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Thread: cleaning catfish

  1. #21
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    I have a friend who ketch's the cats for me and calls me to let me know they are next to my toon. usually can talk the neighbor into cleaning them for me and then have him cook them on his iron skillet.
    but when I have to do it pop them in head with filet board and that usually gets it done then filet right down the backbone and then put the filets on board and it's really easy to run your knife along and skin them that way. easier than skinning first IMO.
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  2. #22
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    I think you guys are putting too much thought into it......he's a catfish. We've skinned em before, twisted the head off & threw it in the gut bucket, and it'll still be moving 15 minutes later. He's a catfish, not your family cat. Just my thoughts.

  3. #23
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    I’d love to know the actual count on all the catfish I’ve cleaned in my life. For 10 yrs growing up we owned a fish camp and used to, at certain times, attract the in and around the dock with catfish pellets and literally catch them by the wash tub full. We always cleaned similar to the way the commercial fishermen that launched out of our ramp did. The only difference being is they would “ring’em”(wearing a cotton gardening glove, you pick the fish up by the head and cut the skin from behind the pectoral spine on one side all the way across the top, in front of the dorsal spine, down past the pectoral spine on the other side) as they removed them from their trailered boat and toss them in a crate. Then take them to the cleaning table to skin and gut. A skinning board ( usually a 1x6x18”-24”) has a 8penny nail driven through from the underside about 4” down from the top. Then take pliers and roll the pointed end of the nail into a semi-circular hook shape (the nail, with use, would pivot inside the hole but never pull through in either direction). Although driving a large finish nail in, angled upward, at the top of the board and nip the head off will suffice for most recreational fishermen. It helps to have the top of the skinning board raised to about 30-35 degrees. Hold the fish by and across the top of the head as you place him on the nail and while performing the next step. Then take skinning pliers(Maybrun commercial catfish skinning pliers) and grasping the skin to one side of the dorsal spine and pull skin all the way down and off the tail. Then do same to other side. Now cut the head off and slit the belly and gut. Usually there is still some belly skin that can be removed with the knife. With practice, an experienced fisherman with a sharp knife has to be safer and a lot less traumatizing to the fish than beating it like a baseball with a club or stabbing at a moving target. Quite often the proper ringing process will slay the fish. Good luck, keep catching and practice. The fillet cleaning method is used mostly only on larger catfish. Icing your catch, as mentioned above, will put them to sleep as well as preserve them until cleaned.
    Last edited by SpeckledSlab; 05-15-2020 at 11:26 AM.
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  4. #24
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    No gutting for me anymore. I start at the top fin and cut down to the ribs, once I have cut back past the ribs I slide the knife out the bottom and slice to the tail then fillet the meat off the skin.
    :I would like to thank the builders of docks for giving me a place to fish and lose tackle
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  5. #25
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    Get an electric filet knife. When it is new it may be too sharp to skin with. After it gets a little dull, you can filet a catfish like a crappie. Good luck.

  6. #26
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    Default cleaning catfish

    I grew up with commercial fishermen. I hope I never even see another catfish.
    6-8 hundred pounds a day was loafing.
    I am rather adept at cleaning them exactly like SpeckledSlab was describing.
    I have seen the dorsal fin, all the way through my Gpas hand more than once. He was a tough ol bird.



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  7. #27
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    I use a 2x8 board, drive a 16 penny nail through the catfishes head. It serves two purposes, kills and holds fish in place making skinning easier.
    John

    “ Go make an impact for God’s Kingdom today and everyday. “

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by cricket george View Post
    If you will feel for a small indentation in the middle of catfish’s head there you will find the entrance to the brain. Take a sharp knife and put a tiny slit in the skin. Next take a broom straw and insert the straw in the channel and push it into the brain. Spin the straw in your fingers and the catfish will shudder and be dead humanely. You just scrambled it’s brain.
    My mom, how is 84 now, had grown up in the country in east TX. She taught me this when I was a kid. Works like a charm...only trouble I have is finding long stiff broom straws for bigger catfish. I'm thinking of using weed trimmer string next time if it's a big enough fish.

  9. #29
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    Use skewers from Wally World's cooking dept. They are already pointy on one end.

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  10. #30
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    I use a 22 short in a High Standard HD Military!

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