How to Clean and Prepare a Catfish

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catfishCatfish are very hearty fish that have tough skin. However, once they are cleaned, prepared, and cooked, they make for a tasty meal.

There are many ways to skin a cat(fish), but this is a good method and simple way to get your grub on.


You will need to gather the materials that you need. You need a pair of pliers, some rope, a large knife, and a fillet knife.

Skin the Body

Carefully cut through just enough of the skin around the body behind the gills of the fish. Next, you need to gut the fish. Be careful not to puncture any of the fish organs.

Then you will need to remove all of the fish fins at the base. You will need to use your pliers to hold on to the fins while you are cutting.

Hang the Fish

Hang your fish by the gills from anything suitable like a tree branch. Cut the skin down the center of the fish’s back.

Pull Off the Skin

Pull the skin of the catfish off using the pliers from the head down. This can be a bit tricky; however, practice will help improve your skinning skills.

Remove Skin to Tail

Remove the catfish skin down to its tail. Cut the tail off if does not already have it removed. Cut off the head using the large knife that you had gathered with the rest of the materials.

Fillet the Catfish

Fillet your fish from the tail on up. Cut along the fish’s backbone until you reach its ribs. Cut from the top then down, beside the spine. Let the edge of the knife follow along the ribs.

Prepare the Fish

Prepare your fish to eat. When you have both of the sides filleted, the sky is the limit on how you will season or cook the fish.

Here is a sample recipe:

  • 2/3 Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ¼ Cup of Flour
  • ½ tsp. of Salt
  • ¼ tsp. of Pepper
  • 1 tsp. of Paprika
  • 1 Egg – Beaten
  • ¼ Cup of Milk
  • 5-6 Catfish Fillets
  • ¼ Cup of Butter


  1. Mix the cheese, salt, flour, pepper, and the paprika in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a different bowl, combine the milk and the egg.
  3. Dip in the catfish fillets, and then dredge it through the flour mixture.
  4. Put the fillets in a lightly oiled baking dish.
  5. Drizzle the butter on.
  6. Bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until the fish is flaky.

And if you want tips on how to catch many catfish in an efficient manner, check out the article on Trotline Fishing: Fill Your Freezer.


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