Autumn is here and Sven Van Moen got the tips for a succesful catfishing trip.
Two weeks ago the sun was shining bright and the river water was still warm on my favorite big river in the South of France. We still have not had heavy rain, so the water level is at it’s lowest and the water very clear. Despite these rather bad conditions, the daylength is quickly getting shorter and the water temperature is dropping too, which could activate some catfish as they start preparing for winter time. Autumn at its best.
After two short sessions with only one nice fish on the bank, I had no big reason to complain. But as I was thinking about the actual weather and river conditions, I realised that one single fish is not the result we aim for when we are talking about real active fish. I decided to check out my luck on a rather not so typical spot for this period of the year. It was a very shallow sand bank with heavy current, but with deep water nearby. On arrival I soon noticed quite some baitfish and even a catfish surfacing above the shallow bank. This looked promising and I nervously set up the rods and rigs.
Not quite as one would expect during autumn, I prepared two A-STATIC hairrigs plus two bouys and fished these rods on the 1m – 2m shallow bank with surface livebaits. With the third rod I still fished the deeper parts with a subfloat rig. Minutes after the last rod was put, one of the bouy rods bended over and I was already playing a very decent catfish. Half an hour later, the same rod went off again, with a smaller fish as result. The activity on the shallows continued and I was very satisfied having caught four cats from five bites in one evening, although there where no real giants amongst them. One take came from the deeper water. All other from the shallows. I was surprised and pleased at the same time.
Two days later I was back with the same plan, wondering if it would work again. The first two hours no action at all. Then a small fish on the shallows. Immediately followed by its little brother. Still no big ones though. I was thinking, when suddenly I noticed a rod bending over so slowly, that even the alarm bells did not make a single sound. No doubt possible: here was my chance to catch a big one! I played the fish in a close combat from the boat, so I minimised the risk of touching any underwater snags with the line. The white deluxe G2 rod and Quick combat 10000 reel did their job splendid and fifteen long minutes later the fish surrendered. I sailed my boat about 500m upstream, back to the camp and the other rods. Arriving there, the fairytail continued, as I could instantly restart playing an other smaller cat.
Autumn fishing at it’s best. Real autumn glory. And I was shining bright. As you are getting to read this, I’m off again, back too my fairy tell forest and my beloved catfish.
Tight lines too all of you!
Sven’s Gear list
Rod: MADCAT White Deluxe G2 275 cm
Reel: Quick Combat 10000
Hairrig setup: Madcat Cat Cable (160kg), Madcat A-STATIC jighook 6/0 and 8/0, Madcat Power BB Swivel.