel cat. If have toomuchfish release all. thanks Sam Davis
     
  6. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I personally release all of them...The big ones to spawn, and the little ones to grow big.
     
  7. bownero

    bownero New Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    State:
    Hastings, Ne.
    Generally I keep some fish from 1 to 5 lbs. Anything over that gets released right away. Flatheads are a bonus fish for me and I release them regardless of the size. I just keep the channels. Those bullheads you are talking about are huge. I have never caught one over 3 pounds. I have ate bullheads when I was younger, they have a stronger flavor than the rest of catfish.

    Practice CPR. catch, photo, release..
    Mark..
     
  8. Ed1

    Ed1 New Member

    Messages:
    102
    State:
    Virginia
    anything over 5 lb gets released and only a few under 5 lb get kept a year to eat on
     
  9. porboy

    porboy New Member

    Messages:
    629
    State:
    TX Panhand
    The only fish I keep is 5 lbs or under and I like to eat the bullheads very much.
     
  10. catfisherman_eky3

    catfisherman_eky3 New Member

    Messages:
    2,296
    State:
    Kentucky
    Only cats I keep and eat is if there under 5 pounds if there over that then i throw them back
     
  11. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    If I can catch enough cats under 10# to eat, I'll let the bigger ones go.
     
  12. fish_head

    fish_head New Member

    Messages:
    121
    State:
    Mississippi
    Thank y'all very kindly for the advice. I figured most of those big cats in everyone's avatars were released, but I was wondering...:wink:...

    Now I'm gonna catch a big ole cat for my Avatar! (And release him, unless my sons stage a mutiny over it).

    Thanks again!
     
  13. FourWinds

    FourWinds New Member

    Messages:
    332
    State:
    Lawton, Oklahoma
    I don't know how many times I went fishin with the intention of keepin a few eaters and would catch one and tell myself to let it go, I'll keep the next one and on and on just end up going home empty-stringered... but I do keep em in about the 3-5 pound range sometimes.
     
  14. Defender

    Defender New Member

    Messages:
    56
    State:
    Hastings, Nebraska
    but have only eaten small channels and flat heads. Of course, I haven't yet caught any big ones. When I do, I'll go with cpr.

    About Bullheads --

    Bullheads are great eating. One time when I was a teenager I went with a buddy to fish where my grandparents had a cabin by the Platte River in Nebraska. In one of the ponds we caught a bunch of bullheads and wanted to eat them.

    I couldn't figure out how to get the stove turned on, though the cabin did have electricity. Now, we couldn't go without eating our bullhead, could we? I found an electric coffee pot, rinsed it out, and filled it with cooking oil. While the oil was heating I rolled the fillets in corn meal, and then popped 'em into the hot oil. We forked 'em out when they looked done, and oh, my, they were good!

    After we were done we cleaned up the kitchen and washed the pot out real well. I didn't think much about it until later that summer, when my grandfather mentioned that he had made some coffee and it tasted kind of funny. I guess I must have forgotten to tell him about the fish fry.
     
  15. orion_xxvx

    orion_xxvx New Member

    Messages:
    397
    State:
    North Central Missouri
    Channel Cat best eating 2-5 lbs.......flathead around 8 lbs..........blue I have no idea................yellow perch as big as you can catch...........crappie black and white 10 to 13 inches Walleye 1 and 1/2 to 7 lbs Thats the way I do it.
     
  16. uttatoo

    uttatoo New Member

    Messages:
    1,797
    State:
    greatbend kansas
    i have to be honest i have ate bullhead before and mixed them up with channel cat and didnt see a diference
    i usually turn loose everything over 5lbs for channel and 20lbs for flaties
    and blues when i was in ok.
     
  17. Ghost River

    Ghost River New Member

    Messages:
    466
    State:
    Carolina
    We eat the smaller ones and anything 10lbs or up we usually just ride them around in the back of the truck showing them off till they start stinking. then we trow them in the ditch.
     
  18. Ghost River

    Ghost River New Member

    Messages:
    466
    State:
    Carolina
    We eat the smaller ones and anything 10lbs or up we usually just ride them around in the back of the truck showing them off till they start stinking. then we trow them in the ditch.
     
  19. fish_head

    fish_head New Member

    Messages:
    121
    State:
    Mississippi
    Defender that's a good story. Where there's a will there's a way.
    Thanks
     
  20. baldy804

    baldy804 New Member

    Messages:
    48
    State:
    wyoming
    well colt them youngins your holding there will thank u for your conservation efforts im shure sad too see