From the Author
Phillips: I don't know what our economy will looklike in the future, but right now times are hard. Families have to look forways to save money and buy groceries. Because catfish are readily available inalmost every lake, river, creek, pond or any-other body of water, catfishingprovides fun and inexpensive recreational time for fishermen and theirfamilies. Too, by catching catfish and eating them, you really can save on yourgrocery bill.
Question: In some areas, catfish have an off-flavor,and some catfish taste very fishy. How do you solve that problem with thecatfish you eat?
Phillips: I used to catch catfish in backwatersloughs and swamp holes in the Tombigbee River swamps in west/central Alabamanear my family's hunting club and the University of West Alabama where Igraduated. Because these dead-looking lakes and ponds contained so much leafdebris on their bottoms, and many of these leaves were from oak trees, thewater had a tannic color, and the fish had a tannic-acid taste. Here's thetrick to eating any type of off-flavored fish:
- Cut the fish fillets into 1-inch chunks, and put the chunks in an ice chest. Cover the chunks with 7Up, Sprite or any-other type of lemon-lime soda.
- Pour a big bag of ice on top of the soda, so that you have a 2- or 3-inch layer of ice.
Within 3 or 4 hours, the lemon-lime soda will pull theoff-flavor out of the catfish chunks and replace it with a sweet taste. If Ihave really-strong-tasting catfish or very-large catfish, I may let the chunkssit in this mixture overnight. Wash the chunks off, and keep them in ice wateruntil you batter and fry them. All the off-flavor will be gone.