We Texans love our catfish, and not just fried, sharing a plate next to a hill of crispy cole slaw and a pile of smoking-hot hush puppies – although that’s a pretty good reason.
We love to fish for and catch them – much more so than most other folks in this nation.
A 2009 survey of Texas anglers indicated 56 percent of the state’s million-plus freshwater anglers specifically target catfish on some of their fishing trips. That’s twice the national rate (28 percent) of freshwater anglers who, in a 2006 federal study, reported purposely pursuing catfish.
And we spend a lot of time trying to catch them. Texas anglers who said they prefer to target catfish in the 2009 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department-funded survey reported spending an average of 20 days a year trying to catch them. Texas anglers spend 12 million or so days a year chasing cats.
There are plenty to chase, particularly for anglers in the Houston area.
“We have really outstanding catfish fisheries close to Houston,” said Mark Webb, Bryan-based district fisheries biologist for TPWD’s inland fisheries division. “Lake Conroe is a tremendous catfish lake. So is Lake Houston and Lake Livingston.”