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While Woody’s Bar-B-Q has prided itself on being a classic Southern BBQ chain for more than 40 years, one of our most popular menu items is our Southern Fried Catfish. Lightly dusted in cornmeal, you’ll find it on the menu in our Southern Fried Catfish Fingers Starter, Southern Fried Catfish Sandwich with a dollop of tartar sauce or Southern Fried Catfish Dinner – served with your choice of two comfort food sides and a slice of garlic toast. In the spirit of National Catfish Month each August, we dug up some interesting facts about these sustainable swimmers that can be found swimming wild in the deepest waters the world over.

  • The Largest Catfish Caught on Record was 646 POUNDS and 9 FEET LONG! Reeled in off the banks of Thailand’s Mekong River in 2005, this monster fish marked not only the largest catfish ever caught, but also the largest freshwater fish ever caught on record. Roughly the size of a large male grizzly bear, the species was a Pangasianodon gigas, also known as a Mekong Giant Catfish.
  • Catfish are a Good Source of Lean Protein: One 5.5-ounce fillet equates to roughly 49 percent of the recommended daily value of protein for adults. Protein is an essential component of a healthy diet – it boosts energy, reduces risk for illness, regulates metabolism, builds strong bones, reduces cravings, increases muscle mass and lowers blood pressure.
  • Catfish are Jam-Packed with Vitamins and Minerals: A catfish fillet offers up 65% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin B12, 38% of the DV for thiamin (aka vitamin B1), 32% of the DV for phosphorus and 29% of the DV for selenium. It’s also a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, potassium and vitamin E – among others.
  • Catfish are Brain Food: Loaded with healthy essential fats like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, catfish can help create and maintain brain cells, while protecting against memory loss and conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease. Fatty acids also aid in reducing the risk of osteoporosis, some cancers, heart disease, asthma symptoms, and other conditions, while boosting hair growth, maintaining bone health, improving cholesterol levels and regulating metabolism.
  • The FDA Recommends 12 Ounces Per Week: Because of its health benefits, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends the consumption of up to 12 ounces of low-mercury fish and shellfish each week. Included on that list are salmon, canned light tuna, pollock, shrimp and – our personal favorite – catfish (although we offer salmon on our menu, as well).
  • Catfish have been Around for (At Least) 37 Million Years: In 2017, a group of Egyptian paleontologists unearthed the oldest known catfish fossil in a desert southwest of Cairo. It was roughly 6 1/2 feet long – the average length of a mature Caribbean Reef Shark.
  • Why the Whiskers?: Called “Catfish” for their signature cat-like whiskers – or barbels – these appendages serve several important purposes. These bottom-feeders tend to live in dark, murky waters and are known to feed at night. They rely on their barbels to search for food and navigate their way around in the dark – each whisker is filled with tiny tastebuds and olfactory sensors to help them gauge their surroundings.

The largest portion of catfish at Woody’s Bar-B-Q – featured in our Southern Fried Catfish Dinner – is just 600 calories. Select your sides wisely and you could enjoy a relatively low-calorie meal. A tossed salad – before you add the dressing – is just 10 calories, green beans are 52 calories, corn cobettes are 80 calories, okra with tomatoes is 95 calories, and our mashed potatoes WITH gravy is 100 calories. Many of our locations offer an extended menu of “country vegetables” that feature additional low-calorie options such as lima beans, pinto beans, collard greens and more. To find the Woody’s Bar-B-Q nearest you and peruse the rest of our menu, please visit  Then come see us and LET’S EAT!


KB 7/26/21