View Full Version : cleaning cats.........

07-20-2005, 09:16 AM
this might sound stupid, but i've NEVER cleaned a cat before. everyone i caught was released otherwise given to my brother if it was bigger. they just look so slimy and nasty but i tried some a few weeks ago and it was good. so how do i fillet them so it'll look like the clean white meat i see at the stores? is it like filleting and cleaning a salmon or trout.

thanks for all the help


07-20-2005, 09:20 AM
Try this bit:
http://www.fishsniffer.com/cgi-bin/forumsyabb/YaBB.pl?board=fresh_cat;action=display;num=1121572 657;start=2#2

07-20-2005, 10:35 AM
First, I suggest you only keep the smaller cats for eating. The big ones are really hit & miss on flavor. The smaller fish taste WAY better.

Second, get a very, very sharp filet knife and filet them after they've been on ice for awhile. That way, you don't have to clean them. Make sure after you filet them you remove the head or stab them in the heart before the fish gets warm and starts feeling pain again.

Third, use some needle nose to remove the skin. You may need to make some cuts into the meat to get the skin started, but once you do its easy to peel off with pliers once you get the hang of it. Some people like to skin them before they filet them, but I like to do it after I get the filet off.

Good luck!

07-20-2005, 11:46 AM
Just fillet them. *Screw dealing with skinning them and all that. *Just fillet the skin right off!

07-20-2005, 10:49 PM
I just got an electric fillet knife and it seems to work great it cuts right through them. I would switch to my regular for cutting the skin off but to get through the bones it is awsome.

07-21-2005, 01:21 PM
Well listen, this may sound grusom but I've cleaned a lot of cat fish in my life and I don't think I've found an easier way to do it. We first drive a large nail into a board so it protrudes through. Then as pointed out by others you cut the skin around the head of the fish, after which pound the head through the nail. That gives you something to hold the cat while you pull the skin off with a pair of pliers. After that, you can gut the fish and cut the head. good luck.


07-21-2005, 01:25 PM
get a knife with a gut hook and skin it

07-21-2005, 02:32 PM
I personally think the thread title should be changed...
to "Theres more than one way to skin a cat" ::)

Sorry guys, it had to be said :P

07-21-2005, 06:44 PM
My brother and I developed a slight variation on the nail technique when we were growing up. He recently graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and is currently working at an expensive french bistro and says he has yet to see a more efficient technique!

1. Obtain the following materials:
* *- Flat piece of wood (old fence boards are great!)
* *- 1 long nail
* *- hammer
* *- needle nose pliers
* *- fillet knife

2. Place whole catfish on board.
3. Drive nail through head
4. cut through the skin around the entire circumference of the fish just below the head
5. Pull the skin off with the pliers, just like taking a sock off!
6. Remove fish from board
7. Scoop out any remaining guts
8. Fillet
9. Rinse.

quick and fun!

In our prime we could clean and fillet a catfish in under two minutes.

07-22-2005, 03:56 PM
Damn, that's gruesome. But i'm sure i'll get the hang of it. Thanks for everything guys.

07-22-2005, 07:49 PM
If you have a lot to clean, you can put the nail in the board and hook the fish on the nail by his gills, that way you don't have to pry the nail out each time. JIM D.

07-23-2005, 10:38 PM
my dad was just telling me he learned a new way to skin a cat. I dont know if it works but he said it does. he said put it in luke worm water not hot dont want to ruin the fish but in worm water for about 5 min or so. he said this softens the fat aound the skin and then it just peels off. I dont know if this is a good Idea as far as keeping it fresh but he just told me and you asked.

07-24-2005, 12:20 PM
Hey MB I just watched a guy clean a fish with an electric knife and it worked great! I rarely eat my catch, but if I ate fish more often I'd definately go with the electric knife.

07-24-2005, 05:20 PM
I have always done it like fat cat. It can be hard to get the nail started, but it works the best for me. I have tried a few other ways and it was really a butch. My boss is named butch and he is such a knucklehead... hahahaha

Patrol 21

07-24-2005, 05:31 PM
Sharp knife and fillet them flip them over do the skin 4 cuts it's done

07-26-2005, 07:30 PM
Here is the one I cleaned today with the electric knife. worked great. cleaned the fish in about 10 min. probibly 20 min seting up stuff cleaning and vacume sealing it. and then cleaning up the mess.
way better then I used to do trying to cut the head off skin cut out all the fins and guting them. I also think the meat looks better like this and is easer to cook. ;)


looks good ;)

07-26-2005, 11:38 PM

That does look good! I would pay money for those. Get the egg whites and crushed saltine crackers ready....


07-26-2005, 11:43 PM
i can see the ashtray..lol mustve needed a smoke during the bloody process... ;D ;D

07-27-2005, 09:23 PM
No im in the process of quiting. well I did quit for a while but now started back up. I want smoking during the process. that was from me and others. Its always out there. the fish do almost look like store bought. thats why I like doing it that way now. ;)

07-28-2005, 09:33 AM
so do you just follow the back bone then like salmon? i like to do it when the back bone is facing me and i slowly just go down the spine.

just out of the blue, cause i know some one posted that they ice it first and quickly fillet the cats before they have feelings back in them, has a cat ever twitched while you are filleting them? just curious. i think that would spook the crap out of me.

07-28-2005, 02:29 PM
You mean like this.

07-28-2005, 02:37 PM
Stab it in the head to try to kill it, cut slits in the skin near the head, use pliers to peel the skin off, clean the guts and chop the head off.

07-28-2005, 10:18 PM
Thats how I used to do it. without the nailing it to the board. :-/
Troutman follow the back bone. I noticed on that one the back bone was wide up by the head but then about half way down turned into like a regular fish. way easyer. cutting there heads off alone can be a job.

07-31-2005, 10:44 AM
I agree above.......cut skin around head, pull skin off and cut head off, clean insides. My favorite tool....

08-01-2005, 09:36 AM
wow. very very informational. thanks a bunch guys.

08-02-2005, 07:33 AM
One more way...
Smack em in the head to kill 'em.
Then, use an electric knife to fillet them flipping the fillet over and removing the skin with the knife...takes about a minute to do a fish....

Fish On!

08-02-2005, 02:24 PM
I've learned a lot reading this thread. Here is my technique. Drive a nail through their head - into a fence post - about shoulder high (yours) - before cleaning them. Make the incision around the head. Grab the skin in front of the dorsal fin - with vice grips - and pull down slowly. This will skin the entire fish with one pull. Then fillet it. Hold a plastic garbage bag under the carcass and pull the nail out with the vice grips. Done. My father used to cut the heads off and nail them to the top of our fence posts. After they dry out they look like gargoyles :P

08-02-2005, 04:15 PM
Catfish have shoulders?? :P

08-06-2005, 11:40 AM
Ertl -

In the photo with the catfish being cleaned, it looks like your trailer bunks need to be extended before your boat bottom is severely hooked.