Gut Rumbles
 

July 06, 2008

Catfish

Originally published April 30, 2005

I like to fish. I am NOT a Bill Dance kind of fisherman and I doubt that I'll ever win a tournament among really good competetors. In fact, my idea of a good day fishing is to sit in a boat and drink beer with my shirt off while I enjoy the sunshine. If I catch some fish, that's fine. If I DON'T catch any fish, that's fine, too.

I've caught a lot of bream around here where I live. Worms or crickets make good bait, but I've seen bream bite on bread-balls, too, if you get into a hungry swarm of them. If you catch them "bedding," you can tear their asses up.

"Bedding" is when the female lays her eggs on the river bottom and the male comes around to squirt his manly juices all over them. They don't have face-to-face sex. The female just lays a few thousand unfertilized eggs and the male swims by to fertilize them. And he won't swim away, either, as long as he still has a stirring in his fishy loins. (Do fish have loins?)

Catch a male bream during the bedding and he feels like he's been greased with vasoline. He'll also jet a stream of cum all over the place while you're trying to get the hook out of his mouth. Those fish are totally hormone-driven at that time of year. Some of the redbreast and bluegills are damn near as big as a dinner plate, too.

Bream are bony fish, but I believe that they are delicious pan-fried. I've learned to pick out the bones and enjoy the fish. Just gut 'em, scale 'em and cut off the heads. They are ready to cook.

But my FAVORITE fresh-water catch is catfish. I usually use chicken livers or some other really funky bait for them, but I don't think the bait really matters. A catfish will eat anything. Just bait your hook and put enough weight on it to make it sink to the bottom. A catfish will find it there.

Once you catch one, the fun really begins. You can't just grab a catfish in your bare hands the way you would would a bream. That cat has barbs behind his gills and he'll throw those razor-blade-like contraptions out as soon as you haul him out of the water. Getting a catfish off your hook without being cut or stabbed is a delicate art. I've seen a lot of blood in a boat from someone mishandling a catfish.

After you catch them, you've got some work to do. Catfish have SKIN, not scales on them. I used to nail their heads to a tree, cut all around the head and then use a set of needle-nosed pliers to pull the skin offa them. After that, gut them, cut the head off and cook them.

You end up with delicious, tender, white fish-meat, with very few bones in it. Breaded and fried, they are incredibly good. For a turd-wrestler, a catfish makes good eating. When I pooted around running a trot-line, I caught as many as fifty in a single day.

You wanna fuck with a rookie over some catfish? Just tell him to stick his hand in the cooler and haul out a fish. He'll get cut by one of those slashing barbs and damn near pull back a nub where his hand once was. I once saw a guy get his foot stuck to the bottom of the boat when he dropped a catfish when the barbs were out.

The fish landed on his foot and one of the fins went clean through his flesh and penetrated the bottom of the boat. He was stuck there as if he had been nailed. What really made it funny was the fact that he was demonstrating a home-made catfish de-hooker at the time. It was a device he made out of a coathanger.

"You just run this loop down the line, find the hook, then twist like this... and... BEJUS! GODDAM! OY, OY OY!"

Actually, his invention was a good one. I have one of my own and I have used it many a time. I like to catch catfish. I just try never to drop one on my bare foot. And I keep a pair of work gloves in my tackle box, just in case.

You ever done much fishing for catfish?

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