Since buying the property I have been seeing large floaters in the water. Some are over two feet long! I had been told that they were snapping turtles, but I could never see them. Trying to get closer only caused the shadowy shapes to dive down deeper.
Do you see those scary dark spots in the water? Do you think they are snapping turtles?
Sunday afternoon I tried a different tactic. I walked very slowly, and cautiously to the pond. I stopped and waited several times for the shadows to resurface and then put my tripod up in the shade. Being in the shade masked me, but the awesome part was when the slanty light finally revealed the mystery.
I went hunting,
What did I see?
I saw a big Catfish
Looking at me!
So happy there are no snapping turtles to bite the feet of my geese!
46 thoughts on “The Mystery is Solved!”
I think those ‘catfish’ look worse than turtles.
At first, I thought the long shapes in the first photo were eels, but as you say, the other two photos show the catfish quite clearly.
Can you eat catfish?
Yes, you can Victoria. I haven’t eaten it for years, but I remember it being very good. It is also supposed to be high protein and also high in Omega 3!
Most every recipe I have found for it is FRIED! Seems like that would mitigate to wholesome aspects of eating the fish. I will have to experiment when we get up there permanently. 😉
LOL, I knew it, soon as I saw they were fish-shaped! Can you say “Blackened Catfish”? Nom, nom!! My Mom has Mudcat (Mud Pout/Barbotte) in the pond at the farm… Lots of interesting stuff here (including how to clean ’em; )
From the back porch they were not so easily defined. This Sunday, having snuck up on them, I could see they were long and not round. Thanks for the link, Deb!
That is one BIG catfish! Oooh boy, let’s go fishin’!
They are big, Pam! Do you know how to cook catfish? I sure don’t! Though I guess I’ll learn soon enough! 😉
Oh goody!! Catfish are wonderful to eat. I pan fry them. I love your photos! You must have been super sneaky!
Lori, it took me about 20 minutes to get from the bridge to the east side of the pond. I think they feel the vibrations of my footsteps!
Ha ha!! fantastic and what an excellent shot, do they have whiskers? and they must be huge!! Thank goodness they are not snapping turtles, they sound scary.. c
Celi, if the water wasn’t acting as a lens and magnifying them, I estimate this one at 1.5 feet. And yes, they do have whiskers! I read they use them to aid them in foraging at the ponds bottom. There is an old saying about Snapping turtles that I learned years ago:
When snapping turtles bite they won’t let go until it thunders!
Amazing creatures aren’t they, Julie?
Whew! I was waiting for the Loch Ness Monster to emerge!
Bill, not the same, but to my mind scarier, there are reports of Cottonmouth, Water Moccasin and Copperhead in our neck of the woods! Though I have yet to see anything but Black snakes (aka: Rat/Chicken snake) and am I thankful for that!
I would be too! Even non-poisonous snakes give me the creeps!
Scary. If you see catfish on a slab in the fishmongers, they are really ugly.
I thought you were going to say baby crocodiles!
Viv, the alligators don’t live this far north thank goodness! Yes, Catfish are ugly, aren’t they? However, in the water they are unbelievably graceful!
We sort of steam them with certain sauce back home and its really nice if they are fresh. If its got a muddy taste because of living in a pond then use plenty of ginger.
Justin, I have had steamed fish served in a broth at our favorite Thai restaurant in California. It had lots of ginger and a bit of lemongrass in it. Something like that?
When we first got the place there was a big bag of catfish food up on the bank in an old chest. They LOVE it! Maybe they don’t taste muddy if they are fed the food? I hope! Guess I will need to buy more fish food! 😉
Yes, the thing with fish tasting muddy is when they come from a pond where the water don’t flow much. On one episode of the River Cottage, Hugh attempted to wash out the muddy taste of a fish he caught from his landlord’s pond by putting the fish in a bath tub, with fresh water flowing in and out from the waterfall/river for a few days. Its more of a habitat thingy.
Good to know, Justin, and thank you for sharing with me! 🙂
Well deduced dear Sherlock! Much nicer neighbours 😉
Thank you, Annie, and I agree!
Come to think of it, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen catfish on a menu that wasn’t fried – not the healthiest, but I love Cracker Barrel’s fried catfish.
Glad the mystery is solved.
Same here, Lillian. I will have to investigate to find healthier ways to prepare catfish… or come up with my own recipes! 😀
What a gift! Get a line in the water. 😉
I think so too! 😀
Lynda I thought it was the Loch Ness monster… I think they are quite pretty only if there are no other fishes in the pond…
You are not the only one to think that, you know! 😉
Catfish are definitely better than snappers! Although I think I’d prefer snapper soup to fried catfish 🙂
Becca, I’ve never had the snapper soup, and it has been a long time since I had the catfish. So I don’t really remember the actual taste, only that I liked it at the time. 😀
It looks like you’ve got some whoppers in that pond! Catfish are mighty good eating. Just saying…
We shall see, but first I need to buy a fishin’ pole! 😉
And what do they like for bait?
Catfish hunt by smell (rather than my motion) and they are bottom-feeders. So casting and reeling is not the best way to fish for them. You can use things like cheese balls, dough balls, bread, or any cheap meat (pieces of hot dogs or baloney). Some people insist that chicken necks are the best bait. You can also buy specially made catfish bait at any tackle shop.
Thank you, Bill!
Glad you’ve got them identified! Just remember – sometimes it doesn’t make any difference what you catch or how you cook it!
Perhaps so, thanks, Linda!
The geese will be pleased!
I imagine so! Can’t say as I would like my toes nibbled on! LOL!
I love that you snuck around the pond to figure out the floaters were catfish! Nicely done!
Thanks, LB! 😀
The swimmers were swimming
And they were looking too.
What did they manage to see?
Naturally they saw you.
They looked and were not afraid. Making friends with a fish takes time and stealth!
Thank you for the original rhyme, Steve! I’m afraid I stole my rhyme from a children’s book by Sue Williams entitled, I Went Walking. It is a darling children’s book…
BTW, of all of the recordings of this children’s book on Youtube, I thought this one was the least annoying! For the wee ones the music was kinda catchy too. 😉
I’m afraid my knowledge of children’s books wouldn’t even fill a mouse’s thimble—assuming mice used thimbles.
I figured, and because I was once a teacher, I’ve shared with you.
BTW, in one of Beatrice Potter’s lovely stories, The Tailor of Gloucester, there is actually a mouse tailor, and he uses a thimble and many other fine tools to help out the main character when he is too ill to finish a royal commission on time. 😉
(I love children’s literature.)