I can remember, back from the 1980's, when I worked for TVA, at the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant, driving home by a boat ramp where a fisherman who caught fish and sold them would bring in a huge load of Shovel Bill catfish, which I understand is now illegal to catch and/or sell due to their numbers. At that time the fisherman did give me a couple of his fish to try and encouraged me, no warned me to cut the red line of meat out of the fish and that it would be the best catfish I had ate. The red meat he referred to was, I suppose, like fat in beef but regardless I obeyed and cut it out when we dressed them and prepared them to cook. These shovel bill catfish were boneless and only had a cart ledge that ran their length so there was no bones to contend with.
I can honestly say that those fish were the best tasting catfish that I had ever eaten and I only wish they were available today as they were then. As for river caught catfish I have always been told that the river is so polluted not to trust any river caught fish regardless of the variety but I believe they mostly mean fish that live and generally eat from the bottom of the rivers and catfish are one of those variety.
I have eaten and still do, when given a chance, eat Crappie and Stripe and love the taste of those fish when I get a chance to eat them. I'm surprised that some of the people that run the catfish farms don't farm Crappie as well but then I don't know too much about the river variety of fish. I've also heard that bass is a good tasting river fish but It's been a long time since I have tried those. Mostly the only river fish I eat is catfish and I usually try to obtain the kind from Catfish farms in Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, or Georgia. Locally I usually eat at Swamp Johns due mainly to their quality of fish and their prices. Another river/lake/stream fish that I really like is Trout when I can find it.
As for "seafood" I very much enjoy Tilapia, Cod, Flounder, Haddock, Pollock and Whitefish but my favorite is Red Snapper when I can find it and around here Georges is the only place I know of that sells the gulf Red Snapper, on their seafood platter. I also love gulf Shrimp, Crab, Clams and Lobster depending on where it's served and who serves it.
As for seafood I believe that Red Lobster has greatly improved since they were bought out, not too long ago, and have greatly improved their quality and portion size that they give you. Years ago, along with Captain D's, I would chose Long John Silvers to patronize but so many of those have closed down that although the closest one is in Lawrenceburg, TN I don't ever eat there because they changed their fish supplier and, in my opinion, not for the better. If I'm choosing a fast food type seafood restaurant it's going to be Captain D's. As for Catfish, back to the title of my original post, I like Swamp John's best followed closely by Champy's for great tasting filets and for whole catfish, whenever I chose that form of catfish I choose Newburns but Newburns is, in my personal opinion too expensive. I used to eat at Outpost 72 when they were open and thought they had good Catfish and I've heard, but never tried, that the State Park's restaurant at Joe Wheeler had a very good Friday and Weekend Fish Buffet but with all the budget cutbacks I don't know if they are still I business or serving their buffets like they did years ago.