What is best way to kill a catfish?

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by JHalden, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. JHalden

    JHalden New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    NorthCalifornia
    Hey everybody I've never had as much trouble puttin a fish out of it's misery as tonight damn I hit this fish in the head with a hammer at various different locations around the skull a lot of times and this thing would not die. Maybe it's nerves were still actin up but i swear this thing was the toughest fish ever. What is the quickest way to put the fish out of it's mysery?
     
  2. SWeiss

    SWeiss New Member

    Messages:
    751
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    Good post. We all have to do this work from time to time, and doing it correctly and humanely is top priority.

    I usually just behead them. With a sharp knife, it's about the quickest and most humane way I have found.

    I cut up a bluegill tonight for bait. First thing I did was remove his head. From start to complete death was just a few seconds.

    Perhaps there is a better way?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009

  3. Catfish_Scooter

    Catfish_Scooter New Member

    Messages:
    2,055
    State:
    Tennessee
    Cut the head Off. Once done theres no connection to the heart or body..
     
  4. DLB-in-GR

    DLB-in-GR New Member

    Messages:
    490
    State:
    MI
    Fish have a different sort of nervous system than mammals. They don't feel pain in the same manner. My goal is to keep the fish alive for as long as possible, so they are fresher when I get to cleaning them. If they are still kicking when I cut into them that is fine by me, they go into shock immediately as soon as the knife cuts off a fillet.

    When you catch a channel, sometimes he will "bark" at you. There is none of that when I am cleaning them, their lights are out before I've even gotten through the ribcage with the fillet knife.
     
  5. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    hold it up by its gills for a picture.... that'll do it.:big_smile:
     
  6. 320hotrod

    320hotrod New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    KCMO
    I hear ya, Bill. Seems growing up it was always preached to lip em only (all fish) don't stress them, gently put them back i the water. A lot of people do all this, but on tv nowadays, especially bass, all I see is gill handling and toss from the boat seat back to the lake.
    Back on topic now, I keep mine alive until cleaning time, but have heard from old timers down Truman way that you can use a small, stiff wire in a certain spot in the head that will brain dead them.
     
  7. oahegw

    oahegw Member

    Messages:
    132
    State:
    So. Dakota
    ****
    I only keep the eating size and these I pop in the head with a hammer about three times and then fillet 'em out. They bleed out good and this is better for a good tasting fillet.

    At times I use to gut 'em with a knife in the lower gill area. This would bleed them out. However this method takes too long. I just arrived home this Sat. morning with only a single 3 pounder. He will head for the frying pa shortly. Things are slower for catfish here.

    ****
     
  8. DLB-in-GR

    DLB-in-GR New Member

    Messages:
    490
    State:
    MI
    I have never bled my fish out before cleaning them, what does this do for the fillet? I don't notice any gamey flavor in the fillets, but maybe that's because I am only eating small ones (under 25")? Or maybe I am just used to the taste? I always fillet them out (electric knife), put the fillets in a pan of water while I am cleaning the other fish, then rinse them really well in the sink with running water to get the blood out and clean up any bones I missed, just like I do my panfish. If there is a better way, I am up for learning it.
     
  9. thunderchicken

    thunderchicken New Member

    Messages:
    769
    State:
    Yuma Az
    I have never done this but a friend of mine did. He would take a piece of straw from an old broom and make a small incision between the eyes and back a little there is a soft spot in the skull and thread the straw into the spine and it kills them instantly. Works like a charm if you can hit the right spot.

    :cool2:
     
  10. sharphooks

    sharphooks New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    nebraska
    I dont know if there is a better way, but i will put my 2 cents in.
    I bleed out the larger fish-Hang fish from mouth so tail is pointing down to ground. Then use a knife and cut off the tail. Blood will start dripping out immediately. The fish has to be alive for this to work. Takes only a few minutes. Seems a little barbaric at first,but i know the fish is dead in only a few moments instead of clubbing on head and wondering why fish is still kicking while im cleaning it.

    The smaller ones I do the same as you, always fillet out, soak in water, then cut out the red, some yellow, and any colored meat. Has always worked well for taste.

    By the way, you will be amazed how white the meat looks after bleeding a fish.
     
  11. biga

    biga Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,111
    State:
    evansville
    well bill i was thinking the best way would be to haul them around in the back of the truck and show all your friends..... .:wink:
     
  12. THE PAN MAN

    THE PAN MAN New Member

    Messages:
    1,213
    State:
    hartsburg mo.
    thats the way i do it. its the soft spot in the center bout middle of their head. i hang em on a piece of rebar fashioned into a hook clamped to a post or what not. that way their up straight. then run the wire in bout an inch or 2 and they just freeze.
     
  13. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD
    Cooler full of ice works good for me. Just like you or me would do, they slow down until they go to sleep. Couple of hours on ice does a good job (usually by the time i get home and clean the boat up). I see no need in bleeding out a fish, once i fillet him, i soak the fillets in salt water, and that draws the blood out. This is what works for me, not knocking anybody else's technique.
     
  14. bownero

    bownero New Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    State:
    Hastings, Ne.
    To me cleaning fish isn't Barbaric to me at all!! Dead or alive!! Isn't this why GOD created fish for us in the first place? To eat? I usually cut off the tail and bleed them out and then start the procedure of fillet them. Yeah, they still kick a little bit, but it's mostly nerves that are reacting.
     
  15. recordbreakin1

    recordbreakin1 New Member

    Messages:
    746
    State:
    texas
    A nail in the back of the head will put them out.
     
  16. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    I usually put the ones I'm going to keep in a cooler with ice, which puts them to sleep, then I use a sharp rap on the head just behind the eyes with a billy stick; one blow usually puts them out.
     
  17. JEFFRODAMIS

    JEFFRODAMIS New Member

    Messages:
    2,537
    State:
    TEXAS
    never had a problem with gettin em dead
     
  18. Grimpuppy

    Grimpuppy New Member

    Messages:
    3,556
    State:
    Concordia, KS
    I use the wire technique also. It is actually called "Pithing". I use a bottom bouncer sinker. It works like a charm and instantly paralyzes the fish.
     
  19. Backlashed

    Backlashed New Member

    Messages:
    3,270
    State:
    Derby, Kansas
    don't they get pithed off when you do that?:roll_eyes::embarassed::smile2:

    I just use the point of my knife in their soft spot. Poke the tip in, and give the handle a little bump with the heel of your hand,....lights out.
     
  20. Gotbuck

    Gotbuck New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,078
    State:
    Missouri
    I use an ice pick and place in right in the head behind the eyes, instant kill then fillet them. Works every time, just need to get the feel of the right spot at first.