A couple of years ago, we stocked our farm pond with catfish, bluegill, and largemouth bass. My husband had visions of going fishing in the evenings after work with the kids.
The year after we stocked the pond, we tried over and over to catch fish. Never got a single nibble.
My husband thought that perhaps a turtle had eaten the fingerlings.
Several months ago we had a massive rainstorm. The farm pond has an overflow point, and the excess water runs over a sort of spillway and down a slope. The rainstorm dumped a ton of water on our place and lots of water ran down the slope.
The kids and I were out in that pasture that day and we noticed that in every shallow puddle where there was a hump in the field there were young fish. Some of them were barely covered by the water, but most of them were alive! They were 4-5 inches in length, most of them bluegill.
So there were fish in that pond!
Not too long after, my husband grabbed his fishing pole and took two of the kids to the pond to fish.
He found some grubs in the garden that he used for bait and cast out a line.
Not ten minutes later, he’d hooked a 22 inch catfish.
It was already after supper that night, but he and the kids cleaned that guy and the next night, we had catfish from our own pond for dinner.
Here’s how I prepare it.
Fried Catfish Recipe
- 1-2 pounds catfish fillets
- Cornmeal, about a half cup
- Oil or fat for frying (I use lard)
Heat the oil in a large skillet to medium heat. This is important. Cold oil means that your fish will be greasy and more likely to stick to the pan.
On a dinner plate, dump your cornmeal. Salt it well, using about a half a teaspoon. Add a generous dash of pepper and stir it all up with a fork.
Rinse your fillets well and roll them in the cornmeal mixture until they are completely coated.
Gently place the fillets in the pan. They should sizzle, but not smoke or pop. Cook them about 5 minutes on each side, until the breading is well browned and crispy.
Drain on paper towels. Poke a fork in very thick fillets to make sure that they were fully cooked. If the fish doesn’t flake easily, just pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes to make sure that they are cooked.