Catfish Fishing

Catfish rods

Catfish have a long eel like body, silky smooth and slippery to the touch. Catfish have no visible scales. Their tiny dorsal fin, (which resides towards the head) is almost humorous when compared to the overall size of the fish. They have an anal fin which stretches backwards until it almost reaches the tail. The mouth is large and cavernous and has many rows of tiny teeth which when touched by hand resemble sand paper. This tooth construction is ideal for the purpose of capturing and holding pray fish before it is passed back to the throat where crushing pads kill the prey before it reaches the stomach. Catfish have six barbules, two very long ones on the upper jaw used for detecting the vibrations and four shorter ones on the lower jaw used primarily while foraging for mollusc’s, crustaceans and other natural food items through the bottom debris.

Bluebell Lakes Catfish

Bluebell Lakes Catfish

Daniel Sibley, 21, was fishing at Bluebell Lakes near Oundle, United Kingdom when a giant wels catfish surfaced and took him for a swim. Each catfish has unique markings and coloration which can be used to identify particular individuals .Catfish coloration can range from olive green to a darker, almost black across the back and shoulders turning paler and creamy towards the belly. Albino catfish do exist, but are very rare. Albino catfish have red eyes and a yellow to creamy coloration across its body. Wels Catfish eyes are dark, small and largely redundant, the barbules being the primary means of detection. Catfish can grow very large in the correct conditions, a top weight over 330lb has been recorded. Conditions need to be right for the catfish to reach its true potential. Food availability is a key factor, warm water temperature is also required. The wels catfish is the second largest freshwater fish to swim in European waters, the largest being the famous Beluga Sturgeon. There are several rivers and lakes around Europe which have become famous for producing huge catfish, perhaps the most famous of these is the River Ebro in Spain. The current Ebro Catfish record 229lbs

Catfish baits

Wels Catfish

Worms are very good catfish bait. Using a few on a hook will attract all fish as the wriggling mass tries hard to escape the steel of a sharpened hook. Lobworms are a good option but others will also work. Dendra worms, red worms and brandling will all work. But lobworms due to their large size will often be most suitable. More recent times have seen the popularity of the Halibut Pellet increase. The smelly, oily pellets are both attractive to fish whilst at the same time easy to use on a rig and readily available. Boilies are the favoured bait of most carp anglers. Boilies are high in protein and contain various products which are beneficial to fish. Of all the various varieties available the fishmeal boilie seems to be best for catfish due to the high oil content and fishy smell. Luncheon meat and sausage meat due to their soft texture can be used for short fishing trips where frequent bait changes will be necessary.

Catfish Venues in the UK

Ebro Catfish fishing holidays

River Ebro Catfish

Many companies now offer guided or un-guided Ebro Catfish Holidays. Do your homework, before making your choice. Visit forums to get honest opinions from anglers who have been there and done it. Most companies offer the full package including tackle, bait, food, travel and most also offer some kind of accommodation. The Catfish that live in the River Ebro have an ample supply of carp available to feed upon. A large cat is capable of eating carp up to 20lb+. Its no wonder then that the Ebro catfish are some of the largest in the world. The River Ebro runs through Spain and is its largest and most important river. This river holds large numbers of both catfish and carp. The carp grow to over 40lb and are largely the heavily scaled common carp. Anglers from all over the world will travel to Spain to catch the River Ebro catfish. The Ebro at both Mequinenza, and Caspe are the best stretches both have become famous for producing many 100lb+ catfish.

Catfish can play a beneficial role in many carp lakes. Catfish are predatory and will help to reduce the number of silverfish in lake which in turn will make more natural food available for carp, this extra natural food will encourage growth weights and help to maintain the overall condition of carp. Catfish fishing has attracted a devoted legion of specialist anglers who target this species above all others. These devoted anglers have adapted, created, modified and perfected various styles of angling in the pursuit of this hard fighting predator.