Catfish - Buying vs Catching? - Mississippi Hunting and Fishing Forums
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Old 01-19-2021, 09:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Catfish - Buying vs Catching?

I have access to Arkabutla reservoir about 20 minutes south of me. With a simple fishing license I can fish the spillway, the upper and lower lakes, the CW River and its tributaries.

Last year my son developed an obsession for limb-lining catfish. For 3-4 months he brought home an array of blue and channel catfish. I cleaned every one, cooked many, and vacuum sealed the rest.

As I cleaned those fish - ranging from .5 lb to 15 lbs - disposing of the waste, properly storing/freezing the steaks/fillets, hauling off the junk and cleaning up I wondered if it was all worth it.

So....is it better to go to Kroger, buy a bunch of fillets to feed the family? Or is it better to fish for yourself?
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Old 01-20-2021, 08:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I love good catfish. I think the flavor of wild-caught is superior to farm raised IF the wild catfish comes from good water. For channel cats, I'll eat up to about 3 or 4 lbs. Blues, up to about 5 to 9. Flatheads up to about 30lbs or so. Anything bigger starts to run into questionable territory with taste (at least for me).
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Old 01-20-2021, 12:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I try not to buy anything I can do for myself - particularly if the work involved in minimal.

Catch and clean my fish, process my deer, grow a garden, basic plumbing and wiring, etc. The more self sufficient you are, the better off you will be in the long run. With youtube videos, a fella can learn most anything.
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Old 01-20-2021, 02:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DoyleAlley View Post
I love good catfish. I think the flavor of wild-caught is superior to farm raised IF the wild catfish comes from good water. For channel cats, I'll eat up to about 3 or 4 lbs. Blues, up to about 5 to 9. Flatheads up to about 30lbs or so. Anything bigger starts to run into questionable territory with taste (at least for me).
flathead maintains good flavor even in the higher ranges of their size. however, i've gotten to where i hate to kill a fish that big/old so i turn them loose and eat em much smaller.
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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One more thing to think about - the vast majority of catfish sold at super markets is from Vietnam or other parts of Asia. Look at Youtube videos of how nasty conditions are where they are raised. If you really must buy store-bought catfish then do yourself a favor and buy US-raised product.
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Jake, you know the answer to this! I am much like Randy Wallace said. I grow a large garden and process my own fish and wild game. That is the only way to know for certain what you have!
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Old 01-25-2021, 12:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Jake, you know the answer to this! I am much like Randy Wallace said. I grow a large garden and process my own fish and wild game. That is the only way to know for certain what you have!
You and Randy are exactly right, and I live that way mostly. The issue is as I get older I can't do it all - not and run a small business. I hardly even deer hunted this season - first time in ages it wasn't a raging obsession that kept me from doing other important things. Yet even on limited time we've managed 4 deer in the freezer - every ounce processed and vacuum sealed by me. There's also squirrel, bass/bream/crappie fillets, a couple packs of catfish left, maybe a rabbit or two. What gave rise to my question is we really want to eat more catfish than we do.

I'm really suprised by Doyle's comment about the source of catfish these days. I went to college 30 minutes from what was at that time the alleged "catfish capital of the world," Isola, MS. I used to set up communications systems for catfish farmers near Charleston, MS. Commercial ponds as far as the eye could see. Word was the 2nd biggest cash crop in MS was catfish. Where does all that fish go? Have things changed that much in 20 years? I'd think all of MS would be awash in high quality, MS-raised channel catfish. No?
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Old 01-25-2021, 03:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm really suprised by Doyle's comment about the source of catfish these days. I went to college 30 minutes from what was at that time the alleged "catfish capital of the world," Isola, MS. I used to set up communications systems for catfish farmers near Charleston, MS. Commercial ponds as far as the eye could see. Word was the 2nd biggest cash crop in MS was catfish. Where does all that fish go? Have things changed that much in 20 years? I'd think all of MS would be awash in high quality, MS-raised channel catfish. No?
MS catfish is available, but people want "cheap" so all kinds of crap gets imported. One of the things I liked about living in FL is that they have VERY strict rules on the labeling of fish. It keeps the restaurants from trying to sell "grouper" to the tourists and using "Vietnamese grouper" which isn't really grouper at all.
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Old 02-11-2021, 03:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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These guys are right about the vietnamese catfish, places like sysco that supply restaurants have MS catfish but for much cheaper you can get the imported fish.
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Catfish from a river/creek is best, but even from a big lake is better than those farm raised catfish. Don’t get me wrong, I usually like them too, but it just isn’t nearly as good. Teach your son to clean and dispose of the fish.
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