Backyard Bayou – Louisiana Catfish

New Orleans! Cultural and culinary epicenter of the entire
south and the birthplace to some of the best restaurants in the entire world and this is
where we begin our journey that your Louisiana Seafood takes from the waters and tributaries
of South Louisiana to your plate. This is Backyard Bayou. And we certainly couldn’t spend a night in
New Orleans without getting the entire crew out for a night of fun on the world famous
Bourbon Street. We on Bourbon right now. Shout out to New Orleans. I’m with my homie right now. I like this guy’s shirt right here. And after a morning felt like it came way too early, We hop into our car and we’re driving 15 miles
outside of the city limits of New Orleans to Lake Borgne. We’re going catch up with Pete who has been
fishing his entire life. For he’s 65. He says he’s been fishing 60 years and he’s
taking us out to do a little long lining. He’s got a pretty interesting story and it
was a pleasure to spend just a part of the day with Pete to see how Louisiana Seafood
shapes his life. I’ve been fishing for the last 50 years basically. Fishing I know for fact on my own for 45 years and we’re in
Lake Borgne which is one of the tributaries to the Breton Sound and the inland waters
of Lake Pontchartrain and this is part of Sportman’s Paradise right here where we’re
at. These long lines were full of fish and it
wasn’t long before we started pulling in some of the biggest fish that I’ve ever seen, but
much to my surprise what we’re trained in North Louisiana to go after the largest fish
that we can, we started throwing back the big ones. That fish is probably somewhere between 15
and 20 years old. No years ago we use to fish and we’d catch
a lot of them. I’m talking 5 or 6 thousand heads a sack and
we used to keep the population down. Since there’s no market value for these gigantic
Bull Drums, we throw them back. We continue our trek to find some of the best
catfish these waters have to offer, but Pete tells me that we need to keep our eye out
for what he calls the money fish, which is the Black Drum and this is one of the highest
grossing fish that he gets out of Lake Borgne. And as impressive as the huge fish that we were
catching were, and the boats, and beautiful waterways of South Louisiana, the most impressive
thing of this trip was the resilience that Pete has as a Louisiana fisherman. This is in my blood. My wife always thought I was crazy. You know, I’ve had some rough times in the
industry. You know, after Andrew, a lot of places we
used to fish catfish down in Sheraton and Franklin area and all of that. You know, I had a friend of mine that had
a catfish house down there and that area was just about decimated completely. All of the Atchafalaya into there was gone. I mean, I knew we had catfish here, so he
came to fish with me here for two years until he came back. Now we fish hoop with the same thing the Indians
fish with. And I still fish hoopnets for catfish, you
know its just you switch from thing to thing when storms hit, but I mean when things get
bad you gotta go to something else. You might want to fish Speckled Trout, which
I still can fish Speckled Trout. I got a permit for it. Right now, they’re impossible to catch with
a pole. You can’t fish Speckled, see I’m a Speckled Trout fisherman,
you go fish something else. You go fish drum, catfish, whatever. You make ends meet, you know? When the going gets tough, what stops you
from giving up? Just being stupid, I guess. You ask anybody in a bind they’ll say the
same damn thing. You know? You got this, its like a gamble. You get this thing in your head, you always
say tomorrow’s going to be a better day, I’m going to pull out next year. Next year is going to be the year. And you do have the years. We have had years when you’re fishing Mullets
where you didn’t catch a Mullet, then you go the next year and you make 90,000 dollars
in three months. So I mean, its like I said, its like a high
roller. You never know what’s going to come up. Now only being 15 miles outside of New Orleans,
we quickly found ourselves with something on the end of the line that I never would
have expected. There is something on the end of this line
right now and I think I see what it is. It is fighting. It does not want to come in the boat and I
don’t want to go out of the boat. We’re going to see who wins. We’re very careful with this guy. See right here, he’s got this long spine is covered
in a fleshy sheath. Those spines, they have channels that go all
the way through the bottom of them that help with that venom delivery. Its the same venom like catfish and that spine
has serrations all down the side like a steak knife stabbing into you so its going to do a
lot more damage coming out than it does going in and it is extremely painful. So after our run in with the Atlantic Stingray,
and we all escaped unscathed, we took a moment to talk to Pete about why its important to
him to purchase Louisiana Seafood. You gotta look at labels. You’ve have to make sure its what you think
you’re eating. Just because you’re buying a Soft Crab in
your restaurant or grocery store, wherever it might be. Its in a case and its got a Louisiana ice
pick sticking over it. That might not be for that product. It might be for the product next to it. It might be a Soft Crab that came out of Mexico. Or it might be Shrimp from Mexico instead
of Louisiana. You know, make sure you’re eating authentic
Louisiana is the big thing I’ve got to say. That’s what we’re known for. This state is known for the best seafood and
that’s because of the Mississippi Delta and if we lose the Delta we don’t have that anymore. We’ll be just like everybody else. As we wrap up our day on the water, I realize that
being a deckhand for Pete may be one of the shortest lived jobs that I’ve ever had. I don’t think we quite cut it as professional
fisherman today. Not a good day. You might have made expenses. Probably not. Now that Pete’s fired the entire crew, which
honestly I don’t blame him one bit, we take our meager days catch back into New Orleans
for it to be processed and packaged. Our journey has taken us here to Harlon’s
LA Fish. This is actually where we get fish for SALT
Restaurant at Shreveport Aquarium. We’re going to go behind the scenes and take
a look at how the fish that come from the waters in South Louisiana are processed and then
sent on to the restaurants to be served to you on your plate. We enjoyed the privilege of getting a grand
tour of the facility from Harlon himself. He’s a treasure trove of information and he
took us through this incredible facility that brings in fish from all over the Gulf South,
but more specifically what we’re interested in is the Wing. The facility that he has just for Louisiana Wild
Catfish. You know, without seafood, New Orleans would not
be New Orleans, or the state would not be the same. The whole Gulf would not be the same as who
we are. And so the perpetuation of that thought process,
the perpetuation of the fisherman and our heritage, and our culture is very very important
to what keeps this city alive and this state. By buying Louisiana Seafood is more than just
buying food thats going to go on to our plate. Its buying into continuing this tradition
of taking the fish from the water for the families that are here. You’re not buying seafood, you’re buying culture. You’re buying Louisiana. We’re making an investment into our future. So our journey is going to end where it usually
begins, we’re back home here at the Shreveport Aquarium and SALT Restaurant. We’re going to take some of that fish you
just saw at Harlon’s LA Seafood and we’re going to take it into the kitchen and fry up one of my favorites
and that’s crispy fried catfish. Now this is the fish that we just saw getting
packed in Harlon’s when we were down there with these guys. They’re down in Kenner right next to New Orleans
and we get it right up here in Shreveport. This is a wild caught catfish just like we
were talking about there with Harlon and its got that extra flavor. Its not that farm raised catfish, which there
is nothing wrong with, but if we want that extra layer of flavor, you’ll get it right
here straight from the wild. Wait, we’ve got one more ingredient. This is going to be an extra crispy thin catfish,
so let’s add in a New Orleans favorite shall we? Now I don’t feel like crunching all these
up with my hands, so we’ve got our buddy the Robo Coupe here. So there you have it, we’re back on Backyard
Bayou. We’ve gone a long way. What better way to celebrate Louisiana Seafood
than to take it from the Southeast corner of the state in New Orleans all the way up
her our home in Northwest Louisiana to Kenner to the catfish processor that actually made
this catfish right here. I can’t think of a better way than just to
dig in. So, remember, when you’re looking at your
COOL labels, look for Louisiana Seafood. You’re not just choosing something off of
the rack, you’re making an investment into one of the cornerstones of the culture of
Louisiana. These farmers and fisherman who have been
at it since they were five years old. Pete was 65, so decades upon decades and generations
and generations to come. When you support Louisiana Seafood, you’re
supporting just that. My favorite part. It’s time to dig in. This episode is brought to you by the Louisiana
Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and Louisiana – Feed Your Soul.

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Reader Comments

  1. Victorious victor

    Great vid. You all do have some good sea food. And thats coming from a guy that lives in the pacific north west where we have awesome sea food as well.

  2. randy beard

    Much of the Catfish in the Stores like Walmart come from Asian Countries like Vietnam–the catfish there are Raised in Sewer Infested Rivers and Ponds–YT has several video's on the subject so if you want Great Tasting Catfish, make sure it is Raised or Caught Locally…

  3. Kip Lindsay

    Traveled through Louisiana regularly with my job over 40 years ago, to this day have never seen larger, tastier oysters. Ought to move there in my soon to be retirement

  4. Cory Hill

    wait so u say pete was 65, hes been fishing for 45 to 50 years as he said. math dont add up when u say they been fishing since 5 year old then. i mean i been fishing since 5 or 6 but hows that a selling point? i was catching fish for home not selling them big difference.

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