Fishing Forums
Register  |   |   |  Latest Topics

Author Comment

Avatar / Picture

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 1,900
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello FF

So, Who Has Licked a Sea Kitty ??? 

This question was posted on another thread,

Today at 06:19 PM

I heard that if you lick the slime you will have a hallucinatory trip.
I keep forgetting to try that one though.". 

Catfish licking: a new high?

Sat, Jan. 29, 2005

It could be the strangest thing anyone ever asked Tolly Van Brunt.

He was at a boat basin in Franklin County, waiting for a buddy who'd gone to the bait shop.

They were headed out to the Gulf for some saltwater fishing.

A boy, maybe 17 or so, sidled up to him on the dock.
The kid wanted to make a deal. He'd buy any catfish the anglers caught that day.

"I told him they weren't any good to eat," Van Brunt said. "

And he says, `Yeah, I know that, but we'd like to get some. We've found a way to get high off the slime.'"

Oh, c'mon. Recreational use of fish goo? That has to be a joke, right?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Turns out, a story's been going around for years about hallucinogenic properties in the slime of a certain kind of saltwater catfish. But whether fact or urban legend is not exactly clear.

"I've heard of people licking them and getting zonked like they're on LSD," said Dr. John Hitron, with the Florida State University marine lab in St. Teresa Beach. "I'm not sure how true it is."

OK, first a few basics on the fish.

Most people call them gafftops or sailcats.

They're bottom-dwellers, comfortable in mud, usually sticking to bays and the shallow water along coastlines. Not too big, but feisty.

They have regular catfish whiskers and long, sharp spines on top. When hooked, they produce great big gobs of mucous that coat fishing lines, anglers and anything else that gets close.

And apparently, they're less than tasty.

So, what about this whole licking thing?

It's hard to tell where or how the story got started, but plenty of folks have heard it. Usually, the friend-of-a-friend version.

The anglers down at the Lanark Village Mart - a combination boat dock, bait shop and convenience store near Carrabelle - said last week that they all knew the tale. Same with the C-Quarters Marina, where the annual Big Bend Saltwater Classic is based.

Jack Rudloe's heard it, too.

He's the director of the Gulf Marine Specimen Lab in Panacea. A "hippie friend" was the first to tell him.

"He said, `Hey, I hear there's a real business there in licking catfish,'" Rudloe said.

The story's even on the Internet, especially the message boards where fishermen from around the Gulf of Mexico gather.

And Hitron, the FSU scientist, said he's heard it all over the country. In New England, the Pacific Northwest, the Florida Keys.

Not everyone's a believer.

"It's just hype," said Amy Noegel-Cohoon, whose husband runs a towboat service out of Carrabelle. "If it wasn't hype, they'd be a hot item."

Any evidence it's true? Not much.

Rudloe was curious enough to give it a taste - in the interest of science, of course.

Nothing happened to him, but he did make a discovery.

He said the mucous of most sea life, including snails and other fish, has a fairly bland taste. The gafftop was markedly different.

"It really had a strange chemical kind of taste to it," he said.

Franklin County fisherman Mark Nolton said he did the same thing after reading something about the slime in Florida Sportsman magazine.

"I was out about a year ago, and I thought, `I'm gonna try that,'" he said. "I put a little bit on my tongue, and it went numb instantly."

Hitron said it's possible the slime - a defense mechanism that helps protect the fish from injury and disease - has some neurotoxic qualities, as most fish with spines do.

But whether that means the stuff can send someone on a mind-altering trip, he couldn't say.

"I'll find out if you want me to," offered Van Brunt, who declined to provide catfish to the teenagers. "The next time I catch one, I'll put some in my mouth."

The dope on the catfish-slime-licking phenomenon.
March 10, 2005

Big news for catfish lickers and their parents: No doubt many of you have heard (or tried to discover firsthand) that licking saltwater catfish -commonly called sailcats- can produce a hallucinogenic high, and that hooked teenagers along the Gulf Coast are paying up to $200 for the opportunity to lap up the gooey substance that oozes from the skin of a freshly caught specimen.

News of catfish licking first broke five years ago in a Florida sportfishing magazine, but a more recent article in the Tallahassee Democrat ("Catfish Licking: A New High?") quickly spread over the Internet and became a hot topic among fishermen, teenagers, and concerned parents. In it, Dr. John Hitron of the Florida State University marine lab is quoted as saying, "I've heard of people licking ["catfish"] and getting zoned like they're on LSD."

Reportedly, when ingested, sailcat slime produces the sensation of being underwater. I should note, however, that the cats I have licked for journalistic purposes only have merely produced the sensation of having whiskers. And in fact, I do have whiskers.

The Democrat article doubtless informed many otherwise ignorant or skeptical parents, who were made aware of the need to investigate fishy odors, to periodically check teenagers' bedroom closets for saltwater fishing tackle, and to discourage unchaperoned parties at piers and beaches. Since then, uncorroborated anecdotal evidence seemed to suggest that parents might also check dresser drawers and book bags for doughballs, which, supposedly coated with the hallucinogenic slime, may go by the street names "dopeballs" and "cat-nips."

With the practice widely known, the question of how long people have been secretly licking catfish became a topic of some speculation. Several anonymous and unaccredited linguists took a second look at the slang term cat. Thought to mean "happening dude" and widely used during the freewheeling jazz era of the 1920s and revived during the drug-induced years of the late 60s and early 70s, some believed it to be a reference to early catfish lickers.

These people and others, however, were no doubt shocked by the latest development: In a follow-up article, the Democrat has revealed that catfish licking is a hoax. Staff writer Tony Bridges announced:

OK, listen up catfish lickers. You've been punked.

There's no hallucinogen in the slime.

According to the article, Doug Olander, editor-in-chief of Sport Fishing Magazine, made the story up for an annual April Fool's special in 2000. Parents who suspected their teenagers of catfish licking are breathing a collective sigh of relief, while some would-be catfish lickers are likely breathing a collective sigh of disappointment. Despite the revelation, however, there is concern that it may do little to discourage the practice now that it has caught on.

Siding with caution, sport fishing authorities continue to discourage catfish licking, though with the news that catfish slime is actually harmless, they have since softened their stance. For those anglers who just can't help themselves, authorities merely recommend that if they intend to only lick, and not eat, a given sailcat, they should lick it as quickly as possible and return it to the water immediately thereafter.

"The GoldFish Club... Go For The Gold!"

Registered: 06/20/10
Posts: 430
Reply with quote  #2 

Oh boy.  I thought I heard it all.


Registered: 12/13/05
Posts: 1,106
Reply with quote  #3 

Yes there is, go ahead and lick away. Don't believe it they are just trying to get you kids to listen to the man. Lick a cat fish today, I say!!!

Join CCA today visit

Avatar / Picture

Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 1,154
Reply with quote  #4 
This comes from the licking of specific toads. It was even the subject of an episode of "Quincy" on TV way back when.

What licking a catfish can get you is a very serious infection. People that get stuck by a catfish have to immediately clean and disinfect the wound because of the bacteria on the slime that will infect the wound will give you an infection you will need antibiotics  to get rid of. If you lick a catfish you are asking for doctor bills.

Now back to toads.
"The secretion is called Bufotenin and is classified as a Class 1 drug under Australian drug laws. It’s not recommended to lick your toad, no matter what your friends down the pub say, although it can have the same effects as some illegal drugs, it causes mild hallucinations and can result in serious illness and even death."

Florida's Gulf Council member, Pam Dana, before lunch at recent past Gulf Council meeting voted against giving Roy Crabtree the authority to set different red snapper seasons in state waters and the motion failed for lack of majority. Then after lunch another vote was mysteriously taken, Pam Dana suspiciously had changed her mind and then voted YES to give Crabtree that authority and it passed by a majority. Roy Crabtree then used that authority to promulgate an illegal discriminatory Emergency Red Snapper rule. Said rule was overturned in a scathing opinion recently issued by a Texas federal judge said that Crabtree and the Gulf Council illegally used that authority to punish Florida, Texas and Louisiana. Is Pam Dana's vote with the majority that allowed Crabtree to illegally punish Florida's fishermen really looking after the best interests of the fishermen of Florida? NO

Avatar / Picture

Registered: 05/08/10
Posts: 2,357
Reply with quote  #5 
Lets send Lubichenko a bottle of catfish slime and a toad, just in case!

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

Registered: 08/04/09
Posts: 105
Reply with quote  #6 

That's the first time I've ever heard of catfish licking, and personally, there's not a chance in he'll that you can get me to try it. IMO, anyone who's ever caught one has never thought about giving it a lick.


Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2,186
Reply with quote  #7 
A classic.  My theory is if you are wasted enough to even lick a sailcat then you are already clinically high......

The bufo/cane toads are a real issue and in fact many a pet - especially dogs - die from licking/eating them.  My coworker lost one last year...

Avatar / Picture

Registered: 03/24/10
Posts: 1,088
Reply with quote  #8 

And can you suck the air out of a pufferfish?

"A fish wouldn't get caught if it kept its mouth shut."

Avatar / Picture

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 8,456
Reply with quote  #9 
Originally Posted by MrJingles

And can you suck the air out of a pufferfish?

Never french kiss a pufferfish.

Andrew Schoener

Avatar / Picture

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 731
Reply with quote  #10 
I just wrote about this in another thread also. I accidentally swallowed the slime from a sail catfish that rubbed onto the lip of a soda can lid, it was a good amount too, nasty stuff. It stung my throat, made me cough and gagged me almost enough to chuck. Worst part for me was the burn and the after taste, both stayed with me a good 20-30 minutes... Not something I would suggest to do on purpose, there was absolutely no high from it, lol...

2004 18' CC SeaArk

Avatar / Picture

Registered: 03/24/10
Posts: 1,088
Reply with quote  #11 

How do you get catfish slime on the lid of your soda can?

"A fish wouldn't get caught if it kept its mouth shut."
Previous Topic | Next Topic

Quick Navigation:

All posts express only the views of the author of the post and not those of Capt. Mel Berman, or Mel-Fin Corporation. User Agreement

Powered by Website Toolbox - Create a Website Forum Hosting or Website Chat Room Hosting for your website.