Channel catfish are among the most commonly caught freshwater fish. They make good table fare and are relatively easy to clean. The meat is white, mild tasting and boneless when properly cleaned.
1. Wash the catfish well before cleaning.
2. Make a cut behind the gills from top to bottom.
3. Make another cut at the tail.
4. Using pliers, carefully peel the skin off the fillet.
5. Continue removing the skin back to the tail.
6. Slice along the back, trimming the fillet from the bone.
7. Continue cutting the fillet free, working downward.
8. Wash channel catfish fillets and chill immediately.
Like other fish, channel catfish destined for the table should be kept cool at all times. Anglers report that bleeding catfish immediately and keeping them on ice will improve their flavor.
An alternative method to skinning is to fillet catfish with the skin on, then lay the fillets on a flat surface and cut the meat away from the skin. This process leaves a thin layer of meat on the skin. This method is said to improve the flavor of catfish during warm weather when some fish tend to have an off taste.