How to Learn the Skill of Filleting a Catfish with a Fillet Knife

While we can always avail a fishmonger to fillet our new catch for us, it is a hobby worth developing at home, nevertheless. Catfish is a species which predominates in freshwater even though a few varieties can be found in marine waters. It is the first choice of most people who are into fishing. However, catching a fish and gutting it are far different from the hard task of actually filleting it. That requires precision and patience and the use of a fillet knife makes your job marginally smoother.

Steps to Fillet a Catfish

  • You will require a decent fillet knife and a rope, to begin with. The rope is to hang up the fish which makes it easier to handle the procedure. Further, you can use any knife you wish, but the design of a fillet knife makes it easier to achieve neat slices. The knife should be sharp above all.
  • Before you begin the filleting, you need to skin and gut the fish. Firstly, it is preferable if you ensure that the fish is dead before you begin this step. One way to do this to let the fish bleed to death first by hanging it by the rope.
    After this, you begin the procedure of skinning the fish. Begin this by making an incision in the skin behind the gills. Remove the gills first. Then you can hold the fins with the help of pliers and cut them off. This lessens the risk of injury while skinning the body of the fish. For the tail, you simply need to cut it off. You can do this before when you bleed the fish out as well.
  • Fishes are slippery and whatever surface you put it on, there is a chance of it skidding off. To prevent this, you can hang the fish with the rope from a tree of any other surface. Then gently peel off the skin from the front and then the back of the fish. You have to be meticulous during this as every bit of skin has to be removed. If you have bought the fish instead, you can get this done by the fishmonger.
  • Now you can begin the actual task of filleting the fish. This is easier when the fish is hanging upside down. With a sharp fillet knife, cut along the backbone of the fish. Ensure that you are retaining as much of the flesh as you can. When the knife hits the ribs, slice along the spine from the top. The edge of the knife should be aligned to the ribs. After you are done with one side, move on to the opposite side.
  • After this, you can move on to cleaning the fish and rendering it to the desired slices.


Fillet knives are dangerous and it can harm more than just the fish. And while the fish will be appreciated as a dish when cooked, your finger won’t be. So please be careful while filleting your catfish. There is no end to the recipes you can try out. You can even leave the skin on as it adds to the taste of the dish. So have fun while filleting and enjoy your lunch.

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