April 10, 2014
Corinth, Mississippi catfish guide Phil King is known for his catches of humongous Tennessee River cats. Here's King's award-winning step-by-step catfish cleaning technique. His most recent official elapsed time at cleaning a cat is 11.03 seconds. Let us know if you can better that time.
You'll need an eatin'-sized catfish and the right tools for the job, including a Kevlar fish-cleaning glove, a sharp filet knife, and a good skinning tool like the Mayburn Catfish Skinner. Place the fish lengthwise on a table in front of you.
Catfish Speed Cleaning Step 1
Pick up the fish with your gloved hand, slip your index finger behind a side fin and your thumb behind the side fin on the reverse side, holding the head between your thumb and index finger.
Catfish Speed Cleaning Step 2
Pick up the knife and score through the skin on both sides of the fin facing you.
Catfish Speed Cleaning Step 3
Slide the knife under the dorsal fin; the blade will automatically go to the backbone and will fall in the joint so it scores the spine without severing it.
Catfish Speed Cleaning Step 4
Lay down the knife, pick up the skinner, grab the skin on the cut side, and pull from head to tail in one motion, removing this section of skin.
Catfish Speed Cleaning Step 5
Rotate the fish so the unskinned side faces up.
Catfish Speed Cleaning Step 6
Grasp the fish around the dorsal fin with the skinner and pull back.
Catfish Speed Cleaning Step 7
Rotate the fish upright and grab the skin in the middle of the back with the skinner. Pull straight back toward the tail to remove the remaining skin.
Catfish Speed Cleaning Step 8
Grasp the fish with your free hand, press down on the head and up on the tail to break the spine in two.
Catfish Speed Cleaning Step 9
Tuck the head of the fish against its stomach and pull the body back while pushing the head forward to remove the head as well as the remaining stomach skin.
Catfish Speed Cleaning Step 10
Slit the belly and remove entrails, or insert a finger into the vent and run it straight up the body cavity to remove entrails.