Letter: On the hunt for catfish

Dear editor,

Much has been written about the invasive blue catfish in the Bay, but I’m not finding any information on where to actually buy the catfish if you’re a consumer. I don’t know the first thing about how to purchase seafood from a local waterman. And now that Annapolis Seafood Market has closed, my only source of local knowledge is gone. Any advice on where we can buy the fish fresh or frozen for those of us who are interested in preparing the fish at home?

Thanks! 

–Andrea

We turned to Chesapeake Bay Magazine’s John Page Williams for an answer to Andrea’s question.

Dear Andrea,

I believe that Whole Foods in the Annapolis Town Center sells blue cat fillets. Congressional Seafood and ProFish in Jessup (wholesalers) may be able to tell Ms. Lee about other suppliers. All of the Clyde’s restaurants offer blue cat dishes, and some Annapolis eateries do periodically (the Boatyard’s Fish Tacos used to contain blue cats, but not sure now). Thank you for your interest. Nothing at all wrong with fresh, local fillets at reasonable prices…

The blue cat fishery provides good jobs for local watermen from the Upper Bay all the way down to the James River on both sides and is regulated by the USDA and the state health departments. The fillets are fresh, tasty, adaptable, and generally less expensive than other finfish fillets that come from further away.

Best,

John Page Williams, Editor-at-Large, Chesapeake Bay Magazine

Editor’s note: I have also heard that blue catfish can sometimes be found at Grauls and some Giant Food stores, and restaurants Eastport Kitchen, Preserve, Hellas and Carrol’s Creek occasionally put blue cats on their menus. Know of others? Send us a message: [email protected]