You are here:


Big catfish prefer the light approach

Tostedt. Catfish above the 100 kg mark are smart and have accumulated a wealth of experience over their lifetimes. They are usually more than familiar with anglers' rigs and tend to leave heavily fished stretches of river. Stefan Seuß worked out years ago what makes the monster specimens tick and has since adapted his rigs meticulously to the target catfish waters. Even when it comes to choosing a spot, Stefan Seuß 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 that the test angler and angling guide seeks out to find the big fish.
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 in sizes of 10-20 grams, 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 100 kg mark together! As a new month begins, the pair report on the latest monster wels to fall to the "light approach". The level of the Po was falling daily and the water was very clear. Guide Stefan Seuß had 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 slop and presented precisely on a ledge, where the current swept violently along the bank. Stefan Seuß says that the spot has never been fished, even though it is in the immediate vicinity of the Heiner family's Wels Camp on the Po.
Most anglers avoid uncomfortable spots where you firstly have to work on the bank before being able to present your rigs. However, that is precisely what makes the difference - and the inaccessible, uncomfortable spots are where you find the biggest fish! And when such a spot is fished with finely tuned tackle, the rewards are often enormous!  The morning of the session brought a violent bite and a 40-minute fight ensued. Angler 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. The length of 253 cm and weight of 109.5 kg provide the best evidence that the light approach pays off for large catfish.