FRIDAY FOOD THING
I’ve had the hankering for fried catfish these past several days, but have been unable to catch any. In itself, this is disconcerting: catfish have always been easy to catch on Lake Gaston. More disconcerting is the $10.99 per pound price tag at the local Food Lion supermarket. Do you suppose they know catfish are hiding out rather than biting?
Catfish are now more expensive than shrimp or rib-eye steak. Imagine that. I remember when no one wanted to catch a catfish because they were considered “trash fish”. I also remember an ex-father-in-law trying to get me interested in catfish farming in the early 70s. He was building several commercial catfish ponds and wanted me to manage them. Back when it cost 35 cents to produce a perfect, 2-pound, corn fed catfish ready for the marketplace. He also wanted me to relocate from Virginia to Mississippi and Louisiana, where he was building the ponds. Are you kidding — move where? Back in those days I told him, “No thanks.”
Back in those days I had better things to do.
Turns out, several years later I was living a couple miles from the Mississippi state line: in Theodore, Alabama, working as chief cameraman for a television station in Mobile. And a couple years after that, Baton Rouge, Louisiana as a PM Magazine story producer — two states now famous for their catfish farms and po boys.
For now, though, I refuse to pay $10.99 per pound for catfish. I have the entire weekend ahead of me and baits in the water. I know the catfish will begin biting soon.
Have a safe Fourth of July holiday.
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Tim says: And when they do start biting, I will sprinkle the fillets with lemon pepper and a dash of Cayenne and toss them on my grill.