Santee Cajun Guide Service – Where you can always catch a cat with a mouse

Barbara Witherall, fondly known as Mouse, is a living legend on the Santee Cooper lakes in South Carolina. She is the only female United States Coast Guard Licensed Captain offering guided fishing trips on the lakes and has been featured in multiple newspaper and magazine stories. Born and reared in South Louisiana, Captain Barb inherited her passion for fishing from a long line of skilled anglers. Her grandfather and father were her mentors, teaching her the art of fishing and the rich tradition of storytelling that accompanied their days on the bayou.

The nickname “Mouse” was given to her by her late husband, Boudreaux, who recognized her petite stature and her nimble surefooted movements on the boat. Mouse held her first fishing rod at the young age of two when she first developed the love of fishing as she felt the thrill of the tug on the line and the excitement of reeling in a catch.

Today, Mouse’s reputation as a skilled angler and down home good sense of humor and storytelling draws anglers from far and wide to fish the fresh waters of South Carolina’s largest lake system. The one rule that she is strict about is the superstition of -no bad luck bananas on her boat – which she firmly believes will ward off any ill fortune during her fishing trips. As the sun sets, Mouse with her trusty pontoon boat and a ban on bad luck bananas, will continue to catch large catfish and spin tales, leaving quite a legacy.

Capt. Barb’s (Witherell) White Catfish Stew

3- Lbs Fresh Catfish fillet
1 – Yellow Onion, chopped
8- Cloves Garlic, chopped
4 – Green Onions chopped
4- stalks celery, Chopped
3 – Cups White Potatoes Chopped
1 – Tsp Cayenne Pepper
7 – Cups of Water
2 – Pints Heavy Cream
4 – Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
4 – Slices of Bacon
2 – TBLS old bay seasoning
2 – Tbls white vinegar
2 – Tbls sherry
Salt and Pepper to Taste

In a large pot bring them to a boil water, vinegar, Old Bay, salt, pepper and 1/2 garlic. When the water begins to boil add the catfish filets and cook for 5-7 minutes, just enough time to turn the fish white. Remove the fish from the pot and set aside. Strain and save the remaining stock. In the large pot cook the bacon until crispy and set aside for garnish. Add to the bacon drippings celery, green onions, yellow onions, remaining garlic, cayenne and rosemary, stirring over medium heat until the onions and celery are translucent. Remove the rosemary sprigs before adding the remaining stock and potatoes. Bring to a slow boil until the potatoes are soft. Add the cream, sherry, and filets back to the pot. Salt and pepper to taste along with a little Louisiana Hot Sauce or Texas Pete for those who like it spicy. To thicken add a tsp of corn starch in warm water to the pot and stir. Serve with crumbled bacon bits and crackers.