skinning a big channel cat

Discussion in 'LOCAL ARIZONA TALK' started by SandyCatfish, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. SandyCatfish

    SandyCatfish New Member

    Messages:
    59
    State:
    Tucson, Az
    OK.....you might think this is crazy, but we caught 4.5 lb channel cat at Patagonia Lake last Sat. night on chicken livers. It was tough as heck to get his skin off....what do you do to get it off to save the most possible meat? I hope I get lots of answers. The smaller catfish we caught were easier to pull the skin off.
     
  2. GETHOOKED

    GETHOOKED New Member

    Messages:
    548
    State:
    Arizona, Scott
    simple as it sounds, the same you would a smaller one. i just cut around the neck behind the gills cut around the dorsal, anal and bottom fins, cut those off, take a pair of pliers and just pull down. The skin usually comes right off with out harming the meat. I also cut of the tail so they will bleed out.
     

  3. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
  4. SandyCatfish

    SandyCatfish New Member

    Messages:
    59
    State:
    Tucson, Az
    I think our problem was we cut the head off first....could not hold onto the skin to remove it cleanly. Boyfriend is from SC.....but it had been a long time since he caught a cat....so we did it wrong. He said we need to take a board to the lake...put a nail through the head of the fish...then skin it before we cut off the head. We like to clean the fish at the lake, since they have fish cleaning stations. Sandy
     
  5. Zonaman

    Zonaman New Member

    Messages:
    508
    State:
    Florida

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  6. AZflats

    AZflats New Member

    Messages:
    2,535
    State:
    Peoria, Arizona
    Like 'ol GET HOOKED said bleed your cats.. This is important to good tasting meat.. But make sure you do it while they are still alive. Otherwise it won't work.

    Thanks!
    ~A
     
  7. Koda

    Koda New Member

    Messages:
    39
    State:
    Tombstone,AZ
    There are predrilled holes in the wood at the Patagonia fish cleaning station all you need are a couple of very large spikes ( 1/4" X 6" ] drive them thru the head into the holes already there, hope this helps.
    Luck David
     
  8. baitchunker

    baitchunker New Member

    Messages:
    1,689
    State:
    alabama
    i know i am from alabama and this is an arizona thread, but i have skinned a lot of cats.

    i like to use fish skinning "pliers" made by mayburn. to get the skin started at peeling, the first thing i do is use the pliers to rip off the 3 barbed fins at the base. this usually gets the skin to comin off pretty good. after that its all elbow grease. i dont like to nail mine up, to me it takes too long. but, that prolly comes with practice. also i dont like to cut the head completely off. i just cut around the "neck" up to the spine, then break the spine over my knee (if its big) twist and pull. that makes most of the guts come out still attached to the head, which saves time. then all i do is cut out the A-hole and throw on the ice. hope this helps, and please excuse my intrusion of yalls thread.

    p.s. the smaller ones taste better in my opinion. besides i only keep enough for a small fish fry every now and then, i kinda like to let most of them grow these days.
     
  9. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    just like he says except i like to nail or hook them to a power pole or something and pull the skin straight down. This way when u cut the tail off b4 u skin them the blood will run down and out of the fish. Also u can put more weight to get that skin off.
     
  10. olddriller

    olddriller New Member

    Messages:
    260
    State:
    Missouri
    Sandy,
    I just retired last year and I have been catching a lot of catfish, We have cleaned about 600 lbs this year. You will get a little faster ,and better the more you do it. The skinning pliers are a must, doint buy the cheapest ones, make sure the handles have good grippers. Always keep your skinning hand clean, doint get the slime on the handles of the pliers. Tell your self befour you start that I am not cutting anything off this fish, that I am not going to eat. There is no need to cut off head, tail, back or lower fin. After you skin it you can cut fillets and cut meat off ribs, leave ribs with back bone, you are not going to eat them why dull your knives cutting them off.
    Good Luck Fishing
    Paul
     
  11. Little Luey

    Little Luey New Member

    Messages:
    740
    State:
    Arizona
    Good info, thank you for sharing.
     
  12. skiff_2

    skiff_2 New Member

    Messages:
    92
    State:
    South Carolina
    I filet mine. Trick is don't cut the filet all the way off. Stop short of the end of the tail. Now flip the meat over and filet it off of the skin. With a little practice, it goes fast and you have zero bones. Basically you filet the meat off the bones & then off the skin. Simple. When your done, you have 2 filets and the skin is still attached to the carcass with no skinning, no pliers, no nails. Just a good filet knife.:wink:
     
  13. 1mickymoo

    1mickymoo New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Edgerton, Kansas
    I fillet mine also, but I do cut it all the way off. There is a way of removing the skin by laying the knifew on the board and pulling the skin back and forth, the skin (with practice) comes right off. I have been looking for a video (just now) and can't find one. I will keep looking for a video and if I find one I'll send you a link. I am the only one of my catfishing friends who cleans em like that, but with practice there is no other way better IMO.
     
  14. Ahquabi_Master

    Ahquabi_Master New Member

    Messages:
    999
    State:
    WDM Iowa
    just take a spike and nail it through the head and into a board then take your fillet knife and make a thin slice over what you might call the neck area and down both sides of the fish then skin with pliers. the nail thing will let you tear away but I'm not saying it's easy!:smile2: In fact, you might get a rockstar body from doing this all season year after year.
     
  15. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I like to hang mine from a hook ,that I made on a chain that is adjustable for heigth. then I make cuts that I have noticed that no body else talks about. I cut from the line around the head ,just where the pectoral fin is all the way down to the anal fin ,on both sides with a very sharp knife ,then you can save nearly all the meat from the belly.
     
  16. ozzy

    ozzy New Member

    Messages:
    3,936
    State:
    Lost Wages
    I skin them, fillet them and soak the fillets in cold water for about 10 minutes to draw the blood out. makes for a better tasting fillet.
     
  17. Kevin N

    Kevin N Member

    Messages:
    84
    State:
    Georga
    Name:
    Kevin
    I learned to skin a fish in Alaska on Halibut so i use that same tech. on cats my wife who spent 20 years in Louisiana was shocked to see how i clean my cats I simply cut the flet off the fish turn it over on my cutting board and skin the felt with a good sharp knife no wasted cutting or need of pliers she said she has never seen it done the way I do but she has also never seen anyone finish cleaning a fish faster have showed a few people who I do it now that is how they clean a cat every time

    If you all or anyone is interested i could have wife take pictures next time a kind of show and tell


    Kevin

    three cat in pic before and after !!!
     

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  18. jason454ci

    jason454ci Active Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohi
    The easiest way I have ever found to clean a cat is to cut the fillet off of the fish first. Wet the surface down that you are cleaning on. Lay the fillet down on the wet surface skin side down. Starting at the tail end of the fillet make a cut about 1/2" from the end thru the meat down to the skin. Angle your fillet almost flat when you get to the skin. Now hold onto the 1/2" of meat that you have on the end. Hold your knife still and pull the fillet across the knife. With the surface being wet the fillet will slide right under the knife. Sure is a whole lot easier than nailing them down or using pliers to skin them. Also it doesn't leave much of a mess to clean up.
     
  19. Gordhawk

    Gordhawk New Member

    Messages:
    1,378
    State:
    Iowa
    If you're going to skin a catfish you definitely want to leave the head on until you have the fish skinned. I don't claim to be an expert on the subject but I have cleaned my share of them. If you go to the BOC library there is some good information on there on cleaning catfish. BTW,welcome to the BOC.
     
  20. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    Why do you guys want to get so bloody?:roll_eyes: lol Fillet the channel first. Then use your pliers to hold on to the end of the tail and slide the fillet over the blade. as a few others have said. What I do to make it easer is the first thing I do is grab the spins and break them so the will lay flat when the cat is on it's side. Start from the tail and with your knife flat run up one side till you come to the belly, then angle the knife up and draw over the ribs at the center of the back all the way till you hit head bone,turn knife south and down to ribs again, stop right there don't take the fillet all the way off and put it back in place this will help you when filleting the other side.Turn fish over and do the same to the other side only this time slice meat from the ribs then cut through the skin near the belly-repeat on other side. I do mine on a couple of old news papers wrap the carcass up put it in a plastic grocery bag and put in the freezer till garbage day.No blood no guts :big_smile::smile2::wink: Keep your fillet knife sharp and never never cut bone with it, that is a job for an entirely different knife.