06. August 2012 · Comments Off on Florida Discoveries 31: Steve’s Farm in Walnut Hill · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Steve’s Farm is in Walnut Hill, Florida, just below Atmore, Alabama (home of Wind Creek Casino).

This past Saturday the family headed to the northwest corner of Florida for some catfish fishing.  I know that sounds strange, hauling so far up north when we have amazing fishing all around us, right?

We’re first heard about Steve’s Farm through our Cub Scout pack, they had an outing up to the farm earlier this spring.  We had other plans on that day, but we had promised the kids a trip up to the farm.  Especially since Timmy had won a brand new Shakespeare fishing rod and reel as a door prize from the May Cub Scout meeting.

The farm is about an 90 minute drive from our house in Navarre.  It’s run by a Mennonite family and everyone who helped us out was so incredibly nice.

You pay a $3 per person admission if you intend to keep what you catch (which you also pay for).  Then you’re allowed to drive to a spot along one of the numerous catfish ponds on the property.

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We’re glad we headed up as early as we did, because thunderstorms drove us out by 4pm, but it was very hot when we first arrived and we were working up sweats not necessarily catching the fish, but fighting the fishing line, hooks, bobbers, bait and fire ants. It took us a while to get situated — and that included changing locations altogether. We walked from one pond to another.

The kids had a pretty hard time with the heat.  Our fishing rods weren’t quite prepared for the wild fights that catfish give us, and we broke our lines several times.  Only one of our rods was rigged with 20 lb. fishing line, the others were outfitted with 8 lb.  Perfect for all the fishing we did at the Offutt AFB Base Lake, but what a fail here!  We’ll have to re-thread with some 20-30 lb. line if we do this again.

Someone came around a couple times and tossed catfish feed out, which brought the catfish to the surface and made it pretty easy to catch. We caught five fish in a relatively short time (one of them was too small and Dave had to toss it back).

You can see the feed flying out of the hopper from right to left in front of the clouds. We are impressed with how well this picture came out, it was Dave’s iPhone.

I caught the first fish!

All of the pictures of Dave on this day were of him smiling like this. He is so genuinely happy whenever he catches a fish!

This was the biggest catfish of the day, eight pounds, maybe?  Timmy took this picture.

This thunderstorm chased us out at about 4 pm. We had spent about 4 hours fishing.

Our four fish at weighing time. In addition to the $3 per person admission to the farm, we paid about $2 per pound for the fish itself. They cleaned and gutted the fish for us, but I fileted them myself.

I honestly don’t know how else to cook catfish — I dredged it in my yummy House-Autry Fish Fry seasoning and fried it up in a cast iron skillet with some canola oil.

I made some Immaculate Baking Co. flaky biscuits to serve on the side and steamed some green beans.  Please understand that we do NOT eat like this often, and the following night was a dinner of scrambled eggs and salad 🙂