Catfish fishing : All the equipment

The catfish is one of those mysterious fish that anglers love as much as they hate. Unpopular because of its unattractive head, it is nevertheless a wonderful sport fish that will give you a hard time once hooked.

You'll be impressed and attracted by its size, which can exceed 2m and 100kg. These specimens can be the fish of a lifetime, your best fishing experience, and a fight that can sometimes last more than an hour, especially in freshwater, rivers and streams.

You can fish for it on the banks of the Tarn or the Rhône or in one of the large lakes. This species is so widespread throughout Europe that it can be found both in France and abroad.

To fish for catfish, you'll need the right equipment. This may differ depending on whether you're fishing from a boat or from the shore.

All your equipment, including your hooks, will need to be very strong if you are to stand up to what can be a very powerful fight. You'll also need accessories such as a clonk or floats for surface fishing.

Powerful fishing rods

To fish for sheatfish, you'll need strong sheatfish rods. They may have different profiles depending on the techniques you use.

Buoy fishing, for example, will require models that are generally long enough to reach good casting distances from the banks. They will also need to be able to withstand heavy sinkers to easily cope with the powerful current of a big river.

When stalking these specimens vertically, relatively short rods will be required. They also need to be able to cope with big fish and violent rushes.

The clonk and lure techniques will not be outdone. While the former can accept fairly variable lengths, you will have to be uncompromising about the quality of the power reserve to parry the sometimes monstrous hits from a boat.

Lures are generally handled with rods ranging from 2m10 to 2m40. In this case, you'll need to choose a rod with a smaller power range without neglecting the need for power in combat. This is often fun fishing, especially on the surface.

Robust, high-capacity reels

The main quality of a catfish reel is its robustness. It will have to withstand sometimes titanic battles while remaining relatively light to be supported by an angler for long hours

The manufacture of its frame and structure will therefore be of paramount importance. Even if the merits of graphite are vaunted in the weight of a spinning or casting rod, it will be essential to concentrate on a value that is sometimes higher to ensure that there is no deformation.

The drag is the second important aspect. With specimens that can exceed 100kg, you might as well be ready to face them and take the mythical photo that follows. Values of more than 10-15kg are preferable to be more ready for battle.

The size of the reel should also be taken into account. Having a sufficient supply of braid or nylon is an essential criterion for successful fishing. This species of fish will be capable of taking dozens of metres of line in a single rush.

Finally, casting or spinning, the choice of your reels for catfish is a logical one. Spinning reels are best suited to long distance casting. Casting reels are more suited to shorter casting distances and even greater power.

Ready-to-fish sets

There are a few out there, and these catfish sets comprising rod and reel may make it easier for you to get started. They'll also give you the opportunity to ask fewer questions and be more confident in your choices.

Spinning combos can be an opportunity to fish specific techniques. You'll appreciate them for the right casting distances. Fishing with buoys or lures from the shore will be their main qualities.

Casting sets are designed for other techniques. You'll love them for vertical fishing or for fishing from the shore. They're also great for clonk fishing, when you need to get into action quickly.

Don't be surprised, you'll regularly find rods that accept both solutions. Black Cat has made this a speciality, offering numerous series with this dual use.

A collection of adapted lures

In the same way as for other predators, there are specific ranges of lures for catfish fishing. You'll find specific lures but also many models that are already used for pike fishing, for example

Soft lures are the basis. There are plenty of them on the market, and it's easy to reserve the biggest models for the attack. Use swimbaits with large caudals, or grubs that can exceed 30cm.

Swimbaits are not to be outdone, although you need to bear in mind the power of the fish. We'll be aiming for more specific products with integral frames. This means they will be able to withstand great power without breaking.

Some lakes and even rivers lend themselves very well to the use of spoons. Whether undulating or spinning, they are a basic lure. When you use them, you know you won't be far from the truth and the catch of the day.

Finally, teasers, which imitate both a worm ball and an octopus, are a specific lure. Even if it is not very well known, it can easily be combined with certain techniques and allow you to record numerous fights.

Accessories and rigs

Throughout these pages you'll find a whole range of catfish accessories for your fishing and rigging needs. Catfish fishing is a very demanding sport, which has led to the development of specific products.

Rigging is essential. Hooks and leaders should not be overlooked. If you don't, you're guaranteed to break, lose fish by having your hooks split open or opt for unsuitable equipment.

A range of floats and small tackle is also available to support you when fishing for live or dead fish. You'll have good visibility from the shore, whether on lakes or rivers.

All the equipment you'll need for fishing is also part of the range of catfish accessories you'll need for your well-being on the water. But you'll also need to think about the fish, with equipment such as landing mats, tongs and suitable weighing bags.

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