Here's my recipe for fish head stew - with a little tweaking, you could turn this into catfish stew -
FISH HEAD STEW
1 large fish head and frame (snapper, grouper, salmon)*
1 chopped onion
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 bay leaves
Place all in a pot, add water to cover, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour. Strain liquid from stock into a large bowl. Discard vegetables. Pick the meat from the fish head and frame and save in a bowl.
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
½ each red and green bell pepper, diced
2 parsnips, diced
about 5-6 parsley stalks
4 tablespoons oil
In a large pot on medium high, heat the oil and sautee all the above till soft.
3 medium potatoes, diced into about ½ inch cubes
About a gallon of the fish stock
1 large can peeled or diced tomatoes
1 cup V-8 juice
3 tablespoons salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to your liking)
2 tsp. marjoram
2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. celery seed
2 tablespoons worchestershire sauce
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about an hour.
The saved fish meat
1 can chopped clams*
8-9 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, cut in thirds*
Add some chopped parsley at the end for garnish.
Tweaking - Omit the stock step, and use some bottled clam juice and/or chicken broth. You don't have to add the extra seafood if you don't want to.
Let the stock and veggies simmer for about an hour, then add the catfish cut up into bite size chunks, and simmer them for about 5 minutes til cooked through.