The Tank: The Freshest Catfish From An Indoor Pool

May 23, 2009

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A Walnut Hill man has taken fresh catfish to a new level, with a huge indoor pool full of the tasty fish fry favorites.

Vernon Hiebert was looking for a new way to market his farm raised catfish to the public when he dreamed up “The Tank”. It is a 32-foot wide indoor pool that can hold up to 20,000 catfish at a time. The Tank , Hiebert says, offers the freshest tasting catfish anywhere — none of that musky flavor that makes catfish taste “off”.

catfish25.jpg“There’s just no other catfish that taste this good,” Hiebert said, “because they are purged in fresh water.” That means, he said, that the fish kept in the crystal-clear freshwater are living algae free, unlike most pond-raised catfish.

The tank system that Hiebert designed is no less than ingenious. The round indoor tank uses a system of fences to contain fish to a certain part of the pool, or move them toward an electric “elevator” that lifts them out of the water. “I can put one fish in the tank and use the fences to get one fish out of the tank.,” he said.

A three-stage filter system ensures the freshest water in the tank. And fresh water means fresh tasting fish, the Walnut Hill man said. “You are not going to get fish out of a store or even a pond that will taste like this.”

There’s no fishing pole at Hiebert’s indoor pool — all the fish are removed from The Tank using the elevator system. Shoppers can take the fish home whole or have them dressed, or cleaned.

On the weekends, Hiebert often has a deep fryer on, ready to provide a fresh taste. “Once you taste catfish fresh like they are suppose to be, you’ll be hooked,” he said.

The catfish are $1.55 per pound live weight. It is just 30 cents per pound additional to have the fish dressed.

The Tank is locatd at 4890 Lemon Road in Walnut Hill. To get to the tank, turn off Highway 97 in Walnut Hill onto South Highway 99 (at the Walnut Hill Farm Supply). Go almost three miles to Lemon Road, and turn right by The Tank sign. The Tank is located about a mile down Lemon Road on the left. Click here for a Google map from Highway 97 to The Tank.

The Tank’s farm raised channel catfish are available Thursday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 327-6787.

For a photo gallery from The Tank, click here.

Pictured top: Vernon Hiebert corrals catfish at The Tank in Walnut Hill. Pictured inset: Catfish in the crystal-clear waters of The Tank. Pictured below: The Tank can hold 20,000 catfish. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

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Comments

14 Responses to “The Tank: The Freshest Catfish From An Indoor Pool”

  1. Patti Freeman on March 12th, 2012 2:30 pm

    This is the best fish. My friends and family can not rave about the fish enough. Best of luck to you Vernon.

  2. Sivleys on September 2nd, 2009 10:02 am

    We stop by here to get catfish everytime we visit FL. It’s the best catfish we’ve ever had. Definitely worth the time and drive – only 30 minutes off I-65 exit 57.

  3. shelly on June 10th, 2009 11:29 am

    Don, he is in Walnut Hill Florida. You cross into Florida passing by the Piggly Wiggly and Family Dollar Store. Keep going straight until you come to a blue building on the right hand side of the road just before the Mennonite School. The building is Walnut Hill Farm Supply. Turn right there and follow it down until you see “THE TANK” sign. Hope this helps. If not, go back to the original article and click where it says “click here for a google map”. That might be more helpful.

  4. Don Dempsey on June 6th, 2009 9:55 pm

    Mr,Hiebert,
    I am not sure where you are located or what state you are in. can you please email me this.
    Thank you Don

  5. Donna on June 4th, 2009 10:54 am

    My Dad, Son and I had a pleasant, learning experience while visiting “The Tank” back on May 29th. The catfish tasted great! I know we’ll be going back for more. Take a kid “fishing” at the tank. Just leave the poles at the house! It’s a great experience they’ll not soon forget!

    Good luck Mr. Hiebert!

  6. N P RICHEY on May 28th, 2009 10:20 am

    WITHOUT A DOUBT–THE BEST CATFISH ANYWHERE! WELL WORTH THE DRIVE AND THE PRICE IS REMARKABLE! WISHING THE PROPRIETOR MUCH SUCCESS WITH THIS ENDEAVOR–WELL DESERVED SUCCESS I MIGHT ADD!

  7. Donna Bloomer on May 27th, 2009 8:10 am

    This is one of the reasons small businesses are the backbone of the USA success story. Someone willing to put their life behind a better idea that benefits a community, that hopefully provides the owner a decent living and that has the potential to provide jobs down the road if successful. Congratulations, Vern. PS I agree this catfish is the best tasting and worth the drive….

  8. R Smithson on May 26th, 2009 8:38 am

    This is amazing! I’ve never seen anything like it! I can’t wait to come see it! Fry up some fish for me!!

  9. M Willis on May 25th, 2009 5:56 pm

    Wow! These fish are the best and freshest ever! We’ll be back to get some to treat our friends to a real live fish fry!

  10. Michelle Cayson on May 24th, 2009 3:42 pm

    Not sure that will be the new way of fishing, where is the fun in that?
    I’ll stick with Steve thanks, we like the fight of a fish. Good luck to you mate!!

  11. Joan Cox on May 24th, 2009 10:49 am

    Vern has the best tasting catfish around, by far! Good luck with your amazing venture!

  12. E MORRIS on May 24th, 2009 10:31 am

    BEST CATFISH IN TOWN…..IF YOU LOVE CATFISH THEN THIS IS THE PLACE TO GO. PICK THEM OUT GET THEM DRESSES AND GO HOME AND HAVE A GREAT MEAL ITS WORTH THE DRIVE AND YOU CANT BEAT THE PRICE

  13. interested reader on May 23rd, 2009 12:02 pm

    Vernon, we are so happy to see you get some coverage on the TANK! The catfish are the best we have ever eaten! Wishing you every success on your venture. It is AMAZING to see what you have accomplished. Everyone should come by to see what you have done and BUY FISH! sUPPORT YOUR LOCAL PEOPLE!

  14. D Hiebrt on May 23rd, 2009 8:59 am

    Best catfish I have ever tasted. Nothing campares.





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