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#426231 - 10/09/15 08:58 PM BC or CC for the table?
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I recently had a brief exchange with Snakebite in another thread that has started me wondering. With CC much over 3 pounds, you start to get that fatty yellow meat in the fillets, especially in males, that I discard do to the taste. Snakebite pointed out that BC and FHC do not have that yellow meat issue. I am raising catfish for the table. Would I be better off raising BC since my intention is to harvest all? Could I let the BC go to maybe 4 to 5 pounds instead of 2 to 3 like I do my CC now. Do 5 pound BC taste as good as a 3 pound CC? I know BC can be a more formidable predator but the intention is to harvest them, not go for a trophy.

Anybody got any experience they can share on stocking BC as a put and take for the table?


Edited by Bill D. (10/09/15 09:32 PM)
Edit Reason: Typo
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#426242 - 10/10/15 12:13 AM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1456
Loc: East Texas, USA
Bill, I am sure no expert on catfish, but people who are have told me there is nothing better than FHC. BC are good, as are CC, but FHC ranks at the top.

Unfortunately, I suspect FHC are probably the hardest to find for stocking. Also, more info is out there about how to raise CC or even BC.
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#426246 - 10/10/15 08:18 AM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: anthropic]
Snakebite Offline


Registered: 06/02/13
Posts: 525
Loc: TN, Lakeland
Originally Posted By: anthropic
Bill, I am sure no expert on catfish, but people who are have told me there is nothing better than FHC. BC are good, as are CC, but FHC ranks at the top.

Unfortunately, I suspect FHC are probably the hardest to find for stocking. Also, more info is out there about how to raise CC or even BC.


Completely agree. FHC most folks don't know you can cut the belly off and it's the softest tender fish meat I've ever tasted. Here is a picture of a larger BC we caught a few years back, notice how white the meat is. With this a catfish this size we cube the meat and soak in salt water before vacuum sealing.


Here are bags of FHC fillets. Vacuum sealed front left is the belly meat. So tender and great color on these fish.



Edited by Snakebite (10/10/15 08:32 AM)
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#426276 - 10/10/15 08:27 PM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Those are some nice looking fillets Snakebite! I am still looking for an answer though on would BC be a better put and take than CC to allow a larger harvest size? I am thinking there must be a reason everybody seems to stock CC for that purpose and not BC.

Anybody got an opinion?
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#426277 - 10/10/15 08:34 PM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
sprkplug Offline
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I think the reason is due to availability. CC are generally easier to get hold of than BC. Those of us on the forum know to search out the species we desire, but the majority of folks simply buy what the closest hatchery or fish truck has to offer....and that's most often CC.
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#426279 - 10/10/15 08:50 PM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Sparkie,

I think you are most likely right. If I decided I wanted to try BC for my 2017 harvest (already ordered CC to stock this fall for 2016 harvest), I have no idea where I could get the BC fingerlings to stock!
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#426283 - 10/10/15 09:53 PM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Snakebite]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1456
Loc: East Texas, USA
Wow, snakebite, those are some awesome fillets!

Is there some reason why hardly anybody (nobody I know of, for sure) tries to stock and raise FHC? Anybody know?
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#426284 - 10/10/15 10:03 PM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: anthropic]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: anthropic
...
Is there some reason why hardly anybody (nobody I know of, for sure) tries to stock and raise FHC? Anybody know?


I don't know for sure but I suspect it is because there is no guarantee you can catch them when you want. IIRC FHC have the largest mouth gap of any fresh water fish in the US and can wipe out your puddle if given a chance. That's why I am exploring BC instead. Seems like the middle of the road to me between FHC and CC and still get rid of the yellow meat.

IIRC Sprkplug has a large FHC in one of his ponds. Maybe he can provide some insight.


Edited by Bill D. (10/10/15 10:12 PM)
Edit Reason: Typo
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#426291 - 10/11/15 07:10 AM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
NEDOC Offline
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Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 811
Loc: SC Nebraska
Bill, let me know how the BC goes. I just put in 150 BC into my catfishery and I'm hoping to get another 500 next spring. Like mentioned above, they aren't easy to find and I'm planning to drive all the way to Texas to get some. Although there are some at Osage Catfish in Osage, Mo. Good luck with them.
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#426300 - 10/11/15 09:15 AM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
Snakebite Offline


Registered: 06/02/13
Posts: 525
Loc: TN, Lakeland
Bill you may see if anyone here that has stock the HBC (hybrid blue cat), mix of a CC and BC. I am curious if that fish has less yellow meat or any at all.

I suspect people may not stock FHC because of availability and they do prey on possibly other desired fish.

I have recieved a call from my uncle, he stated he had jugged a monster FHC out of our deep crappie pond. Wouldn't tell me size, but said I needed to come see ASAP so I'll head 3 hours north tomorrow.
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#426301 - 10/11/15 09:22 AM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Snakebite]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: Snakebite
Bill you may see if anyone here that has stock the HBC (hybrid blue cat), mix of a CC and BC. I am curious if that fish has less yellow meat or any at all.

I suspect people may not stock FHC because of availability and they do prey on possibly other desired fish.

I have recieved a call from my uncle, he stated he had jugged a monster FHC out of our deep crappie pond. Wouldn't tell me size, but said I needed to come see ASAP so I'll head 3 hours north tomorrow.


I would definitely give the HBC a try if I can find a source.

Don't forget to post a pic of that monster FHC once you get one! smile
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#426436 - 10/12/15 08:06 PM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Does anybody know where I might find BC or Hybrid BC, either in or delivered to, Illinois?
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#426469 - 10/13/15 01:26 AM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
esshup Offline
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Give Rex (Rainman) a shout.
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#426576 - 10/13/15 08:30 PM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
Rainman Offline
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Bill, I was close to you in El Paso delivering Hybrid Black Crappie
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#426578 - 10/13/15 08:56 PM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Hey Rex,

Just came up with the BC thought thanks to Snakebite. As we discussed not too long ago, I would also like to get a few HSB from you just for fun. I know it is a long haul for you and you graciously offered to let me buy quantities that better fit my little puddle than your usual minimums. Nothing I would like more than to meet you in person and buy you a burger. Just trying to pull together an order that gets the most bang for the buck cause you can't make that long haul for free. What do you think about stocking BC instead of CC for table fare? Any other thoughts on something cool I could stock that you can get yer hands on?

Bill D.
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#426583 - 10/13/15 09:27 PM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5688
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
I know that the thread has been somewhat hijacked, but I do have some ideas on pond-to-plate catfish.

Over about a decade on this site, many have had to hear about my love/hatred view of catfish.

It all really boils down to what our good friend Bill Cody is so famous for saying "it all depends ...."

My ponds are for personal and family enjoyment, neighborhood fish frys, and to provide habitat for everything from amobea to big warm-blooded critters like deer, bear, and humans.

My friends and family love catching and eating catish. Good or bad, our main pond has a self sustaining white (not albino) catfish population. They are actually more closely related to the bullhead family, but they look a lot like channel catfish. They just don't get real big. We regularly harvest 16-20 inch white catfish. They reproduce in ponds, but predators like largemouth bass, striped bass, and even large channel cats keep them well controlled.

We've slowly gotten rid of "monster" catfish from our ponds because of all the problems they brought to our ponds.

That doesn't mean others shouldn't be discouraged from such experiences.
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#426586 - 10/13/15 09:36 PM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Hey Ken,

I have never heard of white catfish. Can you provide any details? They sound perfect!
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#426608 - 10/14/15 08:15 AM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
Snakebite Offline


Registered: 06/02/13
Posts: 525
Loc: TN, Lakeland
Bill D it took me a extra day to make the trip. It was well worth it a new property record 54lbs. I asked why the fins were so red. My uncle said it could of been from the cattle livewell or him adding frozen milk jugs throught the day.



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#426667 - 10/14/15 05:45 PM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
Rainman Offline
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Registered: 06/06/07
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Loc: St Louis, MO area
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Hey Rex,

Just came up with the BC thought thanks to Snakebite. As we discussed not too long ago, I would also like to get a few HSB from you just for fun. I know it is a long haul for you and you graciously offered to let me buy quantities that better fit my little puddle than your usual minimums. Nothing I would like more than to meet you in person and buy you a burger. Just trying to pull together an order that gets the most bang for the buck cause you can't make that long haul for free. What do you think about stocking BC instead of CC for table fare? Any other thoughts on something cool I could stock that you can get yer hands on?

Bill D.


HSB were on the truck also. I can always make it your way if you're not in a hurry.

Unless Bill Cody or Catmandoo are frying up Yellow Perch or Walleye, I don't like eating fish.

Only about 20-30 Hybrid Black Crappie in your small pond. A few each of Walleye and CC, with about 20 Yellow Perch and 10 HSB would be fun also.


Edited by Rainman (10/14/15 05:52 PM)
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#426668 - 10/14/15 06:00 PM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Snakebite]
Rainman Offline
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Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 6976
Loc: St Louis, MO area
Originally Posted By: Snakebite
Bill you may see if anyone here that has stock the HBC (hybrid blue cat), mix of a CC and BC. I am curious if that fish has less yellow meat or any at all.

I suspect people may not stock FHC because of availability and they do prey on possibly other desired fish.

I have recieved a call from my uncle, he stated he had jugged a monster FHC out of our deep crappie pond. Wouldn't tell me size, but said I needed to come see ASAP so I'll head 3 hours north tomorrow.


I can pick up Hybrid Blue Cats in the spring with my Tilapia. Many Catfish farms only use Channel/Blue hybrids now....faster growing and more consistent on size. The Hybrid fingerlings are usually 8" and emaciated, since catfish farms buy by the pound and like lots of fish per pound.


Edited by Rainman (10/14/15 06:01 PM)
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#426675 - 10/14/15 08:12 PM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Can you get the HBC in the fall? Pond will be full of CC (I consider 25 full) during the summer until September next year when I will harvest them. I only gently fished the pond this summer as it is only year two and time was an issue as well. My plan is to harvest heavier next summer and should have a feel by fall 2016 for my predator vs forage situation so I can, hopefully, make a more informed stocking decision.

Do HBC reproduce?

Edit: 10 WE 6 to 8 going in this fall


Edited by Bill D. (10/14/15 08:16 PM)
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#426735 - 10/15/15 09:51 AM Re: BC or CC for the table? [Re: Bill D.]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
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Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Hey Ken,

I have never heard of white catfish. Can you provide any details? They sound perfect!


Bill,

Here are two good links that describe them well:

Maryland Fish Facts - White Catfish

Here is another good description: Virginia Tech University White Catfish Virtual Aquarium

They can be a little difficult to find from fish dealers. I got mine accidentally from a local fish farm in a batch of channel cats.

A few years later I thought my channel cats were reproducing in my pond. I put up a picture of a fish that I knew was too small to have been stocked. Travis (CJBS) identified it as a white catfish.

I continue to catch them. They reproduce in my pond, but they have never become a problem. I've added several to one of my other ponds.

I really like the white catfish. They are actually "bullheads" but they generally don't over populate. They don't become overgrown pests like channel cats -- and bigger cats like blues and flatheads. They get to a perfect size of 2-3 lbs., and don't seem to become hook shy like channel cats.

They are a little difficult to distinguish when compared to channel cats. As adults in the 18-24 inch range, the white catfish have larger heads compared to channel cats. The white catfish tail is not quite as forked as on a channel catfish. The picture below is pretty good, but in real life, it is really difficult to casually distinguish the difference between an 18 inch white catfish from an 18 inch channel cat.



The best way to determine the difference is by counting the number of rays in the anal fin. White catfish have 19-23 rays in their anal fin. Channel catfish have 24-30 rays in their anal fin. The white catfish have more white whiskers than channel cats, but at least to my eyes, that really becomes subjective unless you have the two types side by side.




Edited by catmandoo (10/15/15 09:54 AM)
Edit Reason: Correcting grammar
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