Happy National Catfish Day

Today is the day when, thanks to Ronald Reagan, we take a moment to honor the majestic catfish.
280-pound wels catfish caught in Italy
280-pound wels catfish caught by Dino Ferrari in Italy, 2015.

Happy National Catfish Day!

Not to be mistaken for the “documentary,” Catfish or the more recent, Catfish: The TV Show. This is not a day to celebrate deceptive internet trolls, cyber bullying people or trying to date others by making fake Facebook profiles. Let this be a friendly reminder to anyone reading this: if a person online tries to talk to you, look them up on Google. Seriously, look up “How to reverse image search” on Google. This has been a Public Service Announcement from the Cult Of Weird Headquarters. We now return you to your regularly scheduled weird news.

So what was I writing about again… oh yeah!

Today is National Catfish Day, thanks to President Ronald Reagan. On June 25th in 1987 at 4:13pm, Reagan signed Presidential Proclamation 5672, making Catfish Day official. In 1987 farmed-raised catfish were the third highest volume of consumed finned fish in the United States. Which also created thousands of permanent jobs due to the production costs of catfish farming, which averaged only 65 cents per pound from 1977 to 1985. Also the production of farm-raised catfish increased by 1200 percent between 1975 and 1985. I’m curious to find out what these numbers are at currently and if these farms are still providing permanent jobs. These farm-raised catfish are kept in freshwater ponds and fed soybean meal, corn, fish meal, vitamins, and minerals. Which helps attribute a more nutritious, low cholesterol, and low-calorie source of protein.

If you plan to catch your own catfish keep in mind that they are bottom feeders and depending on where you catch them, they could be too big for you to handle if you don’t have the right equipment! As most of us have witnessed on Animal Planet’s River Monsters with Jeremy Wade.

It’s time for random weird facts about catfish! Did you know?!

  • There’s 3000 known species of catfish in the world.
  • Antarctica is the only continent where catfish do not inhabit.
  • They are known for their skin because they don’t have scales like other fish.
  • Catfish are omnivores, so they’ll eat anything that will fit in their mouth.
  • They have a very powerful sense of smell and they spend a majority of the day eating.
  • Dino Ferrari caught and released a Wels Catfish in Italy, that weighed 280 lbs and measured 8′ 9″
  • Catfish can lay up to around 4000 eggs per pound of their body weight per year.
  • They’re the fourth most populated fish in the world.
  • Jeremy Wade caught 166 lbs Goonch catfish in the Kali River where months earlier an 18 year old was killed by a catfish. Wade made the suggestion that the catfish had to be much larger then the one he caught to consume a human.
  • The largest catfish was caught in Thailand weighing 646 lbs and measured 9 feet in length.
  • In 2003 Nashville commissioned local artists to design 51 7-foot catfish statues that were put on display around the city.
  • There’s also two giant statues in Canada. One in Selkirk, Manitoba and another in Dunnville, Ontario.
  • When I lived in Kentucky from ’83-’86 we had a catfish farm in our back yard!

Now you know…

In conclusion, June 25th became a National day because President Reagan and Congress, thought that the value of farm-raised catfish should be recognized and have their own day of celebration!

So I ask you this, Weird Cult Members, how do you plan on celebrating this fine Catfish Day? Maybe by making your favorite catfish meal or going fishing? Well, I want to know all of your weird inner thoughts! Better yet, I want pictures or it didn’t happen! Please, comment below, share this article and tag us, post pictures to our wall on Facebook, #CultOfWeird on Instagram, pin this on Pinterest… oh why am I telling you this! You know what to do, you’re Cult Of Weird Members and you’ve all drank the KoolAid! Check back in with us soon for more weird news and don’t forget your white robe and tinfoil hat!

National Catfish Day

Pacu: Invasion of the Testicle Biters

The pacu is a vegetarian relative of the piranha native to the Amazon. They have very human-like teeth used for breaking open the cases of nuts that fall in the water. However, it seems that under the right conditions (i.e. limited food supply and the presence of human testicles) these typically shy fish have a tendency to turn into vicious genitalia manglers.

The fish were introduced into the Sepik river in Papua New Guinea in 1994 as a food source. There the pacu is known as “the ball cutter,” where it has been blamed for the painful mutilations and death of two men due to blood loss after fish-induced castrations.

“Extreme angler” Jeremy Wade traveled to Papua New Guinea to investigated these claims in a third season episode of River Monsters. While his testicles presumably remained intact, he did manage to catch a large and elusive red-bellied pacu to confirm their presence in the river.

Whether pacu just get their nuts confused or have a tendency to resort to carnage in the face of slim pickings, the most frightening thing to keep in mind is the high number of these fish found frequently in lakes and rivers all over the world. This includes a majority of the states in the US.

In recent months reports of pacu have come from Denmark, France, Illinois and now New Jersey.

The fish are commonly sold as “vegetarian piranhas.” However, pacu grow much larger than piranha, up to 3 or 4 feet long and weighing in at up to 55 pounds. When they outgrow their tanks, they get dumped in the nearest body of water. This has earned them the nickname “tank busters.”

When pacu are found in local water it is usually recommended to avoid skinny dipping. Unless castration sounds like a good time, you just might want to wear a cup next time you go swimming.