Tag Archives: Jessia Lakis

Skin a Cat


Fish, cook, eat

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 hammer
framing nails
a 2×4 or a tree or wall
needle nose pliers,
a rag
sharp fillet knife

OK, the fun bit.

Get Started:

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.

Finishing 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!



Objects in Mirror



Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.

I’m laying at the foot of my bed, where I’ve made camp. I balance the weight of my head on a pillow, but close enough to feel her labored breathing. My best friend is leaving me.

Last week she killed a groundhog and jumped in a river in excitement over a fish I caught. Now her little heart pounds arythmic against my ear. Her swollen belly rises and falls too fast. She struggles for breath and wakes. I dip my hand in water for her to lick.

My father died at home under hospice care. When he decided to refuse treatment, my mother raged in helpless tears. All those years. She didn’t want to accept what he had, that he was finished the fight.

Molly couldn’t tell me to let her go. I had to choose for her. But those eyes that always trusted me and looked to me, those eyes branded on my mind, they asked my permission. If I could never refuse her the last bite of a sandwich, how could I refuse her this? My puppy, my friend of thirteen years, asked me if she might retire from her long, loyal service. I could never deny her anything.

Molly, you saved me from a tarantula. Were my friend when I was friendless. You comforted me when I was sick. And after surgery, you were my physical therapist, making me get out for that walk. My drill sergeant on hikes. Fishing cheerleader and singing partner. We shot the breeze. And when I was down on myself, you were my motivational speaker. You listened when I was sad, and at my lowest point, you gave me reason to live. No matter what, you forced me to enjoy life, if only for you. I live for you, but not nearly so much as you for me.

I will stay here with you, Molly, as long as you want to stay. I’ll hold on to you forever, if that is your wish. My most devoted friend. My funny face that always makes me smile. Little pup. I’ll stay with you until you’re ready to lay down the long burden you bore with inspiring joy. Your precious, life-affirming soul. Always charging headlong into the fray, tenacious as your breed. Courageous heart. My Molly. My baby. My best friend. Thank you.

Per Ardua ad Astra

per ardua ad astra edit 2

Through struggle, the stars


I didn’t write or blog this week. I got a cold, slept and watched TNG on Netflix. I did keep waking up from cold medicine dreams to type ideas in Evernote. When the Dayquil wears off I’ll see if they’re any good.

Today I got a haircut. So I don’t look like Seasons 4-5 Daryl anymore. But it’s rainy and crap and now I’m going to take a nap. I despise unproductive weeks! It’s hard to rest now that I’m well after being sick all winter. I have so much to make up.

But seriously I’m going to take a nap. Then be up all night listening to SPQR by Mary Beard having asthma/panic attacks. Give me a few days. I’m a terminator. I’ll be back.

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