When did it become popular to fillet catfish?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Grits, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. Grits

    Grits New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Arknasas
    While growing up in rural Arkansas, during the fifties and sixties, my mother fried fish often. As a family we went fishing quite a bit. We caught bream, crappie, bass, and some catfish. My mother always pan fried most of the fish whole. If it was a larger catfish it was always cut into steaks.

    I first saw catfish fillets in the mid seventies in a restaurant. The next thing I knew, folks were filleting everything from a bream up.

    Personally, I prefer my fish fried whole or cut into steaks, depending on what it is. My favorite way to fix a catfish is like, or as close as I can get, my mama did it.

    Out of curiosity, was this a regional thing or did filleting everything become the norm at some point in time?

    Thanks, good luck and have a good week.

    Grits
     
  2. BLKCLOUD

    BLKCLOUD New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Pulaski Tn
    We started filleting them back in the early 80's after my little sister got choked on a bone..my mom ran her finger down her throat and pulled it out...
     

  3. ateamfisherman

    ateamfisherman New Member

    Messages:
    297
    State:
    Texas
    personally ilike my fish cutup and fried my nephew started when they got too lazy to pick the bones. if you fellay fish it takes more fish to feed abunch of peoplethan if it is just cutup. i think because people eat slower. personally i like to get the meat off the bones.thanks sasm davis
     
  4. Barry Nelson

    Barry Nelson New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    Tennessee
    I still fry my 'gills and stripes whole. But the only wild caught fish my wife will eat is cats and she says fillet....so...I fillet :wink:
     
  5. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    I started filleting them about the time I got tired of eating catfish that tasted like mud. Properly filleted catfish is a gastronomic delight...
     
  6. micus

    micus New Member

    Messages:
    524
    State:
    Lake St. L
    I started because the kids wouldn't eat them if they found a bone. I prefer sunfish whole.
     
  7. 1sporticus

    1sporticus Active Member

    Messages:
    1,006
    State:
    Iowa
    Your right on Mr. T, Later Andy
     
  8. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    Y'all are OLD!!!

    I was born in 1966, and I don't ever remember Not filleting my fish.

    I do remember getting my first electric knife after watching the captains doing it on Lake Erie.
     
  9. vegasryder

    vegasryder New Member

    Messages:
    324
    State:
    illinois
    When i grew up in the Philippines... everyone ate the fish whole. I never even saw a fish that was fillet. Thats including the restaurants, fish market or grocery stores. But ever since i got to this country, i could only eat fish fillet in fear of choking on a bone.
     
  10. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    I fillet everything but only because my kids are more likely to eat fish that way.
     
  11. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD
    Well, i'm a might bit younger than some of yall (born in early 1980's) but around here most things are in fillets. Its the way most people do it here, and the way i was raised. Bigger fish like Striped bass, LM Bass, Catfish, they all get fillet. Blue gills, white perch and smaller fish like these get the scales, head, and fins taken off and gutted and cooked whole. I will occasionally steak out a large Striped Bass. I just get tired of picking through the bones. Call me lazy or whatever but fish bones turn me off. Fear of choking maybe?
     
  12. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I first saw fish being filleted down in Panama City, Florida, back in the 50s. Coming back to the dock with a big catch of red snapper and grouper, one of the deck hands would 'clean' your fish for you for a couple or three bucks. 'Cleaning' meant filleting. On the larger fish, the backbone was always put in the cooler with the fillets, which confused me till I asked about it and found that baking or broiling this part of the fish yields some of the best tasting meat. Another part from the larger fish was the cheek portion. Yes, it's right where you would expect the cheek to be. If you'll feel around there on the next good sized fish you catch, you'll feel a soft, meaty spot which can be removed with a fillet knife. Of course, it wasn't much of a jump from filleting saltwater fish to filleting the freshwater fish we normally caught.
     
  13. cat tamer

    cat tamer New Member

    Messages:
    694
    State:
    MO
    Marty, I think Carlo Petrini founder of the slow food movment would have to agree.
     
  14. jerryb

    jerryb New Member

    Messages:
    551
    State:
    Ohio
    Like others, growing up there was no filleting - ya skinned/scaled 'em, took fins and head off, and fried 'em up...


    My kids wudn't even consider it... so, I fillet the cats, but still get away with cookin' panfish up whole... so far.
     
  15. wylie catter

    wylie catter New Member

    Messages:
    675
    State:
    South Carolina
    Once I was eating catfish in a restaurant and had a little bone about 1/2" long stick down in my gum between two teeth. It was in deep and hurt bad. Many other times I've had small bones get stuck in my throat. It sometimes takes days before it stops hurting. I guess they finally passed on through. So I'm electric fellet knifen'em all the way.:eek:oooh:
     
  16. big-muddy

    big-muddy New Member

    Messages:
    1,834
    State:
    norfolk, va
    i fillet em and then cut em into chunks. the result is less silverware to bring to the fishfry.
     
  17. bluejay

    bluejay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,493
    State:
    Napoleon, Mo.
    When you get a bone stuck in your throat take a shot of vinegar. I t doesn't taste real great but it will soften the bone up.
     
  18. kkyyoottee

    kkyyoottee New Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Iowa
    I dont think it is regional as much as generation. Tell a ol timer you are going to fillet a fish! He will grab that knife and threathen to fillet you!! They then will espouse all the meat you are wasting!! And people are going hungry to bed each night all over the good ol USA. Then you look at them and say I was just teasing!!:big_smile:
     
  19. Catgirl

    Catgirl New Member

    Messages:
    13,546
    Hmmm......yes, generational me thinks. My grandad and dad were fishermen, and we ate their catches. You just had to get through the ordeal of BONES.......some people CAN'T, I know a lady in her eighties who won't eat fish NOW because she got choked on a fishbone when she was young.
    In MY house (well, it was my grandparent's then) we ate fish regularly. We were always instructed to run our tongues around and feel for bones, which we did. I still do that to this day, seems to me to be a good practice. I had some King Mackerel recently (steaks) and I was HUNGRY at the time, and they tasted REAL GOOD. If I hadn't followed Grandaddy's orders on how to check for bones.....well......there were a few in there. Even the BEST filleters miss things sometimes.
    But.......since becoming familiar with catfish and eating them, mostly it's been fillets. The restaurant type (farm-raised) don't taste the same to me, so I wait until I have some nice home grown catfish fillets to eat. Don't know when it came into practice exactly, the filleting process. Sure makes it easier to eat a BUNCH. So if ya wanna keep your wives skinny, make sure the BONES are in there :wink:. All you women can race me to the table for crappie though, bones or not :tounge_out:.
     
  20. CatFishingFinatic

    CatFishingFinatic New Member

    Messages:
    198
    State:
    Iowa
    I never heard of filletting catfish till I seen them in the store just a couple years ago. Now I prefer my catfish cut into nuggets. We always fried our fish whole if they were small. Growing up as kids we rarely ate any kind of fish but catfish because of the bones. Once in a while we would go bass fishing but when we fried them they were left whole but we got the bone lecture at the beginning of each meal. Catfish were cut into steaks if they were big enough that way you couldn't miss the bones. For the smaller kids even catfish were taken off the bones before they got their plate. My dad always thought if you fillet a fish you cut away the best part of the meat, and catfish pull away from the bones so easy there was no need.