Bleeding catfish, Do you or not?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Buddrice, May 25, 2006.

  1. Buddrice

    Buddrice New Member

    Messages:
    4,032
    State:
    Louisiana
    I was watching a program on the outdoor channel the other night and these guys were catching some big cats.When they went to clean them,they hung them up by their heads and cut their tails off to bleed them first.I have never done this,should I? Do any of you ever bleed them first?
     
  2. FordTruckGuySTX

    FordTruckGuySTX New Member

    Messages:
    330
    State:
    Caryville, TN
    I dont I just keep the hose handy and wash them out as I go along.
     

  3. bottom_rig

    bottom_rig New Member

    Messages:
    39
    State:
    baltimore, md
    nah, ive never bleed one either...
     
  4. Arkie55

    Arkie55 New Member

    Messages:
    669
    State:
    Mississippi
    Well, I've got some thoughts and a little experience on this subject. My fishing partner who taught me how to fish rivers, bleeds every cat he catches. His method is different than you described. He keeps a big cooler in the boat with four 2 liter coke bottles of frozen water inside. As fish are caught, he takes his knife and cuts right under the and through the "V" on the underside of the catfish's mouth until he gets a good flow of blood started. Then the fish go in the cooler and under the ice. That process is continued throughout the day. Before we leave the river, all fish are fillet. The meat is a white as can be. Now keep in mind, he has to decide immediately if the fish is to be released of if its table fare. Now when I fish alone, I use my livewell. I don't always know if I want to keep my fish or release them. I will release any sized fish if I don't catch enough to make a good sized meal or two. So, what I do is keep my fish alive until I make the final decision. Once made, I sometimes "bleed" them before cleaning and sometimes I don't. I can tell you there is a difference in the appearence of the meat. However, I have not been able to detect a difference in the taste. The big difference is cleaning the meat before freezing. Bleeding makes that chore quicker and takes less effort than preping un-bled fish for the freezer.
     
  5. Chuckb

    Chuckb New Member

    Messages:
    211
    State:
    Pana Illinois
    Bleeding really helps and makes the flesh white as snow.
     
  6. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    I'm a bleed-'em-before-you-filet-'em convert!

    Was shown the technique recently by the guide I fished with - cut the tails off about 1" above the fin, hang them up by the head and let 'em bleed. I was amazed by how much blood there was in a 4 lb fish.

    But that's only part of the story - you also have to be diligent to remove all traces of the red meat and yellow fat, and keep the meat under running water the entire time you're working with it.

    We just ate some of that catfish the other day, and it was, without question, the absolute *BEST* tasting fish I've ever had - the meat was white as snow, there was absoutely no fishy smell to it before cooking and no strong taste to it after cooking. Even my kids ate it, and they've always turned up their noses at "wild" fish of any sort.

    Previously, I had gotten to the point that I didn't really care about eating catfish because it always tasted like river water. I had no idea what I was missing and there'll be a steady supply of catfish in the freezer from now on!
     
  7. Nobody Special

    Nobody Special New Member

    Messages:
    614
    State:
    TN
    They usually bleed when I cut the fillet off.
     
  8. KanHeadhunter

    KanHeadhunter New Member

    Messages:
    154
    State:
    S. E. K.
    I bleed all my fish right before I filet them. While they are still on the stringer I cut all the gills on 1 side of the fish and put him back in the water. They bleed out in a few mintues. It makes a lot less messy when fileting them, plus they the meat is very white and clean looking.
     
  9. fishnfool68

    fishnfool68 New Member

    Messages:
    379
    State:
    Near Tulsa Oklahoma
    You have to be careful bleeding them in the river because it attracts turtles-I haven't bled a cat before but I'm gonna try it now.I have hooked them in the gill and had a turtle eating my dinner:angry: Thanks for the info guys!
     
  10. shortshank

    shortshank New Member

    Messages:
    389
    State:
    Oregon
    I have never used that method for catfish but a lot of people I know use it on Bullheads & Dogfish, Eels. Any fish with a strong "mud" taste they said. The only bleeding I do is if the hook gets a gill, he goes in the box.
    Don
     
  11. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken
    Nah, First hit them in the head with the flat side of a hammer head,which kills them and attacks their nervous system which pretty much stops the blood from flowing.
    I'm fairly fast with the knife,after 100's of fish( razor sharp ) I start at the tail with one quick motion toward the head till it touch's rib ,then stop handle,with the tip of the knife moving and going downward and forward untill it hits the dorsel fin bone then a little move with the blade away from the bone and then continue forward with the tip of the knife to the head , then slide the blade down the ribs for a clean white filet of fish with little or no blood.

    I'll posts pic's of this as soon as I can.,
    Heres 1 of the results
     

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  12. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    I have never bled the fish as described. I usually fillet the fish out before we leave the ramp and put all the fillets in an ice chest submerged in icy water this has all the blood drawn out of the fish in 2 to 3 hours. Then I remove and trim at home all red meat and the center section from the fillets. I end up with nothing but white meat that goes in the freezer in quart bags filled with water. Have had no complaints at the fish fries. 777
     
  13. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Nope, I release them. Especially the big ones. Shame to kill such a creation and then brag about how sporting we are.
     
  14. FlatTopMartinD28

    FlatTopMartinD28 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    State:
    OK
    I chop their tails off before filleting. Cleaning a dead fish is a whole lot easier than cleaning a live one & the meat is prettier.
     
  15. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    I posted this in another thread a few days ago, but as far as killing the fish, if you have an ice pick or other small pointy object, you can kill a blue cat in about 10 seconds without any flopping and without using a hammer.

    Look on a blue cat's forehead and there are a couple of ripples above the eyes, right in the center. Stick your ice pick horizontally (toward the fish's tail) right in the middle of those ripples and you'll go into his brain and spinal cord. He's gone before he knows what happened.

    I'll try to take pictures next time I'm cleaning fish in case the description isn't clear.

    If you're going to cut the tail off your fish to bleed it, you really want it dead first, else you'll have blood slung all over the place..

    I don't find it as easy to use this trick on channel cats though - they're not laid out quite the same...
     
  16. dgmo.boy

    dgmo.boy New Member

    Messages:
    7
    State:
    Missouri
    I filet my catfish and cut out all the red meat. Then I set the bowl of fish under cold water runing for about five minutes. The blood and oils all but dissapear and you have white meat.
     
  17. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    I always bleed my catfish out before cleaning them. When I'm ready to fillet them I take them all out of the livewell cut the tails off and put them back into the livewell. This way they can swim around for a while and push more of the blood out of them before cleaning them. This will get more blood out than simply cutting the tails and hanging them or laying on the ground. I'll wait at least 20 minutes or so and then pull them out and pretty much all bleed out and ready to fillet. If i'm fishing at night and don't care to clean them at 3:00 am they are placed on ice in the cooler till later.
     
  18. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    Been bleeding them for over 30+ years. And do it while there still good and alive. If I plan on keeping a bigger fish to eat. I bleed them as soon as I catch them. Tye them to the boat with a rope. And let them bleed in the water.
    Then throw them in a cooler on ice. The meat comes out snow white. And a lot better then any that you do not bleed.

    Also our family has been doing this for three generations.
    Pete
     
  19. jamesnewsom

    jamesnewsom New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    Louisiana
    I have never tried this but from reading the post it sounds like a good idea. I am going to try this the next time that I catch me a mess of cats.
     
  20. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken

    Here they are, it works for me.:big_smile:
     

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