Tagged: tips

How to Fillet a Catfish


Even though catfish don’t have scales, they are still often considered to be a tough fish to fillet, mostly because of their tough skin. There are a number of different techniques out there for dealing with catfish. But with a good, sharp knife, or electric knife, filleting a catfish may be easier than other fish.

Some people try to remove the skin first, but this usually requires the use of pliers and a good grip to pull the skin off after making a thin incision around the fins and fillet. A sturdy glove may come in handy with this method. A more preferred method is to cut off the fillet, with skin, followed by cutting the fillet from the skin. This is an easier method that can also leave less skin and connective tissue on the fillet.

There is some disagreement on whether a knife or an electric knife is better for the job. This may depend on how many fish or how often you fillet a fish. Both require some training to get it right, but usually those with less fish to fillet tend to use an electric knife. If the number of fish gets large, a good knife may be less costly than a number of electric knives and blades. One knife that looks very sturdy is the Bubba Blade knife. A number of people swear by the Mister Twister electric fillet knife, or at least their blades. The 110 V plug-in version is needed for the power. The American Angler electric fillet knife also gets high praise.

Another big difference in approaches is whether to cut through the rib cage or around it. For small catfish, it is fairly easy to cut through the ribs, but on larger sizes (5-6 lbs and up) you will need a sharp, sturdy knife to cut the ribs.

On a small fish – make a cut on the side, behind the head from the top of the fish (dorsal side) near the front of the dorsal fin down behind the pectoral fins to in front of the pelvic fin. Cut through the rib cage to the spinal cord, then turn knife to go parallel to spine and cut to the tail. Stop the cut before cutting through the skin at the tail, and then flip the fillet towards the tail so that the fillet is showing. While holding onto the fish, beginning from where the fillet is attached at the tail, cut the fillet from the skin by pushing the knife between the fillet and skin while pulling the fish to keep the skin tight. It helps to begin the cut with the point of the knife or flex the electric knife blade to get a good cut. If you didn’t stop the initial cut of the fillet at the tail, you will need to grab the skin at the tail with pliers and cut the fillet from the skin, from tail to head. Finally, cut out the ribs from fillet.

On a larger fish (> 5-6 lbs) – make a partial cut on side, behind the head, up to the spine, then cut along the spine until you get past the ribs, then plunge the knife through the fish (from dorsal to ventral side) and cut along the spine to the tail. Then come back and trim around the ribs back to the initial cut on the side. The fillet still needs to be skinned and if you didn’t cut the fillet off at the tail, flip the fillet over at the tail and cut the fillet from skin from where it attached at the tail. If you cut the fillet off at the tail, grab the skin at the tail with pliers and cut from tail to head. There is some dark red meat on the lateral line of the fillet that you may prefer to remove. This can be cut with a V-cut to remove, but it will split you fillet in half. The top and bottom edge may need trimming as well. A slightly different version for larger fish is to start the cut behind the rib cage at an angle. Cut to spine and then back to tail. This loses some of the shoulder portion of the fillet. For this size fish, the belly flap can also be trimmed off. This is under the section of skin on the belly near the head. Just finish cutting from the initial side cuts from both sides, towards the jaw. Cut or pull any small tendrils attached, and cut in front of the pelvic fin to separate the belly flap. There is skin on one side and membrane on the other that needs to be removed. This is sliced off just like removing the skin from the fillet by grabbing the skin/membrane, with meat on top, and cut while pulling the skin.

Watch these three videos. They are very good at describing these methods of filleting catfish.

Catfishing in Ponds


If you go catfishing in ponds a good amount, you will come across three types of catfish. The first of these is the Channel catfish. When compared with others in terms of size, this type is the smallest and it is also more abundant than others so you are more likely to catch a Channel than other types. The other two types are the Flathead and Blue catfish, and these are larger by far and can also grow to an impressive size. When catfishing in ponds, there are some things that you have to consider first, and here the feeding habits of the catfish comes into focus. For the Channel catfish, the favorite menu is made up of dead fish or insects found on the water surface. Being scavengers, they are well suited for the artificial ponds. Catching them does not pose any problem and they adapt quickly after they have been caught. The Flathead also shares a similar feature with the Channel as they also eat voraciously and catching them is also easy as well. But for the Blue catfish, there are notable differences. They are not easy to locate and they are also more selective when it comes to feeding. Therefore, for catfishing in ponds, the Blue catfish is not the favorite of many. This is due to the amount of energy and exertion that goes into catching them.

There are two techniques that you can make use of for catching catfish in ponds. In a pond that contains a lot of Flathead and Blue catfish, you will be in need of a rod and a reel for bait casting. The spinning reel is also an excellent choice. Because using the hooks with a single end does not guaranty much success, you may have to make use of the treble hook. The treble hook facilitates your catching of the fish.

In catfishing in ponds, another thing that you must bear in mind is the size of the catfish. For the smaller catfish, using a tackle that is very light in weight is a very good idea, and you can use this with one or two rods. To improve your chances and tilt the probability in your favor, you need to use both at the same time. Always ensure that you loosen the drags on the reels whenever you soak the lines, as this allows the fish to hook. Immediately you see a kind of tugging on the drag, seize the opportunity and make sure the rod is tightened until it is taut and the catfish has been captured.

For the patient ones, you will later discover that with bait-soaking, catching the fish is made far easier. Putting pieces of bait in the water to serve as attractants is also another useful idea that you can put into use. If your intention is to catch the real big ones, then the evenings are the best part of the day to do your fishing. The fish tend to be more active at night. Boost your chances with them by making use of baits that smell strongly and chunky too.

Catfishing Tips and Secrets Exposed


When it comes to fishing, one class of fish that is widely known is the catfish. Catfishing has grown to become much loved in various parts of the globe. So you should not be baffled to understand that many have taken interest in it. Catfishing tips ensure that you maximize your chances of success whenever you are fishing. With knowing these tips you conserve time and energy, and you also get to come home with something you enjoy. Gathering the right information is important and once you get the correct catfishing tips that you seek, you migrate from being an amateur into a professional in no time.

One aspect of catfishing tips that you need to know and appreciate very much is the time of the day that you select to do your fishing. Although there is considerable liberty as to when you may decide to go for catfishing, some periods of time are clearly better than others, so why settle for less? To get the best results, you need to schedule your fishing at a time when the catfish will be feeding. This is because they move to the upper layers of the water in large numbers when they scour for food. Try fishing during night time to test your luck, especially one without the moon being too visible. The early hours of the morning are also a very good time period to fish.

Another of the catfishing tips that you need to consider is putting the environment into consideration when you go fishing. The depth of the water body is also an important factor. The availability of the catfish is also determined by the currents of the water. If the area is windy by nature, that is better because larger amounts of food are available and this tempts the catfish to come to the top and forage for food.

Your catfishing tips are not complete until you incorporate the kind of bait that is to be used. The type of bait is crucial to your success in catfishing. You need to know that the best bait for catfish are those that smell strongly and taste well (to the catfish). This is premised on the fact that catfish depend on the sense of smell. For such type of baits, the popular examples are worms, shad, chicken liver, prawns and other crustaceans. It is also not advisable that you make use of frozen bait, the fresh ones produce better results. Apart from the baits that have been mentioned earlier on, it is also very good if you can come up with baits that you prepare for yourself. If they work for you then stick to them.

For catfishing tips, the type of tackle that you employ is also quite important. With the wrong tackle, you will get disappointing results. The 2/0 eagle claw bait holder hooks are highly recommended for various reasons. By using them, they allow for better gripping of the fish and reduces the chances of their sliding off the hook, unlike as in some other kinds of hooks. These are features that are very important considering the fact that the catfish can be very aggressive and uncooperative.

Catfishing Tips Can Help You Enjoy Your Fishing Experience


Fishing gives you an enjoyable experience, especially if you follow a few catfishing tips to catch good catfish of your own choice. You’ll find catfish is a popular catch for most anglers, especially because they make tasty meals. For an enjoyable fishing trip, you should keep a few catfishing tips in mind, including the times to catch catfish, how to bait a hole for catfish and the way to rig for catfish.

Catfishing tips: the catch

Catfishing tends to be more successful during the nighttime, without the moonlit sky. While these fish are caught successfully during the day by many anglers, others swear by fishing at night. You will also find that rainy, overcast days are great for catfishing as well. After a rainfall, catfish tend to come out biting as well, because the drifting water in creeks and riverbeds can bring larger catfish out to scavenge.

Catfishing tips: bait and baiting a hole

Bait play an important role in catching catfish. The most commonly used catfish bait includes crawfish, shrimps, perch, chicken livers, shad, worms, beef livers, stinky prepared baits, chicken hearts, grasshoppers, hot dogs, beef heart, salt pork and even ivory soap. The key is smell. Catfish have a great sense of smell, and tend to go after smelly bait. Baiting a hole is a good way to catch catfish. To do this, you need some soaked grain and oats or horse and mule feces can also be used for baiting a hole. Grain needs to be soaked in water for a few days, until it turns sour. You will need to fill a coffee can with the soaked grain, which will attract catfish.

Catfishing tips: rigging

It is simple to rig for catfish and once you know how, you can easily do it to help catch even more fish. The methods of rigging differ depending on the water you are fishing in. Very calm water, for example, means you should tie a hook and half-ounce ball sinker at the end of the line, which will keep the bait moving with the slight action of the water. If you are fishing in rough, rapid water or drift fishing then you need to tie a barrel swivel on the line after sliding an egg sinker on as well. The bait will be moved along with the current of the waves dragging along with the bounces of swift water. You should use a hook that corresponds to the size of catfish that you want to catch—a bigger hook for a bigger cat.

These are just a few catfishing rigs to help make your fishing experience enjoyable. Do you have a few catfishing tips of your own? Chime in with your own ‘secrets.’

My Best Catfishing Tips And Secrets

Channel Catfish

Here are some of My Best Catfishing Tips that you should keep in mind the next time you go drown some worms. With warmer weather just around the corner catfishing is in the forefront of most anglers minds. Follow these tips and tidbits and make your next catfishing trip an adventure.

Seasonal Catfishing Tips

Catfish move in to shallow banks to spawn during springtime and using minnows will bring a quick catch.

Catfish are very active during spring and early fall. This is the time when the waters are rising either from the winter snow melts or the autumn rains.

The reverse is also true.

Catfish are less active when the water levels are falling.

Catfish are much less active during the daytime and become very active and feed at night. Dusk is the Best time to drown some worms.

The Winter months should not be ignored. Just present your bait in a slower manner giving the sluggish yet hungry catfish time to respond.

Summer catfish seem to prefer the cool, oxygen rich fast moving streams.

At night the reason the catfish come into the shallows is to feed on the baitfish, normally they are bottom feeders.

Hot summer nights are a great time to go catfishing, the warmer waters of the day tend to make the catfish groggy and slow moving. They tend to do their hunting and feeding at night.

Catfish Habitat Tips

Catfish LOVE to lurk in holes in side banks, (Undercuts) or sink holeson the waters floor, in and around fallen trees, hollowed out stumps, or at the base of dams.

Know where a clam bed is? For catfish a clam bed is a great source of food. Fishing slightly down river from the clam beds should allow you to snag a catfish coming to chow down.

Areas around docks are good in lake or pond fishing. A lit dock at night is even better.

Light means insects,

insects mean baitfish,

baitfish means catfish.

When fishing at night be sure and be more quiet than usual. Remember you don’t have the daytime backgroud noises to cover up sounds.

Fishing in moving waters or those with a current requires the use of cut bait, you lower the bait upriver of the vicinity of the catfish and allow the movement of thwe waters to carry the scent of the bait to the catfish, drawing it out to feed.

Learn the habitats of the different catfish species such as Channel Catfish that enjoys a different habitat from the Blue Catfish.

Catfishing Bait Tips.

The Fresher, The Better, cut bait from fresh chicken livers to bloody scraps from a catfishes usual diet of baitfish such as, trout, bass, shad, perch, and minnows, to even the bloody entrails of another catfish.

When using liver or cut bait be sure to secure the bait to the hook in some way. Elastic thread, or a small section of panty hose wrapped around your bait and the hook will assure you of not having to continually replace the bait because it simply fell off in casting or was pulled off by the prey.

Remember, when your using cut bait that you need to give your bait at least 15 minutes to soak to allow the catfish to discover the scent and lock on to it before you relocate your bait.

Catfish like to feed on moss and algae that grow on and around structures that are man-made.

If using a Cheesy type bait in the summer heat you’ll need to add a little flour to thicken the consistency and therefore make it easier to keep on the hook.

Fishing in still waters like Lakes or Ponds requires a Live Bait that will wiggle around creating vibrations in the water that get the catfishes attention.

Catfishing Rig Tips.

When considering the weight of line to use, take into consideration the depth you are fishing. The deeper you fish the heavier the line you should to help protect frombreaking your line on snags on the bottom. Average choice is a 10lb. line.

When catfishing in rivers or streams you fishing pole length should be in the 6′-8′ range. For the lakes and ponds the shorter rods seem to do just fine.

Using a leader with a swivel allows the catfish to twist around which they tend to do once hooked. The twisting fish stands less of a chance of breaking off and saves your line.

Hook sizes of 1/0 and 2/0 are recommended, circle hooks have gained quite a following among anglers as they seem to set themselves.

In closing I want you to remember that… Fish show up at the same places and times every year and go after the same baits, year after year. They aren’t aware of the state, country, or body of water they reside in. Catfish behavior is the same everywhere.

Fishing Tips and Techniques for Catfish of the USA


Catfish are common in American waterways, fun to catch and delicious as table fare.

Channel catfish are the most abundant of the North American catfish species. They usually weigh 2-4 lbs, occasionally reaching weights of 40 pounds or more. Channel catfish are easily distinguished from other species, except blue catfish, by their deeply forked tail fin. They are olive-brown to slate-blue on the back and sides, with silvery-white on the belly. Channel cats can be caught using a variety of natural and prepared baits including crickets, nightcrawlers, minnows, shad, crawfish, frogs, sunfish, suckers and “stink baits”.

Blue catfish are the largest American catfish. They grow faster and live longer than channel catfish. Blue catfish grow to over 55 inches long and can weigh over than 100 pounds, living 20-25 years. Adult blue catfish have stout bodies with prominently humped back in front of the dorsal fin. They have deeply forked tails similar to channel catfish, but lack spots and have a large straight edged anal fin. The back and upper sides are blue to slate gray, and the lower sides and belly are white. Blue catfish are primarily large-river fish, occurring in main channels, tributaries, and impoundments of major river systems. When fishing for trophy catfish anglers use live baits including bluegill, perch, large shiners or other bait fish.

White catfish are another American species. White catfish are bluish-gray with white undersides, broad head, large mouth, stout build and moderately forked tail. Their white chin barbells distinguish it from other species of catfish. White catfish occasionally reach lengths up to 24 inches and weigh 6 pounds but a typical fish is around 12-14 inches. White catfish are found in fresh and brackish waterways of the Atlantic Coast from New York to Florida, including the Chesapeake Bay and its system of rivers, creeks and streams.

Several species of bullhead catfish live throughout North America, with 3 species being well known. They are similar in appearance, but easy to distinguish from non-bullhead species due to their squared tail and stocky build. Black bullhead have dark chin barbels and lack mottled markings on their sides. Brown bullhead have mottled sides and light margins on their fins. The common yellow bullhead are distinguished from other species of bullhead by their yellow or off-white chin barbels.

Depending on the region, bullheads may be referred by a variety of common names including bullhead catfish, bullheads, mud cats, pollywogs, pollies, river catfish, horn pout and others. Black, Brown and Yellow bullhead catfish prefer slow moving or still waterways but will tolerate a variety of habitats, including muddy water and low oxygen levels. They rely primarily on sense of smell to find food which consists of almost anything, alive or dead.

Bullhead catfish can be caught with the same techniques that are commonly used for other catfish. They are easily enticed with worms, hellgrammites, stink baits or cut baits fished on the bottom. they make excellent table fare and are a good choice for anglers that enjoy simple relaxing fishing for edible fish.

Large catfish are sometimes caught by “noodling”. Noodling is done by wading in water and inserting a hand down into holes under mud banks, rocks, or inside of hollow logs. Using bare hands as bait, the noodler wiggles their fingers in the hole in hopes that they find a large catfish. If the noodler is lucky, a monster catfish will strike and attempt to swallow their hand. The noodler then must pull the fish out onto land or onto a waiting boat without being pulled under water.

Catfish can be skinned and filleted, with the resulting flesh being white, mild tasting and suitable for a wide range of cooking methods. They are one of the most commonly discussed fish products online and plenty of cooking ideas are available by finding a seafood blog. The following recipe is for a classic meal of deep-fried beer-battered catfish.

Photo by Hank Shaw of simplyrecipes.com

Beer Battered Catfish

1 lb. catfish fillets
1/2 cup flour or seafood breader mix
1 egg (beaten)
1 bottle beer
1 small onion (minced)
1 cup vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium mixing bowl blend flour, salt, and pepper or use seafood breader mix.

In a separate medium mixing bowl beat egg well, add beer and minced onions, mix well.

Cut the catfish into 2 inch cubes or strips.

Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or skillet.

Roll the catfish into the coating, then dip into the beer-egg mixture, then back into the flour mixture.

Place dipped catfish in heated oil, cooking until golden brown.