Author Topic: How I clean a channel cat (beware of gut pictures)  (Read 4255 times)

Offline VECtor Calls

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How I clean a channel cat (beware of gut pictures)
« on: May 20, 2009, 06:51:12 PM »
Yes.....there's a hundred different ways to skin a cat.  This is the way I like to do it, because dealing with the guts it minimal and its quick and easily done with very few tools, and little strength.  (Skinning can be tough if you're trying to do the whole fish).

I use the orange glove because it has grip on it.  It helps me hold the fish well.

The knife is a LOT bigger than what you need, but its what I use to clean my flatheads, so its what I'm used to. 

You can use regular pliers rather than fish skinners with this method if you want, because you'll only have to pull on the skin once on each side of the fish, and it will come off easily.

Some folks may want the belly meat taken off of the channel cats.  I prefer not to.

Parker

Tools of the trade.  #1 is a SHARP KNIFE!  The red item is a cheap seramic knife sharpener that works very quickly and easily for filet knives.


Cut around the dorsal fin, and send one cut down the length of the fish on the top down to the tail.  You're just cutting the skin, not the meat.


Cut the skin on each side right behind the pectoral fins.  Don't cut all the way around the belly, just the sides, being sure to connect with the cuts you made on the top of the fish.  Again, just skin cutting, no meat cutting.


Turn the fish upside down and cut a 'V' from each side by the pectoral fin down to the anal opening.  This is a cut through the meat and the skin.  You will be able to follow the bottom of the ribs that you can see through the skin for this 'V' cut.


A picture of the completed bottom 'V'.


Make a cut through the meat, following along the backbone, from the top of the back to the bottom of the fish.....just behind the anal opening.  Do this on both sides.  This cut is BEHIND the rib cage and anal opening......don't worry about the rib cage meat at this step.


Follow the backbone down to the tail, but not THROUGH to the end.  Leave the meat and skin attached.  This will make your skinning more 'sturdy'.


Grab the skin with the pliers in the top corner as shown, and hold the fish with your off hand.  Pull the skin and the fish apart.  If you made your cuts right, the skin will easily come off in one piece on each side of the fish.   


Side shown with the skin pulled all the way down.  You can pull the skin all the way through so it comes off.


Showing the skin pulled off but still barely attached.....again, you can pull it all the way off.  These will be your only scraps besides the fish carcass with guts still in the fish.  You'll see there is some white film left on the filet.  This is perfectly fine to eat, and does not effect the taste or texture, so leave it on.


Take your knife along the top of the rib cage, and follow the rib cage around the side of the fish until you run out of meat on the side.  This will not be just one cut, but a slicing action over and over as you separate the meat from the rib cage.  It is much easier to follow a catfish rib cage than a panfish's rib cage because the catfish has larger bones.   


Then, for even cooking, I always evenly chunk up my filets.....they are all meat with no bones....and are done cooking at the same time.

« Last Edit: May 20, 2009, 06:56:08 PM by Parker »
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Offline BigB

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Re: How I clean a channel cat (beware of gut pictures)
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2009, 09:12:43 PM »


Parker, you make it look easy!

You got some caviar in that one?


Brian
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Offline Braz

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Re: How I clean a channel cat (beware of gut pictures)
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2009, 09:13:23 PM »
Nice tutorial Parker. But I have to admit I was looking forward to one of those 50 pounders being cutup.  :eek:
Braz
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Re: How I clean a channel cat (beware of gut pictures)
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2009, 02:05:00 AM »
 :wacko:  It'd take a lot of pictures to do a big boy.  Not near as easy, and there's a lot more places where there's meat. 

I'd have to have someone patient enough to look over my shoulder to take the pictures while I'm cleaning one.   :turned:

Parker
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Offline Braz

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Re: How I clean a channel cat (beware of gut pictures)
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2009, 02:29:11 AM »
Cool. I've never even seen one of those big cats for real, and to see it being cut up would be cool.
Braz
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress.. But I repeat myself."--Mark Twain

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Offline Jeff @ Mutt Calls

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Re: How I clean a channel cat (beware of gut pictures)
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2009, 08:19:27 AM »
Nice. Kinda sad though.... that big ol'e cat between the bucket and cooler looks as if he's saying "Crap, I'm next"........ :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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Re: How I clean a channel cat (beware of gut pictures)
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2009, 10:29:28 AM »
 :rofl:  Yep.....and he was next too.  Poor thing.   :rofl:

Parker
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Re: How I clean a channel cat (beware of gut pictures)
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2009, 02:02:53 PM »
That's pretty much how I do it too Parker, well, sometimes i use the electric kn ife too.
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