For many years fishing for catfish was considered the peak of fishing art, which was submitted only to the best fisherman’s. People who were no longer inspired by catching conventional fish changed their "normal" fishing to hunt for this real king of freshwater fish. His image became legendary thanks to stories about the capture of huge catfish in European rivers.
And it would be sacred to me still to believe in these legends, if it were not for one fishing for a pike, during which I caught my first meter catfish. Although my first catfish did not belong to the number of trophy specimens, but having caught on a delicate tackle, the fish delivered me many unforgettable moments.
The very next day I realized that you should not dream of super big fish, but it will be enough to catch a meter and a little more. I spent one season searching for the habitats of this fish. And next summer was good for me.
My place is an hour away from home, so I can go fishing quite often. The largest of the catfishes I caught did not exceed 150 centimeters in length, but regular meetings with more than a ten-kilogram fish always made my heart beat wildly.
What is the recipe for the success of fishing for catfish?
Determination of the place of catching
First of all, the catfish should dwell in the place of supposed fishing. The most optimal option would be a large or medium river. If catfish are present in lakes, their number is usually limited, and this significantly reduces the chances of catching them. In order to study the habits of catfish, it is necessary to visit the pond at different times of the day.
And it is better if your visits are short but frequent. In my river the best catches were between 7 and 10 o'clock in the morning. Soma came across earlier, and later this time interval, but it happened less often. However, this does not exclude the fact that in your water body the time of the best catfish fishing will be absolutely different.
The choice of the part of the river on which you are going to fish should start with communication with local fishermen. As a rule, they are better informed where large fish cut off the gear of non-trained fishers. I found my catfish on an inconspicuous, several hundred meters long section of the river, just below the dam.
On this stretch there are several pits and small ditches, and the total depth does not exceed five meters. I will not hide that although soma in this place can be caught from the shore, the effectiveness of trolling will be much higher. The simplest echo sounder will help you detect the unevenness of the bottom, serving as a cover for this predator.
Tackle for catfish
Gear must be selected in accordance with the magnitude of most fish found in our pond. I apply the rods with a test of up to 30 Lbs and a matching cord. Such a tackle, supplemented by a multiplier coil with a well-regulated clutch, is able to withstand a fairly large catfish.
Of course, if the conditions in the place of fishing are complex (lying trees or other obstacles lying on the bottom), you can use a more powerful tackle, but it will not give you as much thrill during fishing as it is more delicate. Do not forget about the long lead of tungsten. Catfish likes to spin around itself during stretching and can rub its unprotected cord with its grater.
The myth of big baits for catfish
Last year all catfish were caught by me on baits measuring 6 to 8 centimeters. This made me wonder why such big fish attacked such small baits. It turned out that their stomachs were literally full of crayfish and shells. We tried to use larger baits, but this was not a success.
So, the famous 6-centimeter Salmo Hornet in floating and sinking versions.
Their aggressive, small work, combined with a well-chosen depth of wiring, proved extremely successful. I also caught on the 8-centimeter Perch SDR and Bullhead 6 centimeters long, as well as Minnow SDR. The color of the bait is not decisive, although it sometimes works, as in the case of the Hornet SDR, painted under the cancer, which showed great last year.
Released for a relatively large distance (40-60 meters), the listed baits go to a depth of 4-5 m and slowly go downstream. When trolling against the current, they dive a little deeper, but this can be successfully prevented by releasing a shorter cord or raising the tip of the rod above it.
Knowing the approximate depth in the place of catching, let's release the bait gradually until the wobbler’s starts repeatedly knocking on the bottom. After that, we rewind the cord a little so that the bait goes over the bottom, only occasionally having contact with it.
Observing the readings of the depth sounder, fixing the changes in depth, you will be sure that your bait "patrols" the most fertile benthic belt. If you are fishing with a partner, make sure that your gear is in different layers of water.
Let your bait go in depth, and your partner - in half water. The fish feed where its food is, and it can happen that, catfish can take in half water and even at the surface itself. Therefore, by baiting at different levels, we will quickly determine its location.
One tip for novice fishermen
The bait should be placed on the water at the side of the boat and sail away from it, throwing back the clamp of your reel. During casting, the bait can overflow, and a considerable distance to it often does not allow identifying this sad fact. A fascinating occupation can turn into useless boating in a boat.
Tactics of catfish
Extension of large fish requires certain skills, but after the first capture of the catfish you will understand what is at stake. If suddenly it happened, and you really caught a big fish, you should swim to the gentle bank to make it more convenient to withdraw it.
To take a catfish, in my opinion, is best for the lower jaw. However, it should be remembered that in order not to damage the hand about his brush, it should be in a mitten. You can also use a "pike" grip under the gills.
Do not raise the fish for the jaw vertically, because its own weight, devoid of water, can cause significant damage to the fish's body. Hold the fish horizontally, catching it under the belly with the second hand. Since catfish stretching sometimes takes quite a long time, before letting go of it, it is necessary to let the fish recover a little.
It is enough to hold a catfish about a minute in the water, unfurling its mouth against the current. It is always necessary to produce a large fish in order to enjoy more than a few wonderful moments of fighting against it.