I’ve not done much Catfish fishing over the past few years and my PB was only 15Ib 8oz so after an offer from Mike Morrison of Manor Fisheries to fish on the Catfish Lake I couldn’t refuse.
Heading down to the lake I must say I was very excited like a kid at Christmas, the fact is this lake holds catfish to over 50Ib and the thought of a big moggy just got the adrenaline pumping. I was surprised to find that there was nobody fishing any of the lakes which allowed me time to get accustom to my surroundings and a free chose of any swim I fancied. After about 30 minutes, no tell a lie 5 minutes because of excitement I settled on a swim facing the island.
I used my tried and tested coarse fishing tackle with a set of Delta XS rods in a 3lb test curve. The TF Gear V8 reels with a 15Ib mainline, this should be up to the job and little did I know they would be tested, a dumbell rig with lobworms as bait on the surface was my first choice of rigs along with a running ledger with Cotswold Bait Creations 22mm Crab pellets being the second. Both rigs had an eagle eye hook size 2 tied with 70Ib braid.
I strategically placed the pellet rod in the middle, between the island and the margin, hopefully to intercept any fish coming from depth. The surface worm rod was placed under a tree next to the island to target fish coming around the island following the flow. I sat down for a cup of tea and by the time the water had boiled the worm rod was away, left right forwards backwards it was a crazy fight but it wasn’t long before it came in. On the scale it read new PB, 15Ib 8oz so before I had even started my PB was broken.
My confidence was high but the night only produced a few aborted takes so come dawn disappointment had set in, that was until the alarm screamed in to life, a battle of the giants had commenced. With every yard of line gained the fish would take five and it was ten minutes in to the fight that my arm started to ache but I knew it was a big fish so I couldn’t let up the slightest. The head came to the surface and I wasn’t sure on the size, that was until I lifted the net only to see that the fish was half in half out, it did go in eventually and looking down at the fish I had to sit down and compose myself before dealing with it. On the unhooking mat the size was amazing I’d never seen a fish so big, (only on tv) but there it was and I was the one who had caught it, the scales read 38Ib 4oz so it was a new PB for the second time, Fantastic.
The day was extremely hot at around 27 degrees C and you would have thought the Catfish would have fed but I didn’t get a bite all day until dusk which to be honest I wasn’t really bothered about as I was still buzzing about my new PB. I wasn’t expecting much on the last night but I didn’t get any sleep as run after run came my way with a multitude of double figure Catfish hitting the bank. The last one was slipped back at dawn and I really needed some sleep but didn’t want to reel the rods in so I left them out just in case. On my bedchair and in the sleeping bag I was nice and snug and ready for some shut eye when the alarm sounded… bleep… bleep… Blurry eyed I stumbled to the rod and bent in to the fish only the be greeted by heavy resistance and a fish trying to go around the island. I must say the Delta XS rods really surpassed all my expectations and handled this and all the other Cats with ease but this Cat wasn’t giving up and half an hour into the fight it was still going strong but with time and patience it was in the net, just. Now I thought that the 38 was big but this was bigger and my scales bottomed out at 40Ib’s so with nerves shacking I borrowed some scales from another angler and they read 42Ib 8oz. I couldn’t believe it I had broken my Catfish PB for the third time in one session.
A real red letter day and it really has given me the bug for Catfishing so I’ll be trying to go a lot more but I have a long way to go to beat my new PB.
Till the next time tight lines and best fishes…