OK. So I’m an avid outdoorsman and fisherman. Probably going to start a separate blog about it with a YouTube channel and the whole thing.
Anyhow, this is a question I get a lot, so here is the answer in one spot:
How to Skin & Fillet a Catfish:
First off, don’t keep a cat under 9-10 inches. Unless you’re really hungry. A lot of a catfish is the boney head and gill plates. I’ll do two fish of at least a foot each for two people.
Second, you’ll need these things:
a 2×4 or a tree or wall
needle nose pliers,
sharp fillet knife
OK, the fun bit.
1) grip the fish under the boney bits behind its gills with a rag
2) nail its head to the plank
3) cut along the boney head and gill plates just enough to split the skin
4) insert your knife in the fish’s underbelly and slit open its gut
5) pull out all its innards, cut out the heart etc. Check for roe! (Sacks of fish eggs. Usually light orange in color. Save to cook. It’s caviar!)
6) wash out the cavity
Grip and Strip
OK. So now grab ahold of the fish with your rag. Then take a corner — just under where you made your cut around the head and gill plates — of the skin in your pliers and give a good, long pull. You may need to start on each side of the head, but literally just grab the skin in the pliers and pull it off like a stocking. Pull off skin to the tail.
Let Your Knife Do the Work
Filleting any fish is all about a long, flexible, flat, sharp knife.
Hold down the tail of the fish. Lay the knife with the blade even with the base of the tail. Then just slide it up the side of the ribs with a nice fluid stroke. Don’t saw, just let the middle of the knife bend a bit under your weight and let the knife slide on up.
Now repeat that on the other side of the fish, and voila! Two nice fillets! (Hopefully it will be necessary to repeat on more fish!)
Well, that’s the basics. I guess I’m obliged to do a video on this now. That’ll be for another blog and another YouTube channel.
Hope this helps. And if you’re interested in fishing, camping, outdoorsy stuff, fire starting, DIY, cooking outdoors, GoPro, vids, photography — and would be interested in sharing content for a new site, contact me or leave a comment below!