TACTICAL APPROACH FOR BIG CATS

 

 

By Sven Van Moen

Last week I went on a two day fishing tour. The river is low, the water clear, which make the fishing itself, very difficult. That is why I should think carefully about the tactical side of the game. The technical side is not all that complicated during low water level periods: even fishing from the bank can be very effective in these conditions. The subfloat- and breakline fishing can be done by doing short range fishing. This was also the perfect conditions for testing my new reel reel for light and short range breakline fishing. Not long ago, I received the Quick I 8000FD and this was the perfect opportunity to test it.

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The evening before, I was catching very good baitfish in a shallow region without current. Normally, this is not the best tactic, but the huge amount of baitfish made me decide to give it a try anyways. Where there is baitfish, there are cats! I set up three freestyle breakline rigs and was hopefull, especially because there where more baitfish then I have ever seen before. I caught bait all the time, but the catfish rods remained silent for the whole night. The break of dawn came, and I was trying to make a decision where to go now. I had no idea. I fired up my boat and started sailing. After a few kilometers I noticed a spot. Because of the low water level, I noticed a sudden drop off in the margins. Where everything always seemed to be flat for several hundreds of meters, all of a sudden the bottom drops. Inspection made clear that this could well be a hotspot, since the drop-off was huge.

Full of hope, I set up two big fish subfloat rigs. These I make with the Ultra Soft Leader Mono in 1,30mm. I used two subfloats (40g + 20g), because I was fishing really big livebaits up to 3kg in deep water in the current. The bait presentation of a livebait is way better with several small combined subfloats. As always I chose the a-static jighook for tying the hairrigs. I placed both rigs on the foot of the drop-off to 8m depth and both within 150m of each other. The rods I prefer for subfloat fishing have to be a little bit more flexible than for breakline fishing. That’s why I chose the White Deluxe G2 for subfloat fishing and the splendid Commando for breakline fishing.
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The third rod I fished with a bouy, placed in very shallow water (2m) and fishing in the surface with a 2kg carp on a stinger rig i made with the cat cable and a a-static classic catfish hook and stingerhook in the size 6/0. Tactically, this is a much more varied set-up, than I had the night before. Only thing that made me doubt was that I did not notice any baitfish here.

Just before dark, a big school of mullet came in and it made me feel more confident than. Minutes later, I had a huge take on one of the subfloat rigs. This started a long and tough battle. By the time the fish was tired, it was dark . I put on my headlights and I couldn’t believe my eyes. And then…

Another take, but on the bouy rod. Who would have believed this? Two totally different set-ups, and a double hook up on both set-ups! When the fish got closer I lighted up my headlamp. I could not believe my own eyes. One more gigantic catfish played in front of me. I was completIy exhausted – Not physically, but mentally from this overwhelming experience. I did not fish anymore that night. I was satisfied beyond imagination.

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 09.10.22In the morning I prepared for the camera for a photo session. I did so all alone, with only my two dogs to share this moment with me. I enjoyed this moment more than ever, here on my favourite big river.

I wish you this same experience and adventure. For me this are moments I will never ever forget.

Greetings and fish on!

Sven