Best way to clean a catfish?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by catcam, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. catcam

    catcam New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    Georgia
    Need some descriptive advice on cleaning catfish. How do you skin a cat? I've heard a few interesting things. Nailing there head to a board and using pliers? Do folks do this? New to the BOC - Thanks so much.
     
  2. center12

    center12 New Member

    Messages:
    1,444
    State:
    KS
    I like to fillet my large fish, but enjoy the smaller ones whole dressed...........they sure are tasty fried up bone in.
     

  3. catcam

    catcam New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    Georgia
    Thanks, Abu65! Nice site. So this is the most common way? So that nailing their head down isn't typical practice? :)
     
  4. Rat

    Rat New Member

    Messages:
    236
    State:
    Forrest Illinoi
    I skin them with a pair a catfish skinners. You can use pliers, but the skin fills up the grooves in the jaws and makes it hard to get a good grip.
    Once I skin them, I make a slit just below the head from left to right. Then insert the knife in the slit and cut it open down to about 1/4 inch from the anal vent. Cut around the anal fins and bring the cut to meet the lengthwise belly cut. Grab the anal fins and pull, and the guts will come out still attached to the fins. Lay the guts off to the side by the head, then cut the head off. Everything will be one piece, head and guts for easy disposal. Takes a little practice to keep from puncturing anything when you cut off the anal fins, but when you get the hang of it, it goes pretty quick.
    As for nailing them to a board or tree, I just hold the head with my left hand til I reach the point where the head is removed.
    Rat
     
  5. catcam

    catcam New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    Georgia
    I appreciate the description!:) You guys rock!
     
  6. catcam

    catcam New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    Georgia
  7. foreverflathead

    foreverflathead New Member

    Messages:
    45
    State:
    Nebraska
    Ive nailed catfish to a post before and believe the main idea of this is that they can be hard to hold on to so nailing them to a post makes it a little easier to skin them.
     
  8. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Jennifer,

    for more information on cleaning cats you can check out the member Library, the link is in the yellow bar at the top of the page.

    The following link is an article from the library that shows basically how to clean a cat very quickly with an electric fillet knife.

    How to Fillet a catfish with an Electric Fillet Knife
     
  9. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    I have always found it easier not to get them dirty in the first place, you don't have to clean them that way, LOL!!!
     
  10. vinny

    vinny New Member

    Messages:
    89
    State:
    ill.
    I found out if you catch them with soap they are already in the water they should come out clean just cook and eat :007:
     
  11. catcam

    catcam New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    Georgia
    This is good stuff!:thumbsup:
     
  12. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    Jennifer...I have a Mister Twister electric knife...But it hangs unused on the wall of my garage since I got my Rapala 110 Volt/12 Volt electric knife. (It can be used out of a 110V wall socket...or off a 12V battery)

    Sometimes a guy...or a gal...needs to clean fish where there just isn't any electricity available. Besides...the Rapala elec. knife is MUCH faster than the Mister Twister....and I also like the blades better. It costs a little more...$40...but it was worth it to me.

    I place a cleaning board on top of a cooler...whip out the folding camp chair...and fillet my catfish right by the edge of the water at times. Just make a cut at the pectoral fin all the way down to the backbone...turn the knife horizontal...and cut along the spine to the end of the tail...leaving a flap of skin still attached to the carcass at the end of the tail.

    Flip the fillet thats still attached to the skin over...and make a cut between the fillet and the skin. (If the fish was caught in muddy water and has a mud streak...you might want to leave a 1/16" of the flesh on the skin flap...thereby eliminating the red mudstreak...and that nasty "gamey" taste.

    You then have a fillet with the rib cage remaining in it. Take a sharp regular fillet knife and carve out the ribcage...and then there you have it...a piece of boneless fish fillet! Flip the fish over...and repeat the process on the other side.

    Clean the fillets off real good in sanitary water...and soak for 24 hours in salt water to remove any further mud that or blood that might be left in the fillet. This is a matter of personal preference...I know people who stick their fillets straight into the freezer after cleaning...but my grandpa always soaked his in salt water...and grandpa always did know best...so that's what I do as well.

    Save the ribcage, guts, perhaps even the head, and the egg sack (if there is one) in a container with a lid...they make great cat bait! You also get more use out of the fish that way too. Might want to check your regulations to make sure that using a game fish carcass is legal in the state you're fishing in before you do that tho. Not worth a hefty fine to find out the hard way! Feed the rest to the turtles....or you can even put what's left in a gunny sack or a mesh bag to use as chum...thereby attracting more fish to your fishing hole.

    Good luck!
     
  13. Abu65

    Abu65 Member

    Messages:
    583
    State:
    Kentucky
    Did my post get deleted Im not seeing it. If so why? Just curious.
     
  14. Cattracker16

    Cattracker16 New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    Wilton Iowa
    Only problem i see in cleaning the cats at the river is that you have to leave a 1" square patch of skin on the fish for the "DNR" to positively identify the type of fish you have, atleast that's what the "DNR" in iowa requests us to do if you don't and they catch you say good bye to your cleaned fishes I use a pair of catskinning pliers and a sharp fillet knife hold the cat with my left hand, me being right handed and all better control of sharp knife. if your worried about being poked by the fish wack emmm across the head with a lead filed pipe..LOL
     
  15. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I fillet one side of the cat, flip the fillet over, the fillet the skin off, preferably with an electric knife. Turn the cat over and repeat. If you need to leave a patch of skin to identify it as a cat, that's easy enough to do right at the tail. Then simply remove the patch of skin after you get home.
     
  16. catcam

    catcam New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    Georgia
    Got it, catskinning pliers, sharp knife and lead pipe! :blink:
     
  17. Itch2Scratch

    Itch2Scratch New Member

    Messages:
    1,662
    State:
    Ivy Bend on LOZ, Missouri
    I clean mine pretty much the same way as Catcaller...seems the easiest and quickest to me...I remember my Grandpa using the nail and pliers method..LOL..the nail was to hold them in place so he could pull the skin off with the pliers.;)
     
  18. Gone Catfishing

    Gone Catfishing New Member

    Messages:
    34
    State:
    Kansas
    Doing it the way that the BoC Library link says (posted, bottom pg. 1) is very easy. It takes very little time and makes nice filets. And it's a lot more pretty than ripping the skin off, too ;)
     
  19. etipriga

    etipriga New Member

    Messages:
    96
    State:
    TX
    I dont know about you guys but alot of people keep the bone thats left after you cut the filets off. Just cut it off after the rib cage and you got some more meat. If the fish is pretty small its not worth it but on the bigger ones its good eatin.
     
  20. Coloman

    Coloman New Member

    Messages:
    441
    State:
    Soddy Daisy, Tn
    I do not "nail the head down". I put a nail in a 2x6x8. I lean the board against something and cut a slit in the bottom jaw and "hang" the fish from that. That way I can put my foot on the bottom of the board and have something to pull against.