View Full Version : Eat or don't bother to eat CATFISH !

18-04-2009, 09:58 AM
Anyone got a positive opinion about estuary catfish ? I'm told OK eating if haven't caught anything better. Evidently need to bleed them and skin them.

18-04-2009, 10:07 AM
I cant testify first hand (yet). but Ern Grant refeers to catfish as a first class table fish.
The asians aparantly are very keen on them a dna catfish stew is a cajun staple.

The standard line is that they taste better out of clean water, and quit a bit of the muddy taste is in the skin, so skinning is esential.

Give it a go and report back... likewise on grinner.


18-04-2009, 10:36 AM
According to my fishing partner, tasting will happen when we next catch one. I hope I can overcome previously instilled thoughts to be able to give an unbiased report.

18-04-2009, 10:58 AM

Surely your not that far from a KFC!!!;) And i might be giving some thought to getting a new partner who can catch a edible species.;D ;D i would be better keeping some i&j fish fingers or bassa fillets in the freezer if your that keen on fish!:P




As far as Ern Grant goes , i took his advice and tried Stargazer one night ($#@^%&$@#@$$%%^^%^^&^&^$#$$%$##@#$:o :o ) Never again am i going to believe his good eating qualities statments !

18-04-2009, 12:04 PM
I dont think I could eat one - cant get past the thinking of them being the rats of the sea...

18-04-2009, 02:35 PM
Oh dear, why hasn't anyone said to put catfish in a pan with a rock/beer/boot, cook for 10 mins, and then throw away the catfish and eat the rock? This thread just isn't trite enough for my liking!

Would actually be interested to hear the results of a catfish tasting, I have never tried one.

18-04-2009, 03:02 PM
I have started looking up recipes from the southern states of good old yankie land. Probably the main information I have seen other than bleeding and skinning is to cut into 1/4" fillets for frying. Next he'll be wanting me to deal with pike eels. One catfish we caught the other night spat out what smelt like 6 mth old squid.

18-04-2009, 04:49 PM
I've eaten them once.
I wanted to know how they were, and I read in Grant's they were good.
I decided they were okay. Cooked them whole in foil and ate off the bone. Had it in the back of my head they would be really bad, but i was surprised. Lot better than European carp!
Having said that, they don't compare to jack/bream/luderick etc.

18-04-2009, 06:23 PM
they are not too bad mate. I crumbed one and it was ok. as gorey said they arent as good as "proper" fish but definitely edible. little bit like shark.

18-04-2009, 06:43 PM
Beware about the flesh, i caught a decent size one bout 70cm, blue catfish, skinned, filleted. Got it home cooked it up first bite was allright, didint mind it i went back to take another and i saw a worm of some sort in the flesh just near where i bit into it, i tried to spit out what fish i had left in my mouth and it went strait to the bin and some to my fish.

So just be a bit careful, make sure you inspect each fillet.


18-04-2009, 06:57 PM
I lived in the midwest of the US for a few years. In the local area, every Friday was 'Friday Night Fish Fry', and my guess would be that 95% of the fish served was catfish. I even bought fillets from the grocery store on more than one occasion. Granted, these were farm-raised fish, but I would still consider eating a 'wild' cattie just to see how they compare.

18-04-2009, 07:22 PM
As a kid growing up on the Pine River I caught filleted and skinned a fair share fo catfish for the table. Yes they are actually a very white firm tasty flesh if prepared right. They need a quick kill first of all then iced down to set the flesh. Fillet and skin in one operation and wash the fillets in strong brine to remove any bit of slime that may have transferred to the flesh (if any traces remain it does affect the quality of the flavour substantially). Much better to roll in flour and shallow fried rather than crumbed or heavy battered.

A well prepared catfish fillet is on par with estuary rock cod in my opinion, not that i take either of them these days, but I would not shy away from a catfish meal again in the future.

Having some good Vietnamese friends I have eaten all sorts of locally caught seafood from catfish to eels to rays and blue jellyfish....yes blue jellyfish is a very tasty meal when they do it......the mind tends to over react a bit but the flavour os good.

18-04-2009, 08:51 PM
Don't think worms are any thing special to cat fish.....there was a thread about worms in fish no long ago.......you can find them in almost anything.
Some people scrub the slime off the fish before they bring them aboard with a long handled brush... right after thet clip the spines off.


18-04-2009, 09:45 PM
Yeah i know there nothing special, but first time i found one in a fillet and i almost ate it, was in a catfish, so i dont really wanna touch em again.


19-04-2009, 10:42 AM
In some cultures magots and worme in cooked meat are considered delacacies.

not in mine but in some.


big moose
19-04-2009, 11:22 AM
as to basa fillets being an alternative to catfish WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!!! basa is catfish imported from vietnam where it is grown in ponds as part of a biological sewerage treatment system. I would'nt even feed it to cats and I hate cats

19-04-2009, 12:02 PM
Ah, your a bunch of skirts.
We eat them and they're good.
At first it was feed them to the sea-eagles but one day when that's all we caught we thought mmmmm bugger it we'll try them.
We had some fish from the day before so we filleted them etc etc and cooked them with some other mixed grillers we caught and tried them on my brother as he wasn't there for the fishing/cleaning etc and didn't know any better.
He didn't die or complain so we got stuck into them.
As mentioned before kill quick (knife through noggin' or the trusty donger across the forehead does the job good), chill and then fillet/skin in one operation bung in the fridge until tea time then dip in what-ever, flour and some bread crumbs, in the pan with some butter and then down the gob. Done and thanks very much for coming :D
Try them next time...be a man :D

19-04-2009, 12:14 PM
as to basa fillets being an alternative to catfish WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!!! basa is catfish imported from vietnam where it is grown in ponds as part of a biological sewerage treatment system. I would'nt even feed it to cats and I hate cats

Ah Big Moose my ironic post was wasted on you my friend , ;) For i would not eat Bassa , I& J fishfingers or for that matter KFC.


19-04-2009, 02:44 PM
I have eaten them before and the only reason i dont keep them now is because they are slimey pains in the arse. Try asian recipes that include ingredients like ginger, garlic, chilli, coconut cream etc. Something like a stir fried seafood, asian fish curry etc.


19-04-2009, 03:14 PM
hi...interesting assortment of comments. I have knocked the sides off the large gulf catfish and sliced fillets off the skin.. Cook up well, if not fried todeath. They are hard to handle/kill/clean etc. would never bother to skin before filleting...would not bother with little ones. good cut bait for black jew... No catfish gets into my boat with its spines intact (side -cutters)...cheers john

19-04-2009, 04:44 PM
I dont think I could eat one - cant get past the thinking of them being the rats of the sea...

Worked with a Hungarian lady who would not eat prawns, crabs and Moreton Bay bugs .... WHY??? .... She considered them cockroaches of the sea. Ironical! ;D 8-)

19-04-2009, 05:19 PM
I tried a couple of catfish to eat 40 years ago. The last one I caught to eat was the last one I will ever touch apart from using them as bait for crabs. When I gutted the cattie, it had a used condom inside it. There were lots of wormy/grubs in the tissue and it was instantly chucked. I was in the USA for almost 7 years and they couldn't understand why I refused to eat catfish even when it was farm raised.
If you really want to "use" a catfish, try and catch one at least 600mm long. Cut the head off at the dorsal spine and toss the body away. Gently simmer the head 'till all the flesh comes off and then wash it well with a good jet from a normal hose. Dry the skull out and you will have an astonishing example of a bone "crucfix" that has a single bone inside it that rattles. It's a very interesting conversation piece. But me eat a cattie? No way!!! YUCK-YUCK-YUCK!!!


19-04-2009, 06:13 PM
If you are from Brisbane, a Thai/Lao restaraunt in the Valley (Thai Wi Rat) does a couple of Catfish dishes which are excellent. They are a south Thai/Laos delicacy. Probably my all time favorite Restaraunt.

19-04-2009, 06:57 PM
The recipe for cajun catfish has them soaking in milk for 20 minutes before cooking. I picked up a few the other night and thougt I'd try them done cajun style. They werent too bad. I soaked them in brine for a while then in milk. like fresh water barra always better cooked in small pieces. recipe also reckoned to cut in 2" (50mm ) squares.
Frames then used in the crab pots and picked up a few crabs. Crabs seemed to prefer the catty frames over reef fish frames

19-04-2009, 07:21 PM
Worked with a Hungarian lady who would not eat prawns, crabs and Moreton Bay bugs .... WHY??? .... She considered them cockroaches of the sea. Ironical! ;D 8-)


That's funny, I send sand crabs and mud crabs down to my friends mum (all hungarian) and they cannot get enough!

Gotta love cultures!


19-04-2009, 09:12 PM
cats are best smoked imo

the gecko
20-04-2009, 02:07 PM
A lot of the catfish mentioned in recipes are Fork Tailed (freshwater) Catfish. they are quite different (better tasting) than our common catfish.

20-04-2009, 04:40 PM
I think you will find the fork tailed cat fish(s) are quite happy to live in a broad range of water conditions from fully salt to fully fresh.

The eel tailed catfish on the other hand are a fresh water spicies..


20-04-2009, 05:27 PM
Yeah the eel tail is the one in freshwater which tastes ok as far as freshwater fish are concerned.. They call em jewfish where i was from.. Fork tail are found in both salt and fresh can't comment on their eating qualities but after reading this thread i'm determined to give one a go.. Cheers Sean