Buffalo Carp and Chips


The stock of cod in European waters has depleted to the point that the European Union has called for a 25% cut in allowable catches.  So overfished are the prized cod, known as the fish of choice for fish-in-chips, that the species may not be able to reproduce sufficiently to sustainable levels.   The cod may be doomed.

We need some replacement candidates for the fish and chip dish.  The Brits are known to give the name of the fish when ordering; for example, cod and chips as opposed to fish and chips, so I will adopt this practice when considering suitable substitutes.

Jellyfish and chips.  I like this idea and there are plenty of jellyfish in the ocean.  Too many actually so all the more reason to eat them – fried of course with seaweed chips.

Does the fish in the dish have to be from the ocean?  I think not.  So why not catfish and chips.  I imagine someone could come up with hushpuppie chips. And for our feline friends, catnip and chips.

Crappie and chips.  There are plenty of crappie in the waters of Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.  This could be a boon to the southern economy.  Catch a mess of crappie and sell it at the local fish market.  Fry up your own and establish a restaurant, a fresh alternative to Long John Silver’s.  Create your own frozen brand, you know like Gorton’s and sell it to Tyson foods.  Develop a home brew to compliment the crappie and chips – I’m thinking a crisp pilsner.

Buffalo carp and chips.  Buffalo wings are good, why not Buffalo carp?  As non-game fish they are in plentiful supply.  Might be an aquired taste for some, but a delicacy for others.  I think you’d need to pressure cook the thing and then deep, deep fry it.

First Fish

First Fish

I must have been 6 or so judging from the car, a 1966 Chevy Impala, which looks like it had a few miles and years on it.  A great family cruiser.

This tiny bream, or perch – some call them sunfish – was the first fish I remember catching.  I caught it with a cheap Zebco rod and reel using a balled up piece of bread for bait in a pond on the site of the historic Old Mill in North Little Rock where I grew up.  The Old Mill is famous for appearing in one of the opening scenes in Gone with the Wind.

The Old Mill, down on Lake #2 is a pretty good walk from my house, so I must have carried that fish around with me for a while.  I’d have thrown it back, but wanted my picture first.

Old Mill, No. Little Rock, AR

I started fishing a few years before – around ’67 or ’68 with my grandpa crappie-jigs-002up in Northwest Arkansas.  He’d take me and my sister out to Beaver Lake, 23,000 acres of freshwater near Rogers, AR extending into Missouri, and Lake Tenkiller in Oklahoma to fish for Crappie.  Yes, that’s the name of the fish, pronounced \ˈkrä-pē\.  We’d rent a boat with an outboard motor and spend the day fishing with Crappie Jigs and live minnows.  It was fun, but I don’t remember catching any fish until I was a little older.  Gagan (my grandpa) reeled ’em in one after the other.

Fresh Crappie Catch