Do cleaning methods affect the taste of fried channel cats? My buddy and I fished the Detroit River and caught channel cats ranging from 1 to 9+ pounds. We kept some 2 to 4 pounders for eating -- and were disappointed with their taste. Some of the fillets tasted kind of muddy and a little rank, a little like my garden pond water smells. All the fish were caught in a slow moving backwater. Could this account for their muddy taste? I read one cat expert's opinion that the fluid in the cats' guts can spoil the taste of the fillets. What do you experts have to say about that? I did have a difficult time filleting my fish, and butchered them up pretty badly. I did cut off all the red meat and yellow fat off the fillets, and I washed them off thoroughly in cold water before frying them. I dipped the fillets in buttermilk, then dredged them in yellow cornmeal and fried them at 350 degrees. Catfish are supposed to be tasty. Please give me your thoughts on my disappointing fish fry.