Fish tale...
Aug 01, 2013 | 995 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I’d gone catfishing a while back at the mouth of Jackass Canyon, which is a few miles up the Colorado River. I caught one three-pound catfish and five others under a pount. I filleted them, soaked the filets 24 hours in salt water, dipped them in egg whites, with a dash of lemon juice, rolled them in Japanese bread crumbs than fried them in olive oil. When done and ready to eat, with the first two bites I knew they were going to require lots of salsa to be able to get it down. Salsa being the high point of the fish.

A fellow fisherman told me, ‘Oh yes, I find this to be very true about the taste.” He says he has found a way to handle the problem. First, find some cherry, peach or apple wood, saw them to the thickness and size of wooden roof shingles, soak in water for two or three days so as not to burn them on the grill, then put them on the grill, mix up a mixture of salsa, brown sugar, lime juice, crushed pineapple, ginger, butter, salt and pepper to taste and place half the mixture on top of the shingles and the other half on the bottom of the fish. When they are all evenly cooked, nice and brown, turn around and scrape them off the shingles to the cats and eat the shingles.

I know that may sound far-fetched, but they may be better than the fish I cooked.

Back in the late 1930s, up until the late ‘50s, the catfish tasted very good from the river, and living along the river as I had, I came to the conclusion that it must be the tamarisk that could be the problem back when there were very few tamarisk. Willows then covered the river banks, which were a haven for green grasshoppers, willow flies and other insects by the millions in the later part of the summer. Who knows what the fish eat now to stay alive.

Some of my best fishing holes were at the bottom of the rapids, but now the daily boat rides drift by and I don’t need that much company at my age. So if I should ever get checked by the Fish and Game, without a license, which I won’t have, if they confiscate my fish I promise the officer I won’t shed a tear.

—Jode White

Moab

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