The drill for catching channel catfish in numbers this time of yr is fairly fundamental — feed them and they’ll come! I’ve written sufficient phrases about catching catfish to fill a really giant ebook by means of the years and caught and cooked my share however only a few sentences can fairly effectively sum up the convenience of catching plenty of channel catfish in the course of the summer time months.
The 1st step is to find standing timber in water 12 to twenty toes deep, remoted bushes are sometimes good buildings to focus on. Liberally bait the water across the tree with a pair espresso cans of soured grain or cattle vary cubes then give the “chum” a little bit of time for the scent to permeate the water. Catfish will quickly discover your feed trough and the makings of your summer time barbecue will start to fill your livewell.
Greatest baits? Properly, the sky is the restrict however cheese or punch bait on a No. 4 or No. 6 treble hook with a break up shot to maintain it down is a straightforward ticket to success. Cubed liver may even get the job finished as will every little thing from nightcrawlers to catalpa worms. As soon as interested in the grain, catfish often aren’t choosy about what they eat. It’s quite common to catch catfish which have gorged themselves on the chum however proceed to feed.
At Lake Tawakoni, I be part of my good friend, information Tony Pennebaker, a number of instances every year and may truthfully say we have now by no means returned to dock with out plenty of catfish. Within the fall, winter and spring, he targets the lake’s plentiful blue catfish however when the water heats up, it’s time to bait holes and begin fishing cheese baits for channel cats. As a result of he guides nearly day-after-day, Tony retains a number of “bushes” baited and sometimes rotates fishing spots. When he pulls as much as a baited gap, he doesn’t have to attend for the motion to start, the fish are already there and somewhat recent chum often places them within the biting mode.
Though the typical fisherman like me can’t count on this nonstop form of motion on each journey just because we are able to’t hold a spot baited each day, we are able to count on to start out catching fish from a spot we bait inside a couple of minutes. It’s a good suggestion to bait two or three spots upon arriving on the lake then transferring from one to the opposite if wanted to seek out actively feeding fish. It shouldn’t take lengthy to seek out receptive fish.
This previous week, I joined Tony and my good friend, Jeff Rice, for an early morning two hours of nonstop catching. We returned to the dock with limits of fish weighing between 1.5 and three kilos, nothing actually huge however plenty of positive consuming. Jeff filmed the journey and you may watch the motion now on A Sportsman’s Life on CarbonTV.com or YouTube.
With loads of tasty fillets readily available, I’m planning a number of catfish meals together with in fact, fried fish. However I’ve a number of different strategies of cooking catfish I wish to share with you.
SOFT BLACKENED: I first cooked walleye up in Saskatchewan utilizing this technique and it’s one in all my favorites. Moderately than heating a forged iron skillet to white scorching, I prepare dinner on medium excessive. Place a little bit of unsalted butter within the skillet and sprinkle a heavy quantity of blackening seasoning on one aspect of a fillet and place it seasoned aspect down into the skillet, then season the highest of the fillet. That is greatest finished outdoors as a result of even on medium excessive there might be smoke. Enable the fillets to prepare dinner about 5 minutes after which flip them and brown the opposite aspect for about the identical size of time. Simply earlier than eradicating the fillets, flip the warmth up a bit and brown the surface of the fillets. This types a tasty crust and the warmth provides a little bit of taste to the seasonings. Squeeze a little bit of lemon on the fillets and dig in.
CATFISH TACOS: For years, I used to be gradual to heat as much as the thought of fish tacos however as soon as I began cooking them, they’ve change into a staple. Fish tacos could be created from nearly any fish, both blackened or fried. Regardless which you select, the tip end result might be chunks of fish moderately than giant items. Recent shredded cabbage goes effectively with fish tacos and I at all times serve both type with a beneficiant quantity of pico with somewhat recent lime juice. Most folk favor corn tortillas for fish tacos, simply be sure and purchase the great ones that maintain collectively and hold the substances intact.
CATFISH STEW: My good friend, Danny Hood, lives in South Carolina the place catfish stew is huge. I haven’t tried Danny’s recipe but nevertheless it’s on the agenda quickly. There are various variations to this recipe however Danny is a superb prepare dinner and I’m making an attempt his recipe first.
INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 to 2 kilos catfish fillets, 4 cups water, 3 slices lean bacon, 1 chopped onion, 2 giant potatoes reduce into ½ inch cubes, 3 tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes, 8 oz. can tomato sauce, 1 tbs. minced basil, 1 tbs. thyme, a bay leaf, 2 teaspoons pink wine vinegar, ½ cup spicy catsup or common catsup with scorching sauce added and salt and pepper to style.
Put catfish in water in a big pot. Slowly deliver to a boil, after which cut back warmth to medium-low. Partially cowl the pot and simmer till meat is tender and opaque, about 20 minutes. Take away pot from warmth, and carry fish from broth to chill, reserve the broth. After it’s cooled, break the fish into small items. In a big pot or sauce pan, sauté the bacon till crispy. Take away, drain on a paper towel and break into small items. Add onion to the pan drippings and sauté for 3 minutes. Add reserved broth and bacon, potatoes, tomatoes, tomato sauce, herbs, vinegar and bay leaf. Cowl pot and simmer till potatoes are simply tender. Combine in cooked catfish, ketchup, salt and pepper, warmth and eat!