Tug of War

With the onset of the warmer weather Neville Fickling reveals how he put the pike rods away and went in search of a different target, and one that certainly pulls back!

Only a serious pike angler would breathe a sigh of relief at the end of a fishing season. By golly it had been a hard season. A few weeks to recover and I was thinking if there was anything to amuse me during the spring. I was going to bream fish, but that went by the by because work got in the way. Eventually in May I thought I’d have another look at the catfish in Daiwa Manton. A couple of years ago I’d caught a cat of exactly 50lb from there and then left them because there isn’t much point fishing year in year out for the same fish. However by now there might be a 60 pounder which could be interesting!

At weights of 60lb we are still using conventional tackle, Dictator 3lb pike rods, 50lb braid, one rod a sub surface livebait, the other a 26mm boilie. Only two rods used because you have to see the knitting a big catfish can do if you have too many rods in a swim. My lad David was with me fishing the stock pond (we needed to sample the fish we grow on). I was talking to him when the livebait was seized just as darkness fell. When I got to the rod the buzzer had stopped. I picked the rod up and held the line. It was snatched out of my fingers in a really vicious manner. I wound down and was nearly dragged down the bank. My first job was to try and stop whatever I had hooked from going through a carp anglers swim 100 yards away. The way it was pulling it seemed as if it would be crossing the next field as well as the lake.

50lb braid and the clutch screwed down saw line still taken. After 10 minutes I finally got the better of it and then had to pump it all the way back across the lake.
Getting it in the net was good fun, time to get a 50 inch net rather than a 42! It was a good job David was with me because it really was heavy. We got the great big whiskery thing weighed and it took the scales down to 53lb 12oz. That left me wondering what I’d do if they kept growing! We know catfish routinely grow to 100lb abroad. Soon I’ll need scales which weighed over 60lb, stronger rods, stronger lines and a bigger landing net!

Because that fish is probably the biggest in the lake, that brought my cat fishing to a premature end. I’m now putting some perch tackle together, I’ve never had a 3 pounder so here’s hoping…