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Cleaning Catfish

The Easiest Method of Cleaning Catfish

Some people make the task of cleaning catfish much more difficult than it needs to be. Even when dealing with a very large fish, the task of cleaning them can be made quite simple by using the proper techniques.

Below is a step by side guide to properly cleaning catfish.

There are two fins on a catfish. The one that you want to start with is the one that is NOT by the head. This is called the adipose fin. Once you located that fin, insert your fillet knife directly behind it. Cut one long strip all the way up to the other fin, called a dorsal fin.

Next, move your knife so that instead of cutting along the body, it will cut down into the body. Move the knife deep into the fish, but not enough as to completely remove the head.  In fact, you want the head to still be firmly attached to the skin as this becomes important in one of the following steps.

The next step is to break the backbone. You can do this by holding the body of the fish with one hand and the head with the other. Bend until you hear the backbone break.

Now, you should insert your finger into the fish and latch onto the backbone. The point of this is to increase the strength of your grip. Now, grab the head and pull towards the tail. Because the skin is still firmly attached to the head, this movement should pull the skin off, revealing the meat.

Pull slowly. If done correctly, this one movement should remove all of the skin from the catfish.

The next step in cleaning catfish is removing the meat. Angle your knife and insert until you hit bone. Then, slice along the entire side of the catfish. This should produce one solid piece of catfish. Flip the fish over and repeat on the other side.

Of course, it is very important to check the catfish fillets very carefully for bones. Remember, these bones can be quite small and sharp. They make an unpleasant surprise to the person who is eating the fillet.

The rest of the fish is waste and should not be consumed.

As you can see, cleaning catfish is far less difficult than some make it out to be. With the right technique and, perhaps, a little practice, you will be able to clean catfish in minutes. Many people clean their catfish right on the boat or shore while they are still fishing.

There are other popular methods of cleaning a catfish. Some people nail the fish to a tree or to a board as they feel it makes it easier to remove the skin, which is quite tough. That step is not necessary if you follow the advice above.

The most important thing to remember when cleaning catfish is to be SURE the fish is dead before beginning. You can be hurt trying to clean a live fish, not to mention the fact that trying to do so is inhumane.

Once your catfish is cleaned, you will have some of the best tasting freshwater fish on the planet. Enjoy!



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