Fill a large stock pot with three to four cups of water. Bring to a boil. Add catfish, ensuring water covers the fish completely, and cook until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from water and cool. Tear the fish into small pieces and remove bones. Return to water and add the next nine ingredients. Simmer on low for an hour to an hour and a half. Fry the bacon until crispy. Break into pieces and stir into the stew; add bacon grease, to taste. Add the butter and potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm with rustic bread.