Each ecosystem has to be on top of the food pyramid carnivore, which has virtually no natural enemy. In some of our water plays the role of catfish. Although in his youth, certainly has enough enemies in adulthood finally reaches such proportions that his only enemy is man. Without any reservations, and references to the "glorious past" today catfish is the largest representative of the freshwater fish. No other species cannot now boast of the size of more than three meters and weighing more than 100 kilograms.
Beluga, which also reaches the impressive size, is not a rival for the catfish, because it is a marine fish, which comes in the river only during the spawning season. Catfish reaches a length of 5 m and a weight of 150 kg. Today caught fish has a more modest size, but the catfish for two meters and more than 60 kg caught in our waters many times over the past 10 years.
Ichthyologists say that modern catfish is a cousin to the Ice Age. These relict species survived the ice age. Its appearance cannot be confused with any other fish species. Catfish is one of the few of our fish, whose scales are completely absent, even the acne has small scales.
Catfish head vertically flat, but great for the body, which is right cylindrical, smooth and without scales. Color catfish like his environment, but most of the back gray-black, gray-green or dark brown. The belly is much lighter. In front of the anus catfish vertically flattened body, Somalia is no lateral line.
The dorsal fin is very small. It has several soft rays. The pectoral fins are made of hard solid spines, anal fin large and reach the caudal fin.
Eyes fish are too small for such an animal; experts confirm that the catfish is not a good view. According to them, it is compensated by the excellent hearing and sense of smell. Teeth small, slightly tilted inwards and cover the whole inside of his wide mouth. On the upper jaw it has a pair of strong and long whiskers. In the four mandible mustache, grow smaller.
In our latitudes, catfish is a natural inhabitant of the lower reaches of the river and tributaries. Catfish rarely migrate, they are big homebody, and all life can live in one place the river or in the deepest part of the lake. Some catfish live in burrows and rocky crevices; others make their nests and burrows at the bottom of the pond.
For the adult Catfish no natural enemy or competitor in the realm of the fish. Only even larger individuals may expel him from the acquired location. However, if eating a lot, the neighborhood can live a few catfish of all ages. But the biggest is the first among equals, and when the amount of food is reduced, in the colony relations deteriorate, and large individual displaces weaker from this territory. Catfish hundred - percent predator, a giant appetite and absorbs almost everything.
Its diet consists of fish, aquatic frogs, birds, mussels, crabs, and sometimes carrion, insects, worms, leeches and even small larvae of bottom sediments, which he produces, filtering through himself lifted from the bottom silt. Live animals weighing half a kilogram for it, how sweet to swallow. He grabs the prey into the mouth to stun and then swallowed whole.
Catfish constantly takes care to feed its huge body, and therefore often cannot afford to hunt at night. Early in the morning or in the evening it rises into the upper layers and feeds on any fish, have got in his way. However, if in the area of food much, he prefers not to fly in vain, and hiding for cover to attack suddenly.
In Europe in 1959, and has been imported from the United States good acclimated Channel catfish punctatus. Now it is practically spread all over Europe, up to the Urals. This heat-loving species of catfish. In America, it can reach up to 12 kg of weight, but we rarely exceed 2 kg. Channel catfish can be easily distinguished from the usual presence of additional fat catfish fin between the dorsal and caudal fins. As usual catfish, it is omnivorous and as bait on a fishing trip, you can use the dough, wheat and corn.
All our catfish are caring individuals at the time of procreation. Blue catfish spawn between the rocks, in the roots of flooded trees on edge of the pool and other areas protected from strong currents. Flathead catfish are choosing a niche, such as hollow logs, caves excavated in the clay banks of the roots and branches of submerged trees or artificial structures such as old tires, car bodies and metal drums. Channel catfish are typically selected dark, secluded places such as cracks in piles of woody debris, holes in the pits and in the spaces between and under stones.
An adult male individual selects and cleans its nest or burrow and settles there with a female, where and seduces her. After the female lays on the surface of the burrow or nest a lot of sticky, yellow eggs, the male fertilizes mass chases the female away from the nest and begins to stand guard. It protects the nest from predators. From eggs after 10-14 days (depending on the water temperature), go fry catfish, which remain on the father's care for several days. After the fry catfish spread out in different directions. The male guards the fry until they leave the spawning place.
Where to catch catfish. Promising place for catching catfish
The best places to catch catfish are a tributary to the warm current, such as streams, swollen by spring rains. Catfish are usually hiding in wait for the bottom sediments near fallen trees or in the crevices of the bottom, near the confluence with the main tributary of the lake or river. Before, during and after spawning catfish also collected downstream from the dam or weir. Their number increases as the upstream migration of fish are spawning, and many catfish remain in these areas for many weeks to feast abundance of fish, crabs and other foods.
Banks covered with rock talus (large limestone rocks) are also key areas of fishing during the spawning season. Large and deep channel catfish especially love for the environment. Often catfish nest in the cavities present in the crevices between the boulders. The best fishing areas are generally those where a small section of the pool goes in shallow water. Look for catfish near the dams, bridges and dams, where concrete slabs are placed to prevent shore erosion.
Catfish nest in holes, eroded by these plates, and if the hole can be detected with sonar, an angler can apply bait directly in front of the fish. Often, attacks catfish bait simply because it is considered as a threat to their nest.
Start searching catfish slowly upstream, parallel to the shore, looking at the sonar screen for the detection of cavities between the plates. Then, when you find a hole, and saw that the boat is directly over it, get a reference point on the shore. Now you can anchor and do not bait casting away from the hole. If you have not had the impact after 15 to 20 minutes of casting, continue to search for more holes. Keep doing this, moving upstream and trying to fish near each detected hole. If catfish lives there, he is sure to attack the bait.
Baits for catfish
The most proven baits for catfish are sliced raw beef liver or spleen. Bait sometimes helps to collect the fish, which can attract the catfish, but only if he is hungry. The main attraction is understandable, is a live fish up to 20-30 cm. excellent bait for catfish and large beams are worms, leeches and wing meat shellfish. But the most favorite delicacy for catfish is eel and lamprey larvae. Large frogs and small birds recommended by the masters of fishing for catfish in the western and Eastern Europe.
In summer time is often catfish can be tempted by a large green locust.
Crab meat and river mussels also belong to the classics in search of a meeting with the giant predator mustaches.
The methods of catching catfish
The most attractive way to catch catfish is catfish fishing on the croaker. It has the shape of a bowl with a handle; they hit the water at a certain angle. Kwok sound annoying and attracts catfish. The sound of it on the water consumption is very far away, beckoning to your point catfish fishing. Theories about the impact on Kwok catfish are all different, but the truth is that their sound he raises catfish from the depths, and that is the source of this noise. Then the catfish are particularly aggressive and attack the lure without hesitation. The method is applicable only in the river when fishing from a boat.
The most sporting way to catch catfish is a classic spinning with great spinners or crank. Trolling, too, brings its victory over the largest predator of our waters.
Fishing tackle for catching catfish
The fishing for catfish applies only strong quality fishing rods and spinning rods. Only the coolest models of well-known manufacturers are strong enough to catch big and strong fish, which is for catfish. Spinning reels should also be very high quality; you should not have any tenderness. Fishing line should be used instead of a braided line (network) with diameters of at least 0.40 to 0.50. Hooks №2 / 0 to №5 / 0. If we use tees, you can start with №4.
If we use a fiberglass rod, it should be 3-4 meters and have a thickened knee, but still have good flexibility. This is a very important piece of advice, because many from the hard top with a large weight of fish can lead to soft tissue tear catfish and the result will be zero.
Accessories for fishing for catfish
- Holder’s rods for boats.
- Ticks for fishermen or multi-tool
- Marker buoys to mark the holes, jacks, the lower channels, flats, etc.
- Flashlights and accessories for night fishing
- Insect Repellents
- The anchor for your boat
- Chair for fishing from the shore
- Large table for the preparation of bait
- Life jackets, safety
- Polarized sunglasses
- Signaling bite
- Cutting boards and knives for the preparation of baits for cutting fish
Catfish attacks dramatically. It captures prey in its mouth and holding it for a while, trying not to swallow. In most cases, there is a strong blow in the time it bites. When the catfish production feel resistance, tries to leave immediately in its burrow or nest. At this time, the load of strongest fishing tackle, as a rod, and the cord reel. In no event it is impossible sharply to try to pull the catfish to the surface. But he cannot give up the slack, allowing leaving the bottom of the hole. We must try to keep it first in one place, occasionally letting him move a few meters. At the slightest slack tension coil mastic is as far as possible. In this struggle, the main restraint and composure.
Pull catfish 7-8 kilograms within the reach of most anglers. Nevertheless, for large catfish begins the struggle for survival. Masters say that if the hook at the catfish in the throat pull the catfish is much easier. But if the hook is somewhere in his jaw, the fight will be delayed, because fish do not feel pain. There are cases where catfish is at the bottom and it is simply impossible to tear off the bottom, then simply cut the cord, the angler is a loser in this battle.
Sometimes it affects the sequence of several attacks catfish. Interestingly, it is often the first attack may be ineffective. But, already annoyed catfish and after the first attack we can expect another attack if it is nearby. Catfish in the water rushes like a torpedo, but after a series of unsuccessful attacks, he just goes to another place. But this rarely happens. Usually, after the first shock. Catfish sits securely on the hook.
Catching catfish is not fun
Catfish fishing implies completely different class fishing. In particular the use of a super gear, which can be applied, it is only for catching catfish. Many fishermen themselves modify fishing gear, make special hooks. Drawings of the tested devices, especially Kwok, kept secret, and can be opened only to close friends. Gradually catching catfish angler drags and configures only for this type of fishing.
Culinary quality catfish
Catfish white meat without bones, fat and very tasty. The most interesting thing is that it is tastier and better in front, not the back of the tail, like most fish. Catfish unlike its other fish fat is stored in the first queue. Sometimes large catfish fat layer reaches 2-3 cm. The most delicious is considered catfish up to 10 kilograms. Catfish meat is ideal for cooking and baking.