After you’ve landed a nice flathead or channel catfish, the first step in a successful fish fry is chunking it up. You want the pieces to be about ½-inch thick strips, about the size of a chicken strip. It’s important to keep the size standard to ensure even frying.
Heat up some peanut oil in a deep frying pan to 350°F while prepping your fish and breading. Keep the breading simple—yellow cornmeal with a little crawfish boil or salt and pepper is all you need.
Pat your pieces of catfish dry and evenly coat with seasoned cornmeal. Place carefully into the hot oil and be sure not to overcrowd your pan; you don’t want the temperature of the oil to drop below 350°F.
After around four minutes of frying, the catfish will float to the top, indicating that it’s done. Pull it out and allow it to drain. Test out a piece for doneness and seasoning and continue frying in batches until complete.