Where do angler’s start when trying to conquer the mighty wells catfish?
Well your catfish rod, reel and line is the most important items of equipment to get right. I use mainly the up-tide rods used on boats or either branded specialist deigned big fish rods, which may be a little more expensive, these might be worth more than their weight in gold if you catch a fish of a lifetime.
The standard rod length is 8ft to 12ft for catfish, though the deciding factor will depend on whether you are fishing from the shore or the boat. The other main important factor to consider is the rod capable of to take braid line, as the eyes in some rods will simply be sliced in halve if you hook a 100lb+ wels catfish in Europe. Remember when fishing from a boat it is advisable to use a 8ft to 10ft long rods on boats, or 10ft to 12ft from the shore because you are fishing a method that requires your rod to be higher up.from the shore therefore use longer rods
What is the best rig set-up?
The buoy rig or bottle rig as it is sometimes called is my preferred method as it enables the line to be well clear out of the water, so no weed and branches will get tangled on the tight line when fishing from the bank.
Selecting the right reel?
The next main item of tackle is selecting a reel suitable for large catfish as you have a choice between either a fixed spool or multiplier that are produced by most of the leading reel manufactures.
My preference of reel is the “Abu 7000 multiplier with level wind” as I have caught some of my biggest fish on this equipment. Other designs I quite like are from “Penn Reels” for a cheaper option. Remember once you are catfishing your choice has been made in terms of bringing the right tackle. If you have not made the right choice you could lose a fish of a lifetime so be warned!
What hooks should I use for catfishing?
The best hooks are the “Black Gamakatsu range” or alternately the eagle claw a lot of decent hooks can be purchased directly from the catfish conservation society. I have a tendency to stay away from stainless steel machined single hooks as I have found that the tip of the hook will sometimes be broken off so the choice of chemically etched hook point is always a wiser choice. they are stronger
I also have a preference for the stainless steel trebles as it seem to me that they are designed with smaller hook points all round, along with the combination of the single black hooks and the stainless seem to work and have the strength. To land the big 100lb+ catfish. This enables you to have the confidence that if and when your fish goes into a snag you have a fighting chance to recover the situation.
What is the best fishing line for catfish?
The line choice for hook lengths is key to landing a large cat, I can not emphasize this enough. I use the "Kryston ton up" "85lbs Strain " on every trip. there are some very good kevlar hook lines out there.
As for the mainline well most anglers use braid, as mono line is not very good when fishing in the snags. Unless you are confident that there are no snags in the area.Your line must be able to cope with the toughest of snags. My choice is 130lbs braid. No cheap line will do. Fill the reel to the top and allow for the possibility’s of a massive run. You will also require some large poly balls an assortment of disgorgers or pliers long nose, spare hooks, spare line, beads, swivels. To suit line of 130lbs and all the usual bits and pieces you normally take with you.
Final words of wisdom
If you are not sure about any item of tackle to use take a lot of advice from fisherman or ask the catfish guides before your trip. The most important thing is to have fun as big catfish are awesome to catch!