How To Clean Freshly Caught Catfish

The common misconception most people have is that catfish are hard to clean. This assumption is completely false. Catfish are one of the easiest fish to clean for consumption. Here is some information on how you can clean catfish that are freshly caught.


  • Work table for you to skin the fish in a clean and orderly place

  • Fillet knife is best because preparing catfish requires you to fillet its meat

  • Container for catfish meat should be clean

  • Bucket for discarded skin

  • Gloves (optional)


  • You need to locate the Adipose Fin of the fish. It is on the fish's back near the tail. It is the other fin of the catfish aside from the Dorsal Fin on its head.

  • Use your fillet knife to make an incision on the fish's Adipose Fin. Cut the fish along its back under the fin. Continue until you've reached the opposite side to the fin on its head. This will remove one side of the fish's skin.

  • Once you're done with one side, cut downward, from under the fish's head. The fillet knife should be positioned under the fin on its head. Continue to cut all the way until you are in the backbone of the fish and then remove the knife from the catfish.

  • Use one hand to grab the head of the catfish and the other hand to hold the fish's body. Proceed to bend the head down so that the fish's backbone will break. Do this gently to avoid tearing the head completely from the body.

  • Continue to hold the fish's head while inserting the index finger of your other hand into the fish. Do this to reach the ribcage of the catfish, to grip its body.

  • Simultaneously pull the fish's head in the direction of the tail while still gripping the body of the fish via the hand you have inserted. This should separate the skin of the catfish from its meat. Remember to do this with caution as to not strip a piece of meat with the skin.

  • Proceed to fillet the fish using your knife. Lay down the fish on your work table on its side. Begin to cut using your fillet knife to separate the meat from the side of the fish from its bone. Remember to lay down the knife flat when cutting to get the most meat from the fish's bones. Angle your knife slightly and begin slicing into the fish's flesh. Upon reaching the bone of the fish, slice straight through by leveling your cut, to end up with one clean piece of catfish meat.

  • Proceed to do the same to the opposite side of the catfish. Remember to cut deep and to cut as much meat from the fish as possible. Don't forget to carefully inspect the meat for pieces of bone, because their bones are very thin and pointy.

  • You should throw everything away except for the fillets of catfish meat that you have. Throw the remains of the fish into the water, or you can keep them as fishing bait.


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