Spoonbill Catfish Anyone ever catch one

Gravois Mills, MO(Zone 6a)

I have caught a few one 35 lbs this past summer on a trotline. I have pictures of a 49 lber caught 2 years ago on a wiggle wart while trolling for white bass. computer crashed and the pics are gone but have others hard pic an we need to set up out new Fax, copy scanner. will not do it till we run the ink out of the current printer.

Northern, IN

Iíd love to see that pic of your 49 lber so Iím rooting for that ink to run dry. I link trotlines with river fishing but I can see how it would work great in your Lake. Is the Spoonbill as good an eatin fish as the Blue? Ever pick up a Gar on that rig?

When I lived on a lake, Iíd sometimes tie my open face spinning outfit to the pier baited with a small bluegill and leave it overnight hoping for a LMB but usually only wound up hauling in a big ole Gar the next morning. I would always keep the largest Gar head nailed to a nearby tree and throw the rest back for the turtles to eat.

Indianapolis, IN

Yep,caught 2 out of season on the Ohio River,a fun catch,lot of fun.Had to throw both back.They sure are pretty.Good luck,Our season starts in 2 weeks

Fayetteville, NC(Zone 8a)

I've caught the ugly buggers before too, good fight for a bit. Never kept one thou.
I prefer Blue cats and Flatheads.

Olathe, KS(Zone 6a)

Wow I've never heard of anyone actually getting 1 to bite a hook. We used to snag them at a big river spillway and my buddies used to troll for them. My biggest was just over 55#'s and I've only caught 5 in my life. I've seen a few of them on display at around 100#'s and they were soo huge/prehistoric looking creatures.
I too preffer blue cats and flatheads. Blue cat's mostly as they will work you out HARD. I've hooked a few that literally ran so hard and long, they spooled my reel out of line. Man those were the good old days, I haven't river fished in many years.
Has anyone else snagged for them other than me? I don't think I'd bother even trying these days as it's so much work ripping those huge and heavily wieghted treble hooks in hard enough to snag one.
There are some serious cat fishing guy's that usually fish at the spillway below Truman Lake. They use a custom made remote controlled boat to carry their line 150-200 yards out into the channel where the big cats tend to be. They fish so far out, they use a baloon like bobber bigger than a milk jug so you can see when they get a bite. These guy's are hard core and it's quite a show.
Sorry I got off topic, I just had to tell you as it brought back fond memories. PLEASE let me know if you get on the spoonbills and good luck!

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

I have only caught one. That was down on the Osage before the new dam went in.
At that time we lived near Clinton Mo. That was a 55lb'er. First time I ever went snaggaging. even was useing a borowed rig.. It was from the bank. Hooked it in the tail. Suddenly I was being pulled down the bank, dirt and sand flying from trying to dig my heels in and catch my balance. Quite luckiley I did just before going in. That has been nearly 30 years ago. And yes they are good eating. I was told to keep only the white meat. So we trimed all the individual slabs of the red and the skin. Then cut the slabs into strips. mixed up the spices and flour and deep fat fried them. That was the only fish the kids would eat. Any thing else they would pick at but leave most of it.
Would love to go back and try again, but I think by boat now. And I think I would actually hope for one just a little smaller now. Don't know if I could handle the fight now.LOL " Russ"

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Would have loved to have been there when that fish took off with you. I would have been rolling with laughter and of no help to you. LOL

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Have to admit it probably did look kind of funny. I'm sure though it didn't surpas the surprize on my face.
Still I would like to try again. Would hate to lose a pole and reel but I don't relish the idea of being drug around in the river either, LOL

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I don't know, that sounds like fun to me. LOL.

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

You don't know right off how much a non res. license is now would you??
I'll be 70 by the time the season would start, if that makes any difference.
It has been 28 years since we moved from MO. I don't know if that area is even accesable anymore except by boat. Now that the water has backed up from the dam. probably at least not the same road we used then.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

No, but I can ask one of my brothers and they will know. I'll ask tomorrow. I haven't been down in the Ozarks for a couple of years so i have no idea what is accesible/not accesible anymore. There are lots of changes going on in different places all the time so...

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

Reckon, that yall forgot about your being on the internet, 'ey. (heehee)
(am merely luvinly teasin' ya, folks)

Yep, I been a peekin' in from around the corner .. (lol)

According to the 2006 Missouri booklet - the cost for a non-resident fishing license is $35.00
* For fish, frogs, clams, mussels, turtles, crayfish, and live bait .. to boot!

The 'booklet' is available on-line .. HERE > http://www.mdc.mo.gov/documents/regs/fishsum.pdf

Incidentally, there's also a toll-free tel # provided .. associated to Purchasing Permits, via the dept's computerized point-of-sale system ..

.. allowing you to purchase or replace your permits ..

The Tel # is > 1-800-392-4115

- - -

* THIS web site looks to be a great 'regulation & info' resource for the state of Missouri: the Missouri Dept of Conservation
Welcome to the MDC online Hunting and Fishing Permit web site!
Buying your permit is more convenient than ever before! This new site will allow you quick and easy access to hunting and fishing permits, regulations and other important information about outdoor recreation in Missouri.

> http://www.wildlifelicense.com/mo/index.phphttp://www.wildlifelicense.com/mo/index.php
(not sure if its applies to procuring a non-resident licence tho' .. but I'd not looked very hard, either.)

I'm gonna hafta get over to this forum one day, and share some of our adventures and pics of the big cats (blues & spottys), we've caught hoop nettin'!

Hopin' that some of the links will lend some aid ..

- Magpye

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Thanks Magpye
Just been thinking about maybe trying " one more time" Heh Heh.
Good site. I think the $35. is probably right. as I remember MO. will recip same as IA would., Both DNRs want the money for their state. Oh well Nothing wrong with spending a week or two. Kind of make it worth the permit. LOL

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

My apologies, randbponder/Russ (and others) ..
I got a bit involved in attempting to lend some aid - but, failed to have the decency to comment about any of you folks' wonderful fishing adventures!

Oh pooh, Russ .. you're just now approaching the 'agility test stages' in life. Go, for it !
Jes put your 'floaties' on or wear a dependable life jacket (& keep some cutters real handy)! And even if you don't snag one, or you opt otherwise - jes make sure you enjoy the outing and go visit the area where you once lived! I bet, that if ya looked hard enuff .. you'd recognize more than you may think.

Afraid my reactions would've been most similar to Pepper23's: my legs & arms go completely limp when such 'scenarios' engage my laughter mechanisms! There'd've definitely been TWO folks being interrogated by the authorities .. as to why no aid to rescue was rendered to 'the fisherman' (IF we'd even been able to compose ourselves enuff, by then .. to try to answer!) LOL

Ozarkian ..
Didja ever get your computer fixed .. to enable sharing more of your pictures of the Spoonbill you'd mentioned?
I saw where you'd posted one photo, about a week later .. over on your other thread. Are you back in the running in cyberspace and can scan now, and post more of 'em? Would luv to see 'um ..

Snaggin' a big ol cat on a fishing line .. would have to be an ultimate thrill to experience.

After seeing some of sheer humongus size of the giants in our hoop nets - I lost all interest in ever swimming again! Pulling the nets up with them loaded: especially with a few big'uns in there - was more than any chore. Even with the electric wench, they'd sure pull the boat down. After the hoop nets were pulled up beside the boat, there was still some hardy manual labor & maneuvering from the both of us, to get the net emptied. Definitely earned your pay .. (hee)

Found quickly .. that attempting to harvest any cats above 40#'s, for eating - was pretty much futile. Although we had no problem selling them. The meat always seemed rather grainy tasting and a bit tuff; & no where near as 'flaky' or tender a fillet, as the smaller cats. We tried baking and broiling a few fillets from the heavy-duties, but the same outcome; too grainy. We'd usually release the majority of the lunker-sized catfish.
Had some friends of ours tho' .. that commited us to bringing them a few of the big ones. They'd boil the heads for 'condensing' the fish broth, then add the filets .. for Catfish Couvillion'. Usually prepared large batches for freezing for the big shindigs they'd host for larger community doings and fund raisers.

Welllll, enuff of my ramblin' ..

- Magpye

This message was edited Nov 3, 2006 9:10 AM

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I never understood eating the big fish either. I see huge fish that people catch when they go noodling and there are all of these yellow/gray gross looking spots and I'm thinking that fish cannot taste good. These are the granddaddy's that everyone here's about in fishlore. I prefer the smaller fish myself.

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

Think it's those catfish, in that 8 to 18 # (?) range .. that are the ideal eatin' sizes .. But, ya sometimes settle for whatever you get, also. Especially when ya got one t-riffic hankerin' workin' on ya! .. LOL ..

The ol Coot likes to pick & tease me a bit, sometimes .. about my pre-marriage 'prime' catfish catches!

See .. it wasn't until well after he & I married that I found out, that there was any other 'kind' of catfish - besides the lil feisty delicious mud cat. And they were, most delicious!

When ya never knew of anything any different - heck, just to be able to fry up some fresh catfish, was THE ultimate feeding frenzy, when I was growin' up! (hee) I'd only ever been able to fish in a neighbors small pond, that was the other side of 'bob-wire' fence. Catching several brim and frying 'em up whole, was wonderful .. but being able to snag a few catfish, was tops!! My momma would beam with pride, when I was able to catch' some catfish! Some mitey dandy eatin' ..

My first 'enlightenment' about the 'proper' catfish .. is when we went to set out our first catfish boxes (traps). After dropping a box and staking each to the river bottom .. allow a lil time to pass, go to the camp to warm up a bit, feed our faces on a bloney sammiches .. then, go back to check 'em, in the same order ya set 'em out. That 1st box was about half-fulI, when they lifted the lid. And that's when my 'fishing' iddys crumbled, and I witnessed a most horrific event!

The hubby and son were pitchin' them muddy colored catfish back into the river, as quick they pulled 'em outta the box!! I was beside myself with total shock, and gettin' some upset, and hollered at 'em to demand an answer .. as to what in tarnation did they think they're doing, for petes sake! THAT's CATFISH!! Have ya lost yer minds ?!? ..

Ahh, needless to say ... I kindly nudged my hubby to sit down a minute or two, and explain such outrageous behavior .. and it was carefully splained TO ME, the unadulterated facts of life associated to catching and keepin' .. a 'decent' catfish! And I learned that he'd done this kind of fishing before .. long time ago, and was 'experienced' and knowledgable, about catfish. He continued to try to explain to me .. that mud cats are 'trash' fish, and are not worthy of eating. Sure nuff, the lil blues and spottys he'd been putting over into the well of the boat .. were quite delectable, and a wee more white colored meat. Truly no vast differences enuff to bust my bubbles, 'right away' .. of what deliciousness was, while a kid - but, I could surely learn to eat it and enjoy it, and I did.

However .. to this day, when we're fishing trot lines - if I 'get to' witness a mud cat or two a danglin' on any of the hooks: 'em lil muddy-colored river bottom-dwelling little fishes, always come home with this ol gal for reasons that I'm still not sure anybody'd understand. Filletin' them out, dipping in the cornmeal and layin' 'em gently into that hot oil that's been strained more than a time or two - jes does wonders for my soul. They still give me a purtee pleasing taste in my mouth, and an even dandier feeling in my ol' heart .. to taste and to remember, a healthy chunk of those long bygone days of my precious momma, and her beaming a big ol smile of pride .. accompanied with some mitey fine eatin' of some d-lishus catfish. Won't any blue cat, spotty cat, or any other cat .. fishin' ourselves, or eating at a rest'raunt .. ever lessen my fondness for nor my memories .. of our mud cat 'feasts'.

The coot can eat his share of the ideal sized bluecat and spottycats .. but 'em mud cats, will always have a very special place in my heart, my mind, my plate and my pallette.

Wellllll, I reckon I mite oughta work on quittin' my gettin' so doggone 'mushy' like this .. and on a Friday, no doubt! .. heehee .

And too, I may oughta establish a separate thread, elsewhere .. to post these goofy ol tales. They take up too much room, to boot! (hee) Besides, would be about the most decent thing to do ..

- Magpye

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Well Magpye; That was a heart touching story. We too kept most all we caught. We ate a lot of bullheads. Tho I will admit that when it was up to me I did prefer the speckled chanel cat. There are many people who would turn up their noses at any fish, unless it was purchased from the frozen food part of a store. and had a name like, Orange ruffy or white fish. but to Ugggh catch something from the dirty ol river, uh no way. There are some of the rough fish that I like as well. Just get past the bones. LOL

Olathe, KS(Zone 6a)

Nah Magpye, no need to go creating a newq thread imo. Although there are many people around here that get flat out testy when I get off topic sometimes. I figure screw'em! LOL I mean c'mon, whats the big deal.
I liked your story and I know exactly what your speaking of. I've found those muddy cats can be good eating if you remove that "mud meat" and get to the inner meat thats cleaner lookin.
1 of my old bosses used to cook carp on a smoker and I always swore I'd never eat 1. Well 1 day he brought so fish he smoked over to my shop and we all dug in. For some reason, we didn't ask any questions even though he was notorious for cooking/eating odd meats. Man this huge slab of carp was INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS! He cut these slabs off a 45 pounder and I forget the prep steps he took other than cookin it for almost 24 hours. I'm still floored to this day that carp could/did taste so incredible. I'm glad you made this post and reminded me of this, I'm now motivated enough to hit the pond;)
Thanks, JD

Dewitt, MI(Zone 5b)

YO! Homies, my boo and me ainít rollen deep, sup? Shiiee, I ainít sippinní my forty or getting into my Cavy Sack, just cold-lampiní in my crib. Mo Peeps got to be wonderiní, what tha dilly, yo? 411, just axiní. This is buck wild. Lookiní for the bomb, not bo jangling. Not fronting, me and my G are probly busta white here. Word up? Catfish is wack! Sku me, but gottaí jet.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Mark, did you learn a new language and decide to share it? lol. You been outside for too long?

Dewitt, MI(Zone 5b)

Yo Pepper,


First, thanks for the well wishes on the house.

Yes, I have been outside for too long! I was in a cold Michigan rain off and on today. It sure beat having to go to work, though!

That's no new language. It's been around for many years. They tried to get an OK to teach it in public schools more than a decade ago. Since it seems that anything goes when it comes to butchering the English language I thought I'd practice a bit. Do you know what the name of the language is?

"Although there are many people around here that get flat out testy when I get off topic sometimes. I figure screw'em! LOL I mean c'mon, whats the big deal." :)

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

LOL. Yep, you've been outside for too long. Yes, I've heard the language a bit but don't remember what it's called. My head is filled with the plans for a new garden that's going in at work. It's called a Harvest Garden and I can't wait til its finished. Gonna be awesome!!

I was just thinking...........maybe we could gang up on you and throw you into a freezing pond to finish off the day. LOL. Just kidding. My mind's a little tired now. Lost all of my good comebacks and won't have them til tomorrow.

This message was edited Nov 7, 2006 8:40 PM

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

Thought I'd share this scene from this evenin' with you dedicated fishin' folks, in hopes of encouraging you to give it another go! This gentleman comes as often as he can .. to just sit and fish to his hearts' content. His wife worries about him coming alone .. so she accompanies him, and sits and reads a good book, while he enjoys his favorite past time. She was a wee bit camera shy .. (hee)

This gentleman had himself two rods a going - for Carp! (hee) Never did see him snag anything while we there, to see how the fishin's been with all the rainfall we'd had a couple days ago. If he'd gotten a good enuff mess, I was gonna try to talk him out of one (or two) .. and see if one of you folks, would lend me some honest to goodness hints on preparing carp. Don't recall ever having it before, but there's always a 1st time. .. hee .. Oh well, maybe next time ..


- Magpye

Thumbnail by Magpye

Yo Salt!
Yo Pepper!

Wadup back at yo homies seppin yo be cold-lampiní in yo cribs, just axiní to be axin' a am? a amit how i been jus stopped by to show sum respect to yo all. ya'll need to stop meetin in hard ta fin threads jus because ya'll cant be congregatin likin this wit out me. a nevah git to hang wit no remohse. Shouldn a go get mo homies an bring em ova here ta done flush yo out? Smoocheroonies to yo bot.

Say JLD-

Man this huge slab of carp was INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS! He cut these slabs off a 45 pounder and I forget the prep steps he took other than cookin it for almost 24 hours. I'm still floored to this day that carp could/did taste so incredible.
Any chance you could get your hands on that recipe please? I'm getting my husband a smoker for his birthday in the next few days and we both really like smoked fish. Neither one of us has any experience smoking fish. I bought the smoker at Bass Pro Shops. I sure hope he uses it.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Equil, we don't hide out, you just don't look hard enough!! LOL.

Too tired to look hard for anything other than the shoe the dog takes off with in the morning that matches the other shoe on my foot to be able to get out the door fully clothed to go to work. I actually found out our search engine was working again and stumbled upon this thread because of the smoker I bought my husband. I was looking for catfish recipes. I don't particularly care for catfish as it's too fatty for me and was sort of hoping there were a few decent recipes out there. Oh how I laughed when I saw you two talking teen ganster/rap talk. I must admit I had to expend far too much energy posting the way I did. I think I'll just revert back to me and call it a day and be thankful none of our kids talk like that.

Menasha, WI(Zone 5a)

I'm waiting to see a picture of this fish. It's not the same as a paddlefish is it?

whas crakin Lauren!

Yo bro Al! Wadup back at yo!

I'll pass on the photos but here's hoping someone coughs up some catfish recipes for me for the new smoker.

Speaking of photos, has everyone here seen what an aligator gar looks like? I saw one of those and pretty much believed the person had caught the evil spawn of the Lochness Monster or something. I swear I will NEVER go swimming where that thing was reeled in. I know it won't hurt me but it sure doesn't look as if it couldn't eat me... either that or take of an extremity or something.

Dewitt, MI(Zone 5b)

Yo bigcityal,

Aw-ite they be Paddlefish. Tis buck wild but we keep fishin' 'em da'll bust out.

Menasha, WI(Zone 5a)

I've seen regular gar, dogfish, lauyer(eel pout). Do you need a dogfish sandwhich recipe?

I dount kar whaat yous call dem dey r ugly

No, no need for a dogfish sandwich recipe but thanks for thinking of me.

Dewitt, MI(Zone 5b)

I must break from the current Ebonics speak for a moment.

Eel Pout, Lawyer, Ling Cod, Burbot . . . are ďpoor manís lobsterĒ if you can stand catching, cleaning and cooking the things. I live for fishing (among a few other things) and Iíve tried catching, cleaning and cooking the things. I did well with catching them. I could get as many as I wanted. They already smell and twist around your line, like an eel. Start cleaning them and the smell gets stronger. The smell is VERY nasty. The only meat is from the upper spine area. You get two strips of nice meat. If you had not had to endure the process of catching and cleaning the things they would catch a great market price! Cut into pieces and dipped in a garlic/butter sauce I have to admit that they were FANTASTIC! One problem Ė I remembered the smell. I ate two pieces and have never tried to catch another Burbot since.

Menasha, WI(Zone 5a)

I didn't eat mine, but I have heard they are good. I was more intrigued by what it was after I caught it since I had never seen one before.

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

Equal here is what I use for salmon boned and cut into chunks should work for any fish.

Cut fish into two by four inch or so chunks
soak eight hours into a brine 2 cups salt two cups sugar white or brown in 16 quarts of water .

remove and rinse place on a towel and pat dry let stand two hours or so untill a slight sheen forms and the surface gets sticky to the touch.

put in smoker heat only at low temp 110 degrees for an hour or so then add the smoke and smoke till done .

do not use green wood I like maple dry as a bone. Green wood gives fish a bitter taste. Yes the Indians are famous for smoking fish over open fires with green wood but lol they had open fires.

Do not over smoke depending on the smoker you can get to much smoke on it.

Above all do not get in a hurrry and raise the temp.

Best advice is just start small and experiment .

Thumbnail by eweed
Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

yumm see the barbie

Thumbnail by eweed

Thanks eweed, I'm creating a paper file and printing off what I get my hands on for my husband to sort of slip to him on his birthday.

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

Equal what type smoker did you get one for smoke curing or one for smoke cooking? this method is for smoke curing the difference in the two is smoke curing is done at very low temp for a long time . Smoke cooking is done on high heat like BBQ. The brine method will still work for either I like it because the salt draws all the blood trapped in the tiny vessals.

Another brine method maybe better suited to smoke cooking is .

1cup salt to 6 cups of water soak 30 minutes rinse and pat dry and cover with paper towels pressed down on surface of fish to remove excess water.

Balsmaic vinagar or lemon juice can be added to brine or if smoke cooking sprinkled on top as it cooks. I especially like to baste with a butter lemon combination as it cooks Minced garlic or onion and Baisil or terragon are all twist you can add.

Never done a catfish big ones dont live here much but have done this with lots of different white fish such as halibut,cod,and Albacore and salmon.

Thumbnail by eweed

This is what I bought-

Should I take it back and buy another brand?

I don't think it will accommodate wood. I'm getting the impression I screwed up on the type of smoker I bought. We're not talking a big investment here and I have the receipt. Have you any suggestions for a smoker around $100 but not more than $150? I need it in under one week. Looks to me based on the instructions I am getting for smoking fish that the one I bought is going to be worthless. It had been my intent to purchase a smoker that was a slow smoker.

Dewitt, MI(Zone 5b)


I bought one of them and hated it. So, donít feel bad because I already knew what a good smoker was all about and had known for years.

This is what you want:

I owned one and burned out the electric element after years and years of use. Instead of buying a new element I just bought a new, identical unit. They have a front loading unit that costs about $20.00 more, but Iíve never tried one. I think that Iíd still prefer the top loader, but it looks like itís one of those individual preference decisions.

Little Chief smokers use an electric element (as I said) to maintain an even cooking temperature, which is just above what you need to pasteurize what you are smoking, unless you use the optional cold smoking technique, from what I recall. The element is just warm enough to produce about an hour or two of smoke per pan of wood, that just slides in. It comes with a smoking book with brine recipes for meat, poultry and fish. The book thoroughly explains what brine does to the proteins in meat to prepare it properly for the smoking process. The brine recipes go from simple to elaborate and they recommend which brines to use for whatever you want to smoke. They state that it will smoke 20 to 25 pounds of meat, but Iíd say itís a bit less than that for fish fillets. You probably could hang a 20 pound chunk of Catfish in one if you removed the racks and could find a chunk of Catfish that big! I donít recall a brine for Catfish, but wouldnít have ever looked for one. Iím sure that most of them would work, though. Iíve smoked Whitefish, Salmon, Steelhead and Lake Trout in mine. I prefer Hickory, Apple or Cherry wood chips. They tell you about types of wood in the book, too.

It is a PAIN to clean the racks and drip pan! I donít think that they tell you this, but if you get one spray the drip pan and grates with Pam or something similar before each use. This will save you a LOT of cussing at the sink.

Smoked Catfish for Thanksgiving, huh?

OK, I figured I screwed up big time as soon as I saw some of the directions for smoking in print. I'll go see if Bass Pro Shops has that model above or I will go and order it on line and give him an "I owe you" on his birthday. Thanks for mentioning the Pam, I doubt seriously if either me or my husband would have thought of using it until AFTER we were saddled with a big clean up task.

The recipe book that comes with the unit you suggested sounds like a plus. I'll just go with eweed's directions for the catfish though. He/she has probably already tried the method and it worked so better for us to stick with a process on the catfish that someone has already tried.

Where do I get wood chips from?

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