What is the quickest way to clean a catfish?

What is the quickest way to clean a catfish?

While catfish are fun to catch and even better to eat, most fishermen detest cleaning them. Here’s a method that works, however, there are many others out there. Experiment with a few methods until you find the one you’re most comfortable with. If you’re cleaning a catfish that weighs up to two pounds, you’re better off holding them in your hand. If you’ve managed to catch something larger though, I’d strongly suggest that you nail it to something solid like a tree trunk. To do this, you simply position the nail through the head of the fish. For smaller fish, hold the fish with your left hand with the top of the head in your palm and your index finger and thumb behind the pectoral spines on both sides of the head. Your first cut should be made crosswise from one side of the fish to the other. You want this cut to penetrate the skin only. To keep from cutting yourself, a Kevlar or steel mesh glove is a must. Grab the skin with a pair of pliers and pull it towards the fish tail. You’ll need to do this in various places from one side to the other to work the skin loose. If you end up with a “V” of skin on the belly of the fish you can remove it with the pliers or the blade of your knife. Once the skin is off, cut off the head, remove the guts and wash the cavity of the fish with cold running water. You can also cut off the tail and remove the dorsal fins by cutting along both sides of the fish approximately 1/2 an inch deep and pulling it out with pliers.


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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