What is the Best Sized Catfish to Eat? (Solved)



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What is the Best Sized Catfish to Eat?

The best size catfish to eat is catfish between 3-6lbs. The general rule is that the younger and smaller the catfish are, the better they will taste and the firmer the meat will be. As catfish get older and larger they have had more opportunities to consume toxins and other things in the water that affect the way the meat tastes.

Catfish are a popular fish to catch, but one must be careful what size they choose to keep and eat. The size of the catfish is important because it determines how healthy and tasty the fish will be. Some people like eating young catfish grilled whereas other people prefer to fry up the monster catfish because there is more meat on them. In this blog post, you will learn why this is and a couple of tricks to preparing tasty catfish.

Are Small Catfish Good To Eat?

Yes, small Catfish are very good to eat as the meat is firm and has a delicious flavor. The smaller catfish are typically 3-6lbs and between 15-24 inches is the ideal size to eat because they are younger and eat a variety of foods. Because of the varied diet of the smaller catfish, their meat tends to be tastier.

what is the best sized catfish to eat

Why Do Smaller Catfish Taste Better?

The age in general of small catfish makes them taste better than larger ones. The age and diet of Catfish help to determine what the fish will ultimately taste like.

The older the fish the more likely it is that they have consumed contaminants or toxins that could be in the water. In addition to the possible way that toxins affect the flavor, age also causes the meat of the fish to be less firm.

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It is a common belief that younger animals taste better because their meat hasn’t become tough from the usage of their muscles or things that they have eaten. The small catfish will stay in the shallow area of the pond or body of water which influences their diet and keeps them from absorbing any toxins that may settle near the bottom of the pond or lake.

Why do Larger Catfish Taste Worse Than Small Catfish?

Larger Catfish specimens tend to taste worse than their smaller counterparts because they have been in the water longer. The older and larger catfish meat tends to get mushy and also can have more of a gamey taste or flavor when prepared.

People refer to this gamey flavor as being or tasting “fishy”. Generally, to avoid this gamey flavor, people will stop eating catfish that larger than 8 pounds. Catfish that are larger than 8lbs are thrown back to live on because their meat will have more of those toxins built up than that of the smaller fish.

Does this mean that you cannot eat larger specimens of Catfish, absolutely not! You can still eat the larger specimens that you catch if you are happy in doing so.

Are Large Catfish Good to Eat?

Yes, large catfish are good to eat if they are prepared the correct way. Small catfish ultimately taste better but large catfish can be soaked in buttermilk, breaded, and fried in a cornmeal batter for a delicious fried catfish dinner. Soaking the larger Catfish filets in buttermilk helps to alleviate the gamey flavor so that you can enjoy your catch.

If you have caught a larger Catfish and want to give it a try, then here is what you do.

Also Read:  Do Channel Catfish Eat Bluegill? (You Will Be Surprised)

Mix together 1/2 cup of buttermilk, 1/2 cup of water, and salt and pepper. Add this mix and your catfish filets into a gallon zip lock bag or into a resealable container. Let the Catfish filets sit in the mix for 30 minutes or so.

Once you have let the catfish filets soak in the buttermilk for 30 minutes, you can put them straight into a cornmeal breading to coat. Coat the fillets in the cornmeal breading, shake off the excess, and then fry until golden brown.

Tip: You do not have to rinse the buttermilk off before breading.

what is the best sized catfish to eat

What Size Catfish Is Too Big?

Catfish that are 10 pounds or more are considered by most to be too large to eat and aren’t worth keeping. This is really a matter of personal opinion as they can still physically be eaten. If you catch one that you want to eat just soak the filets in some buttermilk, coat them with cornmeal and fry them up to golden brown. This will help with the overall flavor of the Catfish.

Can a Catfish Be Too Big to Eat?

No, a catfish cannot be too big to eat. Fishermen do have their personal preferences as to what size of Catfish is too large or what type of Catfish is the best to eat based on experience or what they have been told, however even though a Catfish is too large by one’s standards, ultimately the fish is still edible and can be prepared in a way that makes the meat taste better.

In other countries, large Catfish are eaten all the time as a normal thing. They are caught, clean, and used in various ways to feed the angler’s family. It really depends a lot on how the fish is seasoned, prepared, and cooked on how the fish will taste.

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What Is Considered a Big Catfish?

A big Catfish is anything over 10-12 lbs. which is still considered small compared to the size that Catfish can get. Blue Catfish regularly reach 20-40 lbs. and have been known to grow larger than 100 lbs. These large specimens are crafty and stay in the deeper water which makes it harder for them to be caught.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some of the most asked questions:

What Is the Best Type of Catfish to Eat?

Flathead Catfish is the best type of Catfish to eat as their meat is firm, flaky and delicious. Flathead Catfish are known for having some of the best tasting flesh of all the catfish that can be caught in the United States. There are two other common types of Catfish that are normally eaten, blue catfish, and channel catfish.

Even though Flathead Catfish are the best type to eat you can eat all types of catfish if they are prepared the correct way. Even some of the catfish varieties that get to monster sizes can be good if cleaned, seasoned, and cooked the right way.

what is the best sized catfish to eat

In Conclusion

Catfish are known to be delicious when prepared the right way, but what size of catfish is best? It’s really up to you. We can help you get started with choosing which size of catfish will work for your needs and preferences by giving some suggestions on how to prepare them in different ways. Whether it’s deep-fried or grilled – there’s no wrong answer!

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