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Coldwater Catfish

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The conditions were extreme to say the least, yet the cats fed proving that you can catch them in the depths of winter. The conditions were extreme to say the least, yet the cats fed proving that you can catch them in the depths of winter.

Wels catfish cannot be caught in snow and icy conditions right? Well, it's time to think again as a team of Black Cat anglers demonstrate that they can indeed be caught in the most extreme winter weather conditions

 

 

 

 

 


The start of February 2013 saw Black Cat test anglers and wels catfish guides Stefan Seuß and Benjamin Gründer and their guests head to the middle reaches of Italy’s River Po. The catfish camps on the river are normally closed at this time of year as the angling season does not start until the beginning of March. However Bernhard Heiner, manager of the renowned 'Welscamp am Po', opened his camp to the anglers, allowing them to store their cars and luggage.


Stefan Seuß, Benjamin Gründer and guests spent seven days on the banks of the Po and the anglers were subjected to harsh weather conditions throughout the trip. Heavy snow, snowstorms that tore through tents, daily temperatures below zero and water temperatures dropping rapidly from 6 to 3.8 degrees all made the trip a seriously challenging undertaking and the banks of the river were covered in a thick layer of snow, causing many tents to collapse under the snow load.

Benni Gründer and Stefan Großpietsch - 228cm


It was clear to Stefan Seuß that water temperatures below the 10-degree mark would mean few bites yet the chance of a really big predator. Based upon his experiences and observations from recent years Stefan believes that, similarly to pike and zander, wels can be successfully fished for all year round. Their active phases may be shorter in winter as the fish require a longer period for energy conversion, but wels continue to eat even at temperatures below 6 degrees.

Christoph Templer and Stefan Seuß - 234cm - 90kg


The specimen hunters drifted during the day, fishing close to bottom using vertical rigs, while at night, they fished from the bank using underwater float set-ups with deadbaits. Fishing in the biting cold proved tougher than anticipated - rods and reels were constantly covered with a layer of ice while the anglers' fingers were numb after just a few hours on the water.

Peter Pötzinger and Stefan Seuß  - 233cm - 90kg


However, in spite of all that, the incredible came true and the anglers' dedication on the water yielded a total of nine wels catfish including three giants measuring 228cm, 233cm and 234cm and all weighing in around the 90kg mark.


Food for thought for UK catfish anglers perhaps, who typically put away their kit from early October through to around mid-April... 







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Comments (3 posted):

nicepix on 06/03/2013 17:56:37
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Now that is interesting. I'll be breaking my catfish rods out next week after reading that article.
geoffmaynard on 06/03/2013 18:08:01
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Different waters mean a different approach. We've caught plenty of cats in snowmelt floodwater on the Ebro but I wouldn't bother specifically targeting them on a winter stillwater - life's too short! :)
nicepix on 06/03/2013 18:13:49
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I've got the time and the location Geoff. There are plenty of farm fresh dead baits swimming round in the pond at the back of the house ready to be caught, so there's no problem in chucking another bait out while fishing the river or big lakes for carp, etc.


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Catfish, River Po, Team Black Cat

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