Catfish, of which there are around 18 different species in Kentucky, are among the most sought-after fish by fisherman on Kentucky Lake. Even while not every species may be found in the lakes of Western Kentucky, almost every variation can be recognized by its barbels, sometimes known as “whiskers,” and its scaleless body.
The dorsal and pectoral fins are highly robust and have the potential to inflict serious wounds on inexperienced fishermen if they are not handled correctly. Therefore, in order to properly clean a catfish, the following is a step-by-step tutorial that is simple to understand and follow for those who are new to the sport of fishing.
8 Simple Steps to Clean a Catfish
You’ll need the following tools:
- Flat board
- Scissors or sharp knife
1: Secure the fish.
Placing the fish on a board that’s been laid out flat is the simplest way to get the process started. To fasten the catfish to the board, you may insert a nail through its head. This will keep it in place. On the other hand, there are fisherman who would rather not do that and instead move the catfish to a tree that is close. The head is then affixed to the tree using nails to ensure that it is stable.
2: Remove the dorsal fin.
You may do this task using a pair of sharp scissors or a knife.
3: Find the head bone.
Determine where on the catfish the skull bone terminates and mark that location.
4: Cut the fish along the line of the head bone.
Incisions should be made at a diagonal along that line on both sides of the fish.
5: Skin the fish.
After you have made your incisions, you will need to use the pliers to grab the skin and pull it downward. It should be removed from the body of the fish, but the flesh shouldn’t be touched in the process. The fish’s skin will become more resistant to damage as it ages. Therefore, you should work slowly and methodically to remove the skin.
6: Cut the catfish meat.
You may now take the flesh from the fish by cutting it along the spine after the skin has been removed.
7: Discard the waste.
After that, you will need to get rid of the head and the entrails. Even if there are others who like cooking them, you need get rid of the garbage.
8: Filet the fish.
Your fish may now be filleted because it has reached this stage.
An Advanced Method for Cleaning Catfish
There are a number of different approaches to cleaning a catfish, one of which is a method that is utilized by more experienced catfish anglers and involves making use of an electric knife or a sharp blade to cut the skin away from the body of the fish so that the catfish does not need to have its skin removed.
“When done correctly with an electric knife or sharp blade provides a gorgeous piece of meat that is devoid of bones,” explains fishing guide Steve McCadams. However, this approach may demand a little higher level of expertise and dexterity.
According to McCadams, this technique provides fishermen with a lovely fillet that includes a rib cage that can be quickly removed with a little carving knife. McCadams claims this approach produces the best results.
Therefore, it doesn’t matter whatever technique you use, you’ll undoubtedly end up with tasty catfish flesh that you can use in your next fish fry.
Fish Cleaning Video Tips
Should you bleed catfish before cleaning?
Fish should only be frozen once, once after they have been cleaned, and then they should be preserved until they are thawed and consumed. Since I first started guiding fishermen, I’ve always suggested that they bleed catfish while the fish are still alive. This may be done just before bringing them to the cleaning station to get them cleaned.
Do you need to soak catfish before cooking?
WHAT KIND OF SOLUTION SHOULD FISH BE SOAKED IN PRIOR TO BEING FRIED? Before being fried, catfish is either soaked in milk or dipped in milk. When compared to catfish obtained in the wild, farmed catfish are less likely to have a flavor that is murky. Buttermilk is often used to soak wild-caught catfish for at least an hour in order to remove the fish’s muddy taste before it is prepared for consumption.
Why catfish is not good for you?
Although fish often do contain oil, the skin of catfish really contains oil. Because of this, it has a greasy consistency and is not good for you. Additionally, it has a high concentration of polyunsaturated fat, which not only contributes to weight gain but also congeals in the circulatory system.
Do you have to scale catfish?
In addition to catfish, there are a few other types of fish that do not have scales. Some of these fish are called scaleless fish. Even though the majority of catfish have no body armor and have skin that is smooth and slippery, there are a few species of catfish that have thick, bony body armor to protect them from being eaten by other animals.
How do you prepare fresh catfish?
After seasoning the catfish with salt and pepper, dredge the fish in seasoned cornmeal and pat it on so that it is evenly coated. Arrange fish in a single layer on the baking sheet that has been prepared, then drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. After 15 minutes in the oven, the fish should be brown and flake easily when tested with a fork. To serve, cut the lemons into wedges.