This time of the year we all want to go fishing. Winter has brought us time to think, but now that the catfish are getting more and more active, we can go test our new ideas in reality.

Together with a good friend of mine, I went to test some of those new ideas. We went spinfishing for big catfish on the mighty river Rhône in the South of France. My friend had some interesting thoughts on new fishing spots, since he noticed a very high density of upstream migrating marine fish species in different places in the river. These places are so complicated to fish, that one of the only methods to approach them is found in spinfishing from the boat. This is what we set out to try.

It was the first time I took my new spinning rod out, the Madcat White Spin 270. I had high expectations for this rod and was looking forward to putting it to the test. At the same time, I received a spool of new prototype Soft Mono leader (1.05mm) to submit too some heavy testing. This fishing session was the perfect opportunity to test both.

The fishing spot was extremely rough: plenty of rocks, heavy currents and very shallow water. The catfish were hunting during daytime, in less than 1m of crystal-clear water!

I chose to fish the Madcat Twister Double on a 20g jig head. The Soft Mono Leader was surprisingly soft and flexible. This not only improves the presentation but is much easier to knot in such a big diameter.

We fished for, I think 20 minutes, when I felt something grab my lure. But I didn’t hook it. At first, I doubted if it was a bite. But the next cast on the same spot erased all doubts: a greedy and irritated take and I was in for a historical battle. Just what I wanted on my new rod! After 15 minutes of full-combat, the cat surrendered. My first 2m+ catfish on a lure was a fact and it was a moment I will always remember. Thanks to my friend!

We fished for another little hour, and I caught another cat from a smaller size, but that didn’t matter, because I already was full of adrenaline. After not even 2 hours of fishing, we went back home. For me it was a short but fantastic session. The gear I wanted to test, did a great job.

I wish you all the same fun and exciting fishing. Go out there, think about what you do, use good gear and be persistent in what you do.

So long, catch them big ones,

And tight lines!

Sven Van Moen