Place the catfish in a nonreactive bowl. In a second bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mustard, 1 tablespoon of the fish rub, Emerils Original Essence, garlic and hot sauce; pour over the fish. Stir to thoroughly coat, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat a large saucepan with 4 inches of oil to 350 degrees.
Remove the fish from the refrigerator. Combine the flour, cornmeal, remaining tablespoon of fish rub and salt in a resealable plastic food-storage bag, and shake to blend.
Using a fork, remove the fish strips a few pieces at a time from the marinade, allowing excess marinade to fall from the fish. Transfer the fish to the seasoned cornmeal mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining fish.
Fry the fish, in batches if necessary and turning to promote even browning, until golden brown, crispy and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-lined plate to rest briefly before serving hot with your favorite tartar sauce.