January 30, 2005

TASTES LIKE BUFO ALVARIUS (via Jim Yates):

Catfish licking: a new high?: It's said that fish's slime is hallucinogenic (Tony Bridges, 1/29/05, Tallahasee DEMOCRAT)

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.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 30, 2005 8:27 PM
Comments

Mind over matter. Back in the 70s, kids used to get high from banana peels. There is nothing hallucinogenic about banana peels.

However, a catfish meuniere and a decent soave isn't a bad way to spend a cold winter night.

Posted by: Bart at January 30, 2005 8:50 PM

I'm voting it's a tall tail aimed at yankee city slickers. What could be more fun?

Posted by: Mike Earl at January 30, 2005 9:00 PM

When fish are outlawed only outlaws will lick fish!

Posted by: Tom at January 31, 2005 8:53 AM

I've heard it is a better high that noodling for catfish.

Posted by: pchuck at January 31, 2005 10:38 AM

I have read the same about certain types of toads. If fact, there is a town in central Arkansas called Toadsuck.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 31, 2005 1:24 PM

This story must be made up. I live in Virginia and I can't believe any Southerner would say a catfish isn't fit for eating. It's a staple here!

Posted by: Josh Silverman at January 31, 2005 5:14 PM

Catfish is fit for eating. He was a decent baseball player too.

Posted by: Dave W. at January 31, 2005 9:23 PM
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