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Catfish – Huge 270lb plus River Po Beast for Black Cat Anglers


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Team Black Cat anglers Stefan Seuß and Benjamin Gründer weigh in a real beast of a wels!


Last week Black Cat anglers and guides Stefan Seuß and Benjamin Gründer were on the middle reaches of the Po in the Ostiglia/Revere region together with ten anglers from the Wittenberg/Dessau area.

The water temperature of the river was still mild for the time of year at 8 degrees and the rain was pouring down, causing the water to rise dramatically, and within an hour the formidable river had risen to more than 1.5m above its normal level.

Despite the conditions the anglers persevered and David Otto and Mark Potschka set up on the tip of an island from where they could present their baits directly in a ditch that was being flooded by the rising river – although even in the ditch the water level was 1.2 metres. In respect of location many catfish anglers expect the big predators to be in deep areas but, in rising and murky waters in particular, the wels are drawn tight to the land and even into the shallowest flooded grassland.

Before they started fishing, Benjamin Gründer showed the two anglers a freeline rig so as not to frighten pressured giant wels which had seen it all and this was the tactic the anglers employed.

The take came at exactly 20:00 and David hit into an unusually strong fish. At first David and Mark tried to overcome the violent runs of the wels from the bank, but they quickly realise there was no stopping the fish and decided to follow it in the dinghy. Once afloat the battle continued for over 30 minutes, with the fish not raised off bottom in all that time but after 35 minutes it was on top and finally landed and it was immediately apparent to all of the anglers that they were dealing with an exceptional fish.

 From left: Captor David Otto, Mark Potschka, Stefan Seuß and Benjamin Gründer

Stefan and Benjamin weighed the cat and read off a record weight of 122.5kg (270lb 7oz) with a length of 253cm - the heaviest they have ever known.



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Catfish, River Po, Team Black Cat