Asian carp (copi)


12 pointer
Dec 26, 2004
Western Ky.
Well I got my hands on a package and have wanted to try it so….

What I had still had some bones so I had to pick them out. The fish is very mild and white. It seems a little dryer to me. More like some ocean fish. Not as good as crappie (but what is) but it’s nothing to turn your nose up to.

Little FR

12 pointer
Nov 10, 2021
West Kentucky
After cleaning up several boats after catching them bass fishing I can’t bring myself to eat them. They just infuriate me. If I was starving I would but I’d be praying for anything else.


12 pointer
Oct 25, 2013
Washington County
I figured they are too hard to debone/clean to make it profitable commercially.
I just pull the back straps, that's where the majority of the meat is anyway. I'm certainly wasting plenty like that, but like @WildmanWilson said, they're definitely fit to eat.
Seems a big outfit could peel the back straps out efficiently, and send the rest off for pet food, or whatever it is they do with them.


6 pointer
Jul 19, 2020
I’ve heard the fish market in Wickliffe is exporting them. Anyone bought any there? I pass through there but haven’t been by while they are open. Been curious to try them.


12 pointer
Jan 2, 2009
raised n Bullitt Co.
I’ve heard the fish market in Wickliffe is exporting them. Anyone bought any there? I pass through there but haven’t been by while they are open. Been curious to try them.
There's a new metal building adjacent to Dollar General in Aurora that's processing them. Don't know if they sell retail.


Staff member
Sep 25, 2002
Savoring the smoke
Here's the deal. If these fish had been named anything else besides carp, they would be on every restaurant menu and in every supermarket meat case. Unlike their bottom feeding cousins, they spend their entire life high in the water column, away from the muck and mud that give common carp the muddy flavor. As a bonus, doing so means the meat from these fish are MUCH lower than other fish in mercury and other heavy metals that are concentrated on the bottom. They are vegetarian, too, which eliminates another source of heavy metals in the small fish other fish consume. They are higher in Omega 3s than other freshwater fish as well. I have been a part of numerous blind taste tests where we cooked both catfish and invasive carp from the same waters. The carp win EVERY SINGLE TIME.
As seen above, their flesh is white, flaky, firm and mild. They stand up to grilling, frying, broiling, smoking, and just about any other fish prep method you can think of. They do have a double row of unattached y bones that run the length of the fish on both sides. You can fillet around these, there is an excellent video on YouTube from the Missouri DNR showing how. Unlike other fish, the boneless fillets won't be wide, but rather come off in two long, thin strips per side.
The fact that we import swai and tilapia raised in overseas sewers when we have a nearly inexhaustible source of cheap, delicious protein invading our rivers and lakes is absolutely ludicrous. There is no reason we aren't eating these fish by the ton except for an ill chosen name and the bias that goes with it.
Just like any fish, you need to remove the strip of dark meat that lies close to the skin. They are better if you gut them immediately after catching and put them on ice to chill. They can get soft if left out in the heat for an extended time.
Here is a grilled fish taco bowl I made with a bighead a while back.

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6 pointer
Feb 9, 2022
swamps of western KY
I haven’t got a chance, yet. But it won’t bother me one bit to eat one. I know of one restaurant in Paducah that serves it.

I don’t know if they use them or not but I’d expect they could go for dog food at the very least.

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