Last Updated on
The Best Catfish Skinning Pliers (Catfish Cleaning Tool Reviews)
Fishing for catfish can be a whole lot of fun. Catfish fight hard, there’s lots of them around almost everywhere you go...and best of all...they taste great! But if you’ve ever tried to cook up a catfishing without skinning the catfish first, then you know how tough their skin can be. And chewing on that tough skin really takes away from how great the catfish really tastes.
So in order to get around that, you’ve got to skin catfish before you cook it and eat it. And the best way to do that, unless you’re a filleting expert, is to simply peel off the skin from the meat with a pair of catfish skinning pliers.
And that’s exactly what this post is all about. I’m going to show you some of the best catfish skinning pliers you can use in order to make your job of cleaning catfish a whole lot easier.
Sure, you can use regular old pliers from the tool box. But you’ll soon find out that these catfish cleaning tools that are specifically designed for peeling the skin are going to be a must have item.
Here’s a quick list of the catfish skinning pliers I’m discussing in this post.
Catfish Skinning Pliers (Quick List)
Catfish Skinning Pliers (Reviews)
1. Maybrun Commercial Catfish Skinner (Top Pick)
The Maybrun Commercial Catfish Skinner is a “no-nonsense, no frills but gets the job done right” pair of catfish skinning pliers which is why I’ve chosen it as the top pick for this list.
No batteries required for these guys. The Maybrun catfish pliers are designed and manufactured for one thing...to pull the skin off of the back of a catfish. And as a result, these pliers make easy work out of what used to be a very tedious task.
These catfish pliers easily grip the end of the skin tightly without slipping. The commercial grade means they’re a quality, well made tool that has a substantial feel to it. You can tell these skinning pliers are built to last.
The Myron Mixon Catfish Skinning Pliers are another high quality tool that belongs on this list. You can tell from the moment you first set eyes on these skinning pliers that they are high quality and will last a very long time.
The non-slip grip handles and extra wide blade make catfish skinning an effortless task whether you're doing it in the boat or in the kitchen. The ergonomic non-slip handle grips will tackle even the slimiest of situations.
The pliers themselves are constructed out of 1045 heavy duty steel, are FDA-certified and PFOA free. You can also rest easy knowing that the skinning pliers are Teflon coated which significantly helps prevent corrosion and also makes cleaning up a whole lot easier.
Easiest Way To Skin A Catfish
(Credit to Field & Stream for the below catfish skinning method)
1. Score The Catfish Skin
Start by Placing a board on a flat level surface. A 3 foot long 2x6 at waist height works perfect for this, as does the tailgate of a truck.
With a sharp knife, cut or score the catfish skin all the way around the fish’s head. This scoring will be just in front of the catfish’s gill plates.
The second score you make will be straight down the back of the catfish all the way to the tail.
2. Secure The Catfish
Next, you want to make sure the catfish is secured to the board that it’s lying on. To do this, you can drive a large nail all the way through the head of the catfish.
Now cut off catfish’s dorsal fin (the large fin on the back). After the dorsal fin’s been removed, brace the board against your waist or thigh with the tail of the catfish facing you.
And with a pair of good catfish skinning pliers, grab onto the skin near the head and pull the catfish skin down all the way to the tail. Once at the tail, keep going and the skin will come all the way off.
3. Gut It
Now that you’ve successfully skinned the catfish, you’ll want to remove all the guts to finish cleaning it.
Remove the catfish from the board so you can hold the head in one hand and the body of the fish in the other hand.
Bend the catfish’s head sharply downward, breaking the spine. Then bend the body up and twist to separate head from body.
Cut open the fish’s belly with your sharp knife and remove any remaining guts from the body fish.
Once you’ve removed all the guts, make sure you rinse the entire fish well.
You Might Also Like…
In order to clean any kind of fish, and especially catfish, it requires a razor sharp knife blade. I’ve tried to fillet and skin catfish with dull blades before, and it just doesn’t work. All you end up doing is tearing the meat apart and essentially making a pile of mush.
So to combat that, use a quality fillet knife like the KastKing fillet knife. This knife will make cleaning catfish a lot easier for you with its German stainless steel blade. The blade is available in lengths from 5 inches up to 9 inches, which gives you options for whatever your filleting style is.
The no-slip polymer grip handle will keep the knife in precision cutting mode even when the fish slime tries to do it’s thing. In addition to not slipping, it’s going to remain comfortable in those situations where you have lots of catfish to fillet..and let's be honest...I’m hoping there’s more of those kinds of days than not.
If you’re looking for the best way to skin a catfish, then you’re going to definitely want a pair of catfish skinning pliers. Sure, if you’re really good and efficient with your knife skills, then you can always fillet your fish. But when it comes to catfish, I’ve always just preferred to use this method of skinning catfish, and using a skinning pliers to peel the skin off.
You can’t go wrong with either one of these skinning pliers, but to choose one, I recommend you go with my top choice, the Maybrun Commercial Catfish Skinner.