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Black Cat Lightning Float – the bright yellow temptress!

Autumn has set in on the River Po, known in Italy as ‘Il Grande Fiume’. A time when nature enchants us with its intense light show, albeit only at night when the mist furtively and silently shrouds the landscape and stubbornly holds. The abundant vegetation that grew rampantly along the river banks in the summer now looks forlorn as it slowly loses its lush green colour. However, one plant refuses to admit defeat. The striking evening primrose with its bright yellow flowers glows in the dark, standing undaunted and upright like a sentry.

The colour yellow generally plays an important role in the plant and animal kingdom. How this applies specifically to the river catfish species known as “Silurus glanis” is a contentious issue. We know that catfish have some sort of eyesight, although this is not completely comparable with that of humans. Whether the predator can recognise colours is not entirely clear. In Italy's Po, however, the colour yellow is a venerable guest. But how does the colour get into the river? Personally, I've always harboured the suspicion that catfish perceive certain visual stimuli and react to them. Now, I know they do! My experiences have proven this to me ever since I started working with a certain bright yellow “temptress” that certainly lives up to its name: the Black Cat Lightning Float And the float really comes into its own in autumn.

This conviction was re-affirmed on my latest guiding week. My guest was Philipp from CarpSpot, who was trying his hand at catfish angling for the first time. We put four rods out every night, one of which was rigged with our special Black Cat Lightning Float. The brightly coated underwater float is rigged just above the hookbait. The float can also be fitted with two snaplights to provide some additional attraction for its prey. Every night, the float brought us an attack, including one from the best fish of the week that measured 2.25 metres. Nice catch Philipp!

Why does this feature work so well in autumn and winter in particular? My instinct is that, when water temperatures drop, fish metabolisms change. They need more energy to maintain their body temperature and to be in good shape for their increasing food intake. Consequently, levels of feeding activity are particularly high in autumn, as they are in spring during spawning season. Ultimately, energy has to be saved somewhere. Certain senses, notably the ampullae of Lorenzini along the entire body of a catfish, surely demand a great deal of energy. It’s entirely possible that, during this time, catfish perceive a greater number of visual stimuli and react to them because their sense of sight requires less energy. Perhaps the increased murkiness of the water is also a key factor? Or maybe the float is too bright in the clear water of the summer months and only works with catfish at this darker time of year?

Over the last few years, I've caught a number of fish using snaplights, including Po giants of up to 2.4 metres in length. I've either used a standard snaplight, fixed directly onto the hook with a long rubber tube, or the ingenious Lightning Float from Black Cat. Both variants have brought me enormous catfish. More recently, I've enjoyed more success with the Lightning Float – because what catfish can resist a bright yellow temptress...

Best wishes from the water!
Yours, Johann “TheHaunzz” Troppacher