How to Kill a Catfish Step by Step Guide to Proper Handling

How To Kill A Catfish Step By Step Guide To Proper Handling

Among anglers, catfish is one among the different kinds of fishes that always pose a challenge to them. Not only are catfishes quite tricky to catch, but they can also be used to prepare various kinds of dishes. But as with any marine resources that people use for culinary, you also need to have some know-how when it comes to the proper handling and killing. This is very important especially if you are not catching catfishes for sport and you really intend to cook the fish. How to kill a catfish the right way? Just keep on reading and we will show you a step by step guide.


Methods To Get A Catfish

Before the proper procedure of killing a catfish, the first step is to get one and there are actually different methods depending on your preference:


You have the option to catch the catfish on your own. If you are into fishing, this is the best way to enjoy the activity. What is the best way to catch a catfish? You can use jug lines as this fish is known to be bottom-feeder. When catching catfishes, make sure that you do not use heavy jug lines. It also helps that you know the right spot where to spot the catfishes.

Live Catfish

Live Catfish


Another method to get a catfish that you can cook is to get from your friends who are into fishing. Most anglers who catch this type of fish would usually release them after catching since they say that it is really challenging to kill and to clean catfishes.


The last option is you buy a fresh one. There are lots of catfishes in the market so you can just choose a fresh fish.

Cat Fish in Market

Cat Fish in Market

Step by Step Guide in Killing a Catfish

Although the third option might be appealing since you get to save time, most would prefer to catch the fish on their own. After all, what is more rewarding than cooking the main ingredient out of your fishing activity. But when handling and killing a catfish, you cannot just use your knife. We give you a step by step guide to make sure that you are doing it the right way.

Step #1: Pithing

Pithing will actually do the trick. What do we mean by that? Once you get hold of the fish (make sure that you handle it properly since catfishes are slipper and have the tendency to move a lot), you whack the fish on its head.

Step #2:

The next step is to ensure that you are using a big knife. It is important that you position your knife on top of its brain and spine. In a quick motion, push it down to the brain cavity of the fish to make sure that it is a painless death.

Step #3:

After that, you can cut through the fish’ skin around the head. This is the spot where you will have to remove the head but leave it for later.

Step #4:

You can now start removing the fins. Cut off the back portion of the fish as well as the stomach. This is not a very tough job to do especially if you are removing the fins of a catfish that is raised in the farm since it has smaller and softer fins unlike catfishes in the lakes. When removing fins, you need to remove dangerous fins as this can injure if not done right away.

Step #5: Remove The Delicate Skin Of The Fish

Younger catfishes have more delicate skin but if it is an older and a bigger catfish, the skin is way thicker. To remove the skin of the catfish, you need pliers.

Step #6: Remove The Head And The Guts

Remember the part where you cut around its head? Go back to the very same spot and cut through it using the knife. There are cases then the vertebrae can be quite to thick but if you are using a big and sharp knife, you wouldn’t have any difficulties. Position your knife in between and cut through the tissues in order to remove the fish’s head.

Step #7:

When you have finally removed the heat, you need to cut a lit in its belly to its anal fin. Remove anything and other bits.

Step #8:

Make sure that you rinse the fish and it is now ready for cooking.

For an actual and detailed demonstration, you can watch this video.

Ways to Cook Catfish

Catfish is sure a challenging fish to catch and it gets tougher especially when you have to handle and finally kill it. But what makes catfishes really popular is that it is a very delicious fish that everyone would surely enjoy. On top of that, there are also a wide range of delectable recipes that you can try and use different cooking methods to get the most of this very delicious fish.

Pan Fried Catfish

One of the easiest cooking methods is to pan fry the fish. For this recipe, you will be needing basic ingredients like cornmeal, flour, salt, creole seasoning, paprika, ground black pepper, milk, unsalted butter and lemon wedges. This is a pretty much straightforward recipe. Season the catfish with all of the mentioned ingredients except for the lemon. Pan fry the fish and once it is cooked, add the lemon for garnish.

Deep Fried Catfish

Deep frying catfish is almost the same with the previous recipe except you need to use baking powder, cayenne pepper and kosher salt. The procedure is basically the same but you just add the following ingredients.

Pan Fried Cat Fish

Pan Fried Cat Fish

Baked and Grilled Catfish

If you want a more sumptuous dish, you can always bake or grill catfish. There are tons of recipes that you can use to bring out the best baked or grilled catfish. Grilling the fish brings out its smokiness and strong flavors. For those who want a healthier option, baking the catfish is also a good choice.

Thai food, Catfish Grill . On charcoal grill.

For other amazing catfish recipes, you might want to check out this site.

These are just some of the cooking methods. But in same way as how you can be flexible and creative with your fishing techniques, the same applies for your cooking skills. Depending on your preference, there are actually different ways to prepare and cook catfish. You will be amazed as to how this fish can turn into different amazing recipes. Just be careful in handling and killing the catfish to avoid any accident.

Ready to catch some catfishes and cook them later on? How was your experience?

Louella Trump

Hi there, I’m Louella Trump, an adventurous young lady who loves exploring our beautiful nature by traveling and fishing. I write so as to share my passion and experiences with fellow readers who enjoy fishing and traveling as one of their recreational activities. My primary objective in sharing my experiences while traveling and fishing is to basically inspire any like-minded person out there to stop at nothing and leave no stone unturned in ensuring that they explore their passion as much as they can.

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