94 lb Cat off the Severn???

tigger

Well-known member
People moan about birds, otters and seals etc eating fish stocks and want to kill 'em but they think it's great to have these invasive fish eating catfish devouring everything.
I hope it wasn't released back into the river !
 

sam vimes

Well-known member
The captor has popped up with confirmation on another forum. No picture that I've seen yet, probably because it's going to appear in the weeklies first.
 
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binka

Guest
This is a story I will follow with great interest.

I was in the situation on a similar type of river of seeing enough of a fish to be able to positively identify it back at the start of the pike season last year when it was still very mild and experiencing it outrun the drag on heavy pike gear whilst heading upriver was a humbling experience, I would have estimated a weight between forty and mid-fifties.

If you can imagine hooking a good double figure barbel on a searing run with only a 1lb bottom you would be about there, it smashed through 20lb plus Pro-Tough like it was cotton!

I took up quite an interest at the time and was considering a 7lb t/c rod and a Shimano 0C10000 loaded with 60lb line which I think would have just about given me a half chance.

If he's dragged that out on barbel gear he's done incredibly well.
 

Titus

Banned
Banned
It's the second one I've heard of in the last couple of years though many Severn regulars have known they are in there for ages.
The general consensus is they came out of some of the riverside lakes a few years ago when Worcester was flooded for a couple of weeks. It's also been suggested they're deliberate introductions by a few selfish, misguided individuals who like fishing for them.
 

sam vimes

Well-known member
I've seen one on the surface of the tidal Trent that I initially took to be a fairly substantial tree trunk. Only when it started moving upstream, without the aid of an incoming tide, did I twig on to the reality. I also suspect that I hooked one once. Whatever it was, and it would have had to have been a very substantial carp to do what it did, decided that a day trip to Gainsborough would be rather nice. Fairly substantial barbel gear made no impression whatsoever. After ripping in excess of 150 yards of line in no time at all, I was left with no choice other that clamp up and hold for the inevitable break. Even doing that made no impression, it didn't even slow it down.
 

nicepix

Well-known member
I've had them up to 35lb weighed and a bit bigger estimated on medium spinning gear, 12lb line and a beach casting multiplier, and the fight isn't always that dramatic. Sometimes you can hold the fish and stop it running quite easily. If you do let them run though they will go for ever. The few up to around 40lb I've had on heavier gear, 3.5lb rod and Okuma Trent reel, were stopped dead in their tracks. I had a 20lb cat out from under the rod end in just over a minute and most of that time it was airborne :D

There is an ex Ebro guide on another forum who advocates a 3lb tc rod and 5000 sized reel for even the biggest European Wels, and there is a guy fishing the Seine in Paris bringing out 100lb catfish using a pole and short line. They regularly fish for 40lb class Wels with standard barbel / carp gear.
 

john step

Well-known member
I've seen one on the surface of the tidal Trent that I initially took to be a fairly substantial tree trunk. Only when it started moving upstream, without the aid of an incoming tide, did I twig on to the reality. I also suspect that I hooked one once. Whatever it was, and it would have had to have been a very substantial carp to do what it did, decided that a day trip to Gainsborough would be rather nice. Fairly substantial barbel gear made no impression whatsoever. After ripping in excess of 150 yards of line in no time at all, I was left with no choice other that clamp up and hold for the inevitable break. Even doing that made no impression, it didn't even slow it down.
Sam, this is very interesting. I hooked something similar whilst piking on the tidal Trent a couple of years ago.
3lb rod 15lb sensor and hanging on for dear life. It would not stop and it broke me after heading for the Humber!
As I was at Torksy Lock I couldn't follow it on foot.
 

flightliner

Well-known member
A friend of mine played one for 45 minutes up at Cromwell lock a few years back.
He had heavy Barbel gear on but he couldnt best it.
 

The bad one

Well-known member
This is an interesting video of the feeding habits of catfish when preying on birds. Don’t know where it was taken but I guess Spain or France. 94Lb Catfish Caught On The Severn - Fresh & Salt Water Fishing - The Hunting Life

What it illustrates is they don’t have the speed of a pike, more a creeper upper as close as possible and grab with an engulfing motion.

---------- Post added at 15:04 ---------- Previous post was at 14:55 ----------

It's the second one I've heard of in the last couple of years though many Severn regulars have known they are in there for ages.
The general consensus is they came out of some of the riverside lakes a few years ago when Worcester was flooded for a couple of weeks. It's also been suggested they're deliberate introductions by a few selfish, misguided individuals who like fishing for them.
I'd heard a similar story a couple of years ago from a mate, of someone he knew, who played one to the bank but couldn't get it in his pike net, so cut it lose at the bank.
You may be right about the misguided, much the same way the zander got into the Severn.
 
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binka

Guest
What it illustrates is they don’t have the speed of a pike
That would be very typical of the kind of slow take I had on a dead roach Phil, that all suddenly changed when I hit into it though :eek:

Funny thing was the damn thing was that docile I managed to pull it up with maximum pressure to the surface, corks creaking, before it realised what was happening which was when all Hell broke loose :D
 

nicepix

Well-known member
There was an incident at Marans where a man let his Alsatian go for a swim and it was taken by a catfish. He managed to go in and save the dog, but it needed extensive veterinary treatment to its hind legs. I've found that they aren't shy of the bank and I've had them less than a rod length out. The other notable thing if you are spinning is that I've had more takes as the lure landed than during the retrieve. They are probably more like zander than pike when it comes to lure fishing.
 

Derek Gibson

Well-known member
Only once in my life have I ever been spooled, that was about six years ago on the Tidal Trent. The thing was I was tooled up with heavy duty jerk bait gear. Sixty pound braid, which up until then I believed would handle anything the river could throw up.

I'd just cast out an eight inch Fox Replicant and allowed the customary few seconds to sink before working the lure back, except that I couldn't, everything appeared solid, until I pulled even harder. That was followed by a couple of huge thumps on the rod, and all hell let loose. The fish made its way across the river before turning downstream, no matter what I did it didn't make any impression, until it emptied the spool of line and was gone.

Was it a big cat, dunno but I can't believe it was anything else.
 
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pointngo

Guest
Let's not start a panic lads. They're not devil fish, just like zander aren't. :D

The video of them stalking pidgeons was in Spain but they had been left high and dry in a small area by drought and water abstraction so were starving. It's not all as it seems.

There are cats in a few rivers but they are few and far between. They're definitely in the Trent but I know the chairman of the Catfish Conservation Group, who has targetted them with a few mates, and they've never hooked one, even with the help of a 3D image map of the stretch of river, boat, sounder, the works.

I heard rumours from a fairly reliable local angler that a 35lb'er was caught at Tewkesbury about 5 or 6 years ago but 94lb is huge for the UK. Certainly possible though.

If anyone ever hooks an unstoppable fish on heavy pike gear in the UK it can only be a catfish... there's nothing else over here that pulls like them. :thumbs: The only other possible culprit could be a sturgeon but if you consider not a single one has been caught in decades (50/60's if memory serves) it doesn't seem likely.
 
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nicepix

Well-known member
It has been a badly kept secret that they are being caught regularly in the tidal Trent down near to the M180 bridge. Over here large ones are caught within a few kilometres of the sea in tidal waters. The one that attacked the dog was in brackish water.
 
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binka

Guest
It has been a badly kept secret that they are being caught regularly in the tidal Trent down near to the M180 bridge.
An area known as Mud City if I remember right Clive.

They are being actively targeted in a couple of stretches around Nottingham too with some very hushed success, a guy in a very well known tackle shop knows a lot about them and where they are and he expects a run every 4/5 sessions.
 

smudger172

Well-known member
They have been caught over the ton mark from the lower reaches of the Thames for the last 6 years. Fish around the mid thirty's have been caught between Marlow and Benson. If there in the bigger rivers they are there to stay...........
 

tigger

Well-known member
I just noticed this post on another forum ....

ellis
24-06-2010, 21:46
I,m posting up this thread to get peoples opinions. I know they are an established species now and some enjoy fishing for them, BUT!

After a fair amount of observation in the uk and looking at the situation arising in Spain and France I will give you my own opinion and ask you for yours.
More and more waters are stocking with cats (most illegally I would guess) hoping to improve ticket sales in the main but I believe the long term effects will be much worse than people imagine and more costly in environmental terms than you can imagine. for the first time last week I was witness to a catfish of only around 35lb taking a part grown canada goose that was the size of a mallard duck. the next morning we saw the same fish take a full grown great crested grebe. The guy who owns the water feeds his carp as fishing pressure is low but has a stock of 11 cats between 10 and 35lb. Despite feeding levels rising the cats get bigger and the carp continue to lose weight and all carp under about 8lb have gone down the catfishes throats. Grebe, moorhen, mallard and coots have all bred on the lake this year but none have managed to get their broods to adulthood.
On the Ebro as we all know the cats now go over 200lb and many native species have been all but wiped out and the authorities have begun a belated attempt to control their numbers.
Within a confined fishery dedicated to catfish I'm sure they are fine, but feel they have no place anywhere else.
What causes the greatest concern is the day these fish gain a footing in our native rivers as happened in other countries. I think it would be likely that it would make otter and cormorant predation small fry in comparison.
I dont know how this can be prevented but know it will happen. What does anyone else think?



Sounds like that chap is concerned about the potential damage these fish can do !
 

nicepix

Well-known member
An area known as Mud City if I remember right Clive.

They are being actively targeted in a couple of stretches around Nottingham too with some very hushed success, a guy in a very well known tackle shop knows a lot about them and where they are and he expects a run every 4/5 sessions.
Burringham to Gunness area was the area my friend used to fish. I never took to muddy, slimy banks.

Given the length of time these report have been about it won't be long before they are endemic in larger rivers. It is not just the slow deep stretches that people often associate with cats that you'll find them. The river that runs past the farm where I used to live is fast, rocky and shallow and has a good population of 20lb plus catfish. The Latvian builder ate at least 8 of that size from a 100 metre length over a three month period. :D
 

flightliner

Well-known member
Let's not start a panic lads. They're not devil fish, just like zander aren't. :D

The video of them stalking pidgeons was in Spain but they had been left high and dry in a small area by drought and water abstraction so were starving. It's not all as it seems.

There are cats in a few rivers but they are few and far between. They're definitely in the Trent but I know the chairman of the Catfish Conservation Group, who has targetted them with a few mates, and they've never hooked one, even with the help of a 3D image map of the stretch of river, boat, sounder, the works.

I heard rumours from a fairly reliable local angler that a 35lb'er was caught at Tewkesbury about 5 or 6 years ago but 94lb is huge for the UK. Certainly possible though.

If anyone ever hooks an unstoppable fish on heavy pike gear in the UK it can only be a catfish... there's nothing else over here that pulls like them. :thumbs: The only other possible culprit could be a sturgeon but if you consider not a single one has been caught in decades (50/60's if memory serves) it doesn't seem likely.
Point and go, A sturgeon was caught on the non tidal trent a few years ago.
Put there by human hands who knows but if you can gain access to the Ashfield AA website there's a picture of the fish with its capter.
 
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