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Would You Eat This?

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Fishing has been fantastic this spring on the river I'm at up in Mora. Big gills, along with 3-4 Lb Catfish and Sheepshead.

Would you fry up the Catfish this time of year? I've never cleaned one before. How about smoking the Sheepshead? I kind of hate throwing roughfish back in the water. Maybe just conk the sheepshead on the head and let the Eagles go to town?

What should I do?

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Think this post about sheepshead was one of my first ever in the cooking forum....it is in the smoked library so knew where it was. Also did one on catfish, but have no clue where that is...your welcome to go through my post list to find it smile The sheepshead were excellent both smoked and fried. It is truly a flakey whitefish; it is not oily at all, so care does need to given as not to overcook or oversmoke it. Throw it in a mixed bag of crappies and eyeballs and you would not know the difference. As others have mentioned cats out of cool clean water are also very good. Wether filleting or skinning, make sure you get all the silver tissue off and also best to bleed them out before hand. Great deepfried(what isn't), as well as broiled, or even on the grill with some blackened cajun spice. And you can never go wrong with a fish taco......Enjoy!

have a few lakes nearby that have good populations of the fish and for the first time went out and targeted them. i have never been a big fish eater and am not brainwashed by the cult of the walleye gods. having said that i did smoke and deep fry these wink

for the smoker i used a lower salt brine and basted with a mixture of:

1/2 cup oyster sauce

1/4 soy sauce

1/4 cup water

juice of one lime

freshly grated ginger


for the deep fryer i breaded in a corn flour mixture containing

1 cup corn flour

2tsp paprika

2tsp onion powder

1tps garlic powder

1tsp black pepper

1tsp cayanne

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp majoram

then double dipped in an egg wash into crushed fritos/corn chips


i know there is a another thread for walleye fish tacos....but when in doubt as i found my self when serving a unknown fish......this is the ticket!


1 cup sour cream/yogurt

1/2 cup mayo

3 green onions

rip off a hand full of cilantro....chop it up

at least 2 cloves garlic

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp salt

1tsp black pepper

juice of 1/2 to 1 lime

layer fish over a bed of cabbage....add salsa/pica de gallo


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Do yourself a favor and keep those sheepies... just fresh water drum. The same as Redfish (salt water drum) in the Gulf States. Go buy a bottle of Chef Prudhommes Redfish Magic Blackened seasoning and prepare according to the instructions. Remove the blood line down the center of the fillet and the shiney belly meat. The rest of the fillet is very firm white meat.

Back in the hey days of the Red Lake crappies, I started keeping some 3-4 lb sheepies in the spring and blackened them and served them along side the fried crappie fillets... I am not exagerating when I say they disappeared faster than the crappie...

Good Luck!


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Remove the blood line down the center of the fillet and the shiney belly meat. The rest of the fillet is very firm white meat.

Labs is spot on ....same thing for the catfish....especially when you start getting over a couple pounds. Heck, probably good advice on any large fish. Caught plenty of walleyes this spring on bait your dog would not even roll in wink

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I had never eaten catfish until about 8 years ago I was fishing the Red River and accidentally had one that ingested a circle hook. It was about a 4-5 pounder and was bleeding profusely. I said, "what the heck, it is going to die anyway, might as well try to eat it." It was actually pretty good. But, make sure you remove the red meat/fat that lays next to the skin. Anywhere that was left on the meat, it had a very fishy taste. Where we took the time to remove it, it was very good.

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Thanks for all the replies and pics. In a two hour period off the dock on Sunday, I caught 3 Sheepshead, 1 Cat, 1 LM and about 25 gills. It was one of those evey cast kind of a day. Threw everything back but a dozen of the gills which will get fried up tonight. Next time, I'll try carving up a couple of those sheeps and cats.

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