How should a cat fish be filleted?

Discussion in 'Catfish Discussion' started by RWBlue, May 19, 2005.

  1. How should a cat fish be filleted?

    I caught one today. I filleted it. I skinned it. But it wasn’t pretty.

    How is it supposed to be done?
  2. mrfishohio

    mrfishohio Recovering Fishaholic

    Same as any other fish.

  3. bassn317

    bassn317 Casual Fisherman

    With a catfish, you can expect lots of blood. I suspect that is why you are saying it wasn't pretty. When I was young, my uncle used to just nail them to a tree to clean them so he could drain the blood as well as making it easy to skin.
  4. I always skin the fish first and then the fillet process is pretty similar to other fish. The biggest difference is just due to the difference in shape of the fish but the fillet concept is the same. Here is a pretty good step-by-step instructional that looks very consistent with the way I do them.

    Jackfish's Catfish Fillet Page
  5. mrfishohio

    mrfishohio Recovering Fishaholic

    "The "Lost Finger" method of catfish filleting " :confused:
    Can you say Wendy's?? :p
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2015
  6. I did not even notice the title on the page until you pointed it out. That is pretty funny.:D
  7. That is how I do it too... Guy from Ga. showed me...
    I hang mine though from a "S" shaped hook and skin them that way 1st...
  8. We always put a nail in the fillet board and the pop their lower jaw onto the nail to hold it in place.
  9. I use to do it that way too but found that hanging them with that "S" hook through the gills I get done much faster and don't have to keep pulling and pounding nails ;)
    When doing a couple nails are nto bad but when doing 10 or more it in itself becomes a job...
  10. We never pull the nail. You just push the fish down over the nail. If by chance the fish is large and the skin is too tough you simply use the knife to put a slit in the underside of the mouth. We alsway leave the nail on the board.
  11. I'm opposite I guess - I do it in reverse order. I make a pile of the fillets and do my skinning last.
  12. Do any of you " Bleed " the fish first before cleaning them ? i learned this while salmon fishing in Michigan years ago and it made an unbelievable difference in the taste of the fish. Seen local guys on the river doing this .... as soon as they would catch a " keeper " fish they'd pull out a knife and cut into both gills and drain the blood.
    I haven't tried this on any other fish besides the salmon but was curious as to if anyone else does this
  13. If the temp is warm I bleed all my fish by cutting off the end of their tail and then placing them into a cooler full of ice with the drain plug open on land or closed on a boat and I have a old stove shelf for my cooler that keeps the fish from laying in water and blood...
    I had a buddy who didn't think it mattered till he tasted my fish next to his at a family outting... He still said I did something else til we went again and I let him take all the fish home...
    Fish deteriorate very fast and must be, at the least, kept on ice minimum for best taste... Keeping cold keeps the bacteria from forming...
  14. Lewis


    For those of you that use an electric fillet knife,you can fillet a Catfish just like a Walleye,Perch or any other fish.
    There is no need to skin the fish first.
    The electric fillet knife removes the skin just fine.
    The average catfish can be filleted in under a minute.
    No nails or pliers needed! :D
  15. I wanted to add I don't bleed out panfish just ice them...

    Hey Lewis does it take anymore effort then say a walleye or perch?
    THANKS in advance...
  16. Lewis


    Not at all Clyde.
    For your average eating Cats..say 1-6 lbs...It breezes right through the rib bones just like any other fish.
    Enter behind the gills,follow the backbone,stop short of the tail,flip the fillet,and go right under the skin like normal.
    I have had many old timers around the fish cleaning station down at Kentucky Lake look at me in amazement using the electric knife to clean those eater Channel Cats.
  17. I keep saying that I need to get me one of those electric knives. Guys who have used them for a while sure make it look easy with those. We took a mess of perch to a cleaning station up at Erie last fall when I had my two older boys. They were amazed. And the one even had the nerve to say to me, "Dad he goes way faster than you!".:p I tried to convince him it was all because he does it every day.:rolleyes:
  18. Ok, I didn’t do to bad. The blood wasn’t. In fact, I didn’t have much blood at all. It was the skinning and the meat that I didn’t get off of the fish. If I am going to kill a fish I want all the meat.

    I went with the fillet, then attempt to skin method. I ended up running a knife under the skin to instead of pulling it off.

    BTW, what is the best size cat to eat?
  19. If you are using a regular fillet knife I would say that the method of pulling it off would be much better. However, I like the idea of Lewis method with the electric knife.;)

    I am sure you will get a wide range of opinions here but my opinion is that anything over about 5-6# will go back because they start getting too strong tasting for me. Others will claim large fish are good but not me.