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Thread: Best size catfish to eat

  1. #1

    Default Best size catfish to eat

    I'm a relatively new fisherman--been seriously fishing since 2019.

    I moved to Tennessee and am interested in getting into the catfishin game after spending a season almost exclusively learning to trout fish.

    What's a good eater size? Also, if there's any east TN folk around, where is the best place to fish where the cats won't have high levels of Mercury or PCBs in them? I don't see a TWRA warning at Douglas Lake--So, I may try there.

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Victoria, Texas


    In Texas, the lower length limit is 12". So, with that in mind, Catfish are best to eat when they are 12.1" and up...

    Seriously though a two-three pounder makes great filets and a good chunk of belly meat too. For frying whole I like a 1 - 1.5 pounder. Years ago there was a retired Priest that lived next door to my parents. He liked to take the filleted backbone of catfish and fry it till crispy. He loved that.


  3. #3
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Central Indiana


    Check with your Tennessee Fish and Game. Most states do testing of fish in various waterways to determine safe levels of consumption. Your state should have a chart telling you which waterways and which specie are safe to consume and at what levels.


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