How To Clean A Catfish And Bullheads By Skinning And Dressing Technique
There are a few different techniques for cleaning catfish. The two most common methods are to skin and dress them, or to fillet them.
On this page we will go over the steps for skinning these fish. We'll
explain how to clean a catfish with some very simple, quick and easy to
follow steps which shall have you cooking up your fresh batch of
catfish within a short time.
The following method below is an old school way of which I was
taught how to clean a catfish back when I was a youngster.
Utensils For Skinning Catfish
First of all, there are a few things you need which will come
in handy for skinning catfish:
- wooden board, table or tree
hammer and long nail
pliers or skinning pliers
sharp fillet knife
Handy Tools For Skinning Catfish
Steps For Cleaning Catfish
- Place the catfish onto a wooden board or up against a tree.
Tap a nail through the head of the catfish until it is secure in the
wood. Or you may choose to firmly grasp the head of the catfish.
Slice a slight incision into the skin behind the dorsal
fin. Do this on both sides, about one inch of length will be good. Or
you may create one continuous cut from one side to the other across the
backbone. You only need to slice deep enough to penetrate the skin.
You can remove the dorsal fin and any of the other fins by
pulling them out with the pliers.
Grasp the skin with the pliers and peel it straight down
towards the tail. Repeat this with any of the remaining skin on the
body. With some sections around the fins or belly you may have to pull
the skin towards the opposite direction.
With catfish in hand, cut into it from behind the gills,
all the way around the head. Grasp the catfish and twist the head until
the backbone snaps. Pull the head away from from the body. Some of the
entrails will come out with it.
Insert the knife into the vent and slice up through the
belly. Open it up to remove the fat and the entrails. You can use the
pliers to help pull out the tougher parts.
Cut the tail off or leave it on.
Rinse with water.
That's it. You now have a whole dressed catfish and ready to put over
the fire. You can prepare it whole, fillet it, or cut it up as you
Skinning A Catfish
This is just one way of how to clean a
catfish. Some people prefer to fillet
catfish with the skin on. With either technique, some people
may do it a little differently than others, although the results are
very similar. Simply go with what works best for you.
See some of our other Top Picks for Seafood Recipe Cookbooks here.