Source: Frerk Petersen

Stefan Seuß worked out years ago what makes monster catfish tick and has since adapted his rigs meticulously to his target waters. Even when it comes to choosing a spot he leaves nothing to chance and strives to present his bait where no other angler would set up: steep slopes, stone fill, inaccessible silt banks and stretches of river plagued with obstacles are precisely the spots he looks for.

When assembling his rigs Stefan has tried to use very light tackle for many years in order to present his bait as inconspicuously and naturally as possible. Gone are the days when you could catch fish on heavy main lines, rigid leaders and highly buoyant underwater floats. The catfish are fast learners, quickly recognise the signs of excessively heavy rigs and simply avoid the angler’s bait. For years Stefan has preferred small, light, streamlined underwater floats of 10-20g rigged on a soft yet durable braid, which presents the bait just off the bottom and does not give off any vibrations or water swirls.

The strategy has clearly paid off as Stefan and team partner Benjamin Gründer can look back on more than 22 fish above the 100kg mark together! And the pair have just reported on the latest monster wels to fall to the light approach.

The level of the River Po was falling and clearing daily and Stefan set up his two guests Pierre Götzinger and Manuel Schale on a sandbank, close to a long silt bank, which fell off steeply into the water. From the sandbank the rigs were laid out against the current, diverted towards the steep slope and presented precisely on a ledge, where the current swept violently along the bank. Stefan said that the spot had never been fished, even though it is in the immediate vicinity of one of the Wels Camps on the river.

The morning of the session brought a violent bite and a 40-minute fight ensued and Pierre Götzinger was pushed to the limit but his equipment, a Black Cat Freestyle 2.8-metre rod and Fin-Nor Marquesa 40 T multiplier, allowed him to halt the runs of the colossus and tire his opponent.


 The monster was measured and weighed immediately after landing and the length of 253cm and weight of 109. kg provide the best evidence that the light approach can pay off for large catfish.