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#12322080 - 07/03/17 10:29 AM Tough and chewy
rob valle Offline

Registered: 02/07/11
Posts: 54
Well a good friend of mine told me that his stock tank level was dropping due to the lack of rain. He invited my son and I to fish and keep some of the larger catfish as he was afraid they would start dieing off. We went and caught 4 nice channels in about an hour...the largest was six pounds and the others were all 5 lbs each. I noticed immediatley that two of the fish looked normal....normal proportions with big fat bellys. The other two had heads about the size of a small shovel but with very thin bodies. I have a feeling that if they had been in a lake, they would have been 10-15 lbs easy. Anyhow, I got home and cleaned them up. I always like to examine the stomach contents to see what they have been feeding on. All of these fish were full of algae and grass! On top of that, the fillets off those two with big heads were very thin and skinny. Well there is no fish like fresh fish, so that is what we ate that night. Wow. The decision was unanimous. The fish had the texture of gar, and was very rubbery and chewy. It was not flaky at all, and reminded me of chicken. I'm assuming the big headed ones were males, and that is what we ate. The other two had big, healthy fillets and those went in the freezer. First time I've ever had bad catfish!

#12322088 - 07/03/17 10:33 AM Re: Tough and chewy [Re: rob valle]
I-35 North Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/12/08
Posts: 1044
Loc: N. Texas
Channel cat males look like that during the spawn. Big ol flat heads, skinny bodies.

#12322144 - 07/03/17 11:08 AM Re: Tough and chewy [Re: rob valle]
Muzzlebrake Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 12/26/14
Posts: 1664
Loc: Euless
Big chuckle headed males. They morph into the spawn or breeding stage every year and go back to normal male body shape after they are done guarding the fry. Normal body shape for males is different than females. Males have wider heads but during breeding they get bigger thicker lips and larger muscles on the head behind the eyes. they also turn almost black in color. Some people may mis-identify them as a blue cat. When they are guarding the nest they don't eat and lose weight and the meat gets stringy and tough. After the spawn is over and they go back to eating and adding fat the meat will be the same as females.
From Genesis: "And God promised men that good and obedient wives would be found in all corners of the earth."

Then He made the earth round...and He laughed and laughed and laughed!

#12322389 - 07/03/17 02:25 PM Re: Tough and chewy [Re: rob valle]
taterpop Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/30/13
Posts: 882
Tanks/ponds I did a fish fry for a friend that had pond raised channel cats.He had quit feeding them regular and it did a number on them. When I fried them they had a off taste and the meat had a rubber texture to them.

#12322552 - 07/03/17 04:09 PM Re: Tough and chewy [Re: rob valle]
Jimbo Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 16087
Loc: South Texas
Yep, those are male channels.
I usually throw them back when they are like that since you don't get very much of a filet so not worth the trouble.
Just one more cast!

#12342734 - 07/16/17 03:00 PM Re: Tough and chewy [Re: rob valle]

Registered: 07/14/06
Posts: 55
Loc: Austin
I have had about a 2 acre pond for 20 years and I have raised both blues and channels in it. Doesn't matter what time of year, male or female, blue or channel, anything over about 5lbs is going to be chewy. If you bake the fish it is not as chewy. Can't figure out why but I have cleaned 100's of fish from the pond and they always get chewy even around 4 lbs. I have feed these catfish all 20 years and they are never skinny. You would think that since they really don't have to chase food their meat would not get tough.
Fish Tremble At The Mention Of My Name

#12343298 - 07/16/17 08:25 PM Re: Tough and chewy [Re: rob valle]
SARG Offline

Registered: 04/01/17
Posts: 395
Loc: Texas
Pond fish dont work their muscles like lake and river fish
I wont eat any of them regardless of species out of tanks less the 25 surface acres
It takes alot more then just water to raise up good eating fish


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