More fish than I wanted to eat

Published 8:15 pm Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I have said it before and mostly likely will be able to say it several more times, but it is hot.

Some of these days remind me of what folks say about desert heat. It is almost too hot to breathe. But breathing we will do to keep on living and thus keep on fishing.

My fishing has come to a slow down, and I am listening to what other folks are saying. A cooler-than-average day is what I am looking for and August doesn’t seem like the month for that to happen. We had a longer lasting winter than usual and hope than we won’t have a longer summer than normal.

Email newsletter signup

We have been watching the electrical usage this summer with all the heat and trying to do things to conserve energy. So far things have been working out and saving a little money. Not enough to retire, but maybe go out to dinner once in awhile. When we go out to eat fish, it is usually to a place that serves saltwater fish.

I am not much of a saltwater fisherman, so we usually order something from the sea or Gulf for most of us. I figure that I can catch most any freshwater fish that we want to eat, so why order and pay for them.

My dad would give us a hard look and then wonder out loud why we would order any kind of fish when we all went out. His reasoning was we had those in the freezer at home. That was true, but we seldom had fish at home because he didn’t like to eat fish. Would have gone fishing everyday of his life, but didn’t like fish.

We had fish when we had company. He would break out the fish cooker, and it was a big production. Fried fish and all the stuff that went with it to make a big meal. Not eating fish he would fry himself several pieces of fried chicken before the fish got to going. I know we didn’t get to eat fish as much as some other folks did while we were growing up, but there is no doubt about it, we got to go fishing as much as anyone, grown-ups or kids.

As kids we had rather not participate in the dressing of the fish, but we had to because we went fishing and caught some of the fish. Even if we didn’t get a bite, we cleaned fish because we went on the fishing trip.

Catfish eat about as good as any fish that swims. Sometimes we would have a hundred or better of channel catfish to dress. He had a system and didn’t really take as long as one might think to clean a hundred or even close to 200 catfish.

We had several No. 3 tubs. The first thing to do was break off all the sharp fins and throw the processed fish in a tub. Next we would cut the skin around the bone behind the gills, cutting on both sides. Then the pulling of the skin started. In three or four swipes, the skin was off the fish and it was ready to lose his head and insides. The last one or two steps found the fish in a big dish pan and then they were washed thoroughly. Then they were packaged and put in the freezer to give to friends or to await company and frying.

I would have to be more than good, more than lucky, to catch that many fish today. It is done, but not often at all.

If I were to eat fried catfish like that in those quantities, it would mean another trip to the doctor and probably another trip under the knife.

Fried foods is something I have done without for so long that I really don’t miss it and fried foods don’t taste nearly as good as they did a few years ago.

I’ll be the first to admit that the grilled and broiled fish don’t taste as good as the fried ones once did. But I don’t feel my arteries clogging up as I breathe. They may be still doing it, but I don’t feel it happening.