Five Tips for Gutting a Catfish

Now that you know how to gut a fish here are five tips that will make this process easier.

Make sure your filet knife is very sharp for the best results. It would be difficult to complete this process with a dull knife. You’ll end up working yourself to death because the skin is very tough.

Be very gentle when handling the organs of the fish. Even though you are removing them to throw away, you don’t want to have a huge mess to clean up before you can filet the fish and finish getting him ready to cook. The organs are fragile and will burst if you put too much pressure on them.

Secure the catfish before you begin. Most anglers will nail him to a table or a tree by putting a nail through his head. This keeps him from sliding around through the gutting process.

Starting from the anus and going upward is easier than starting from the head and going down. One reason for this is because you can hold onto the tail for leverage.

Using a water hose to wash the catfish as you’re gutting it is much easier than using buckets of water. This way you have access to as much fresh water as you need to completely clean the catfish.

If you take your catfish home to gut and filet make sure you keep him fresh through the transporting process. You’ll be glad you took this advice once you start the gutting process. One problem some anglers have with gutting a catfish is the smell. It can be overwhelming at times. You may want to consider wearing a mask or tying a clean towel around your nose and mouth.

Gutting a catfish is not the highlight of catching a mess of fish for a great meal and not everyone has the stomach for it. If you’re squeamish, you may want to talk a fishing buddy into taking care of the gutting and cleaning process for you. Some areas may have local merchants that will take care of this process and prepare the catfish for cooking, for a fee of course. If you love catching and eating the catfish but would rather skip the gutting part, it’s something worth checking into.

To get the full “Five Tips for Gutting a Catfish” article you’ll need to download it here.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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