Monster Welscats from Spain

Discussion in 'Wels Catfishing' started by Catbird, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. Catbird

    Catbird New Member

    Messages:
    294
    State:
    Fayetteville, Ohio
    I arrived home a couple of days ago from what is my greatest adventure thus far in my fishing career. I spent 2 weeks camped on the banks of Rio Segre near Mequinenza, Spain fishing for welscats. It was a trip of a lifetime that was hosted by Stephen Buss of CarpandCatBussters.com I would highly recommend them to anyone. I learned a lot of new techniques that I am anxious to try here in the states for our catfish. My first day of fishing, I landed a 56# welscat that was a new personal best catfish for me. But that was only the tip of the iceberg. The terrain and intense heat not to mention the sun-flies that constantly ate at us were only a small hurdle to overcome. I suffered with swollen ankles from dehydration but in the end it was well worth it. Here are some pictures of my first welscat over 100 lbs. It weighed in at a whopping 116 lbs.
     

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  2. Catbird

    Catbird New Member

    Messages:
    294
    State:
    Fayetteville, Ohio
    My next largest welscat weighed in at 133 lbs. This was the only fish over 100 lbs. that I caught during the daylight hours. It put up a great fight and was released to swim another day just as all of our catches was.
     

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  3. Catbird

    Catbird New Member

    Messages:
    294
    State:
    Fayetteville, Ohio
    My largest catch came after about a week of fishing in Spain. It was caught during the night at a swim (European name for bank access) the local Spaniards call Vietnam. It is named as such because it is a very remote location that is only accessible by boat. It is just a small area with a smooth bank under a couple of trees. The whole area is surrounded by 10'-15' reeds that run all the way into the river. While half dozing, I heard a small jingle from the bell attached to one of my rods. Mounted on the rod was a Penn 330 GTI reel with the drag tightened down as tight as possible. Immediately the rod was bent over and the fish was pulling drag. I struggled to remove from the rod from the holder and the fight was on. after a few short runs, the welcat took off heading down stream. I tried to thumb the spool to slow it down but all I accomplished was a burnt thumb. I was laying back into the rod so hard that I was bent backward with my shoulders only 2.5' off the ground. All of a sudden the drag quit running but the fish was still pulling. I had been spooled all the way to the knot. I held this position for what seemed like an eternity with the rod creaking and groaning like I have never heard. Finally the fish turned to try another direction. I was never so relieved to get a few wraps of line back on the spool. The fish made a few more runs till finally we were both exhausted. When I finally got the welscat back to the bank Benji Jaques of Essex England (who was my fishing partner) mouthed the monster and pulled it up on the bank. We wrested it into the weighing sling and it topped the scales at 172 lbs. Definitely a trophy size fish. We roped it up through the gill rakers and took pictures the next morning. I have some video of pulling it back out of the river that I will add to the site as soon as I figure out how. It is very impressive.
     

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  4. Catbird

    Catbird New Member

    Messages:
    294
    State:
    Fayetteville, Ohio
    A few more pictures.....
     

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  5. FourWinds

    FourWinds New Member

    Messages:
    332
    State:
    Lawton, Oklahoma
    Congratulations Dale,

    Looks like you had a heck of a good time! Man-o-man, those are some nice fish! Thanks for the pics!

    Dave
     
  6. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    Man, those are great photos and it sounds like the trip of a lifetime... gonna make a 30lb fish look like bait! I'll show them to Jocelyn when she gets home. She'll be impressed.
     
  7. Ol Man

    Ol Man New Member

    Messages:
    3,170
    State:
    Illinois
    Those were some fantastic pics, Dale. Thanks for sharin'. After that experience, anything you yank out of the pond now won't impress you...:cool2:
     
  8. Catbird

    Catbird New Member

    Messages:
    294
    State:
    Fayetteville, Ohio
    It was a great experience but it will not ruin my fishing here. All it accomplished is a re-newed interest in landing a 100# plus catfish here in the states....the search goes on...lol It also gave me a lot more confidence in the tackle I am using now.
     
  9. RiverKing

    RiverKing Active Member

    Messages:
    2,232
    State:
    Yellow Spr
    Man Dale those are some nice fish, looks like you had a heck of a time...Congrats buddy.
     
  10. willcat

    willcat New Member

    Messages:
    2,463
    State:
    texas
    congrats on ur catch i bet that was a hell of a good time out there!!!!
     
  11. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    WOW those are some nice fish ,Dale thanks for sharing those pics,some of us will never afford to take a trip like that but it doesnt keep us from dreaming .
     
  12. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    WOW!!!!! That's just incredible, those are some great fish. Looks like a trip you'll always remember with a big smile. Thanks for the pics and stories.
     
  13. Catbird

    Catbird New Member

    Messages:
    294
    State:
    Fayetteville, Ohio
    It was a little expensive but well worth it. I had to give up fishing a lot of local tournaments and crushed a lot of beer cans but all worked out...lol
     
  14. PhillyCatcatcher4

    PhillyCatcatcher4 New Member

    Messages:
    1,596
    State:
    S.W.Phila.,Penn.
    Its resting time lol.Thanks for sharing the pics.:big_smile_2::0a22:
     
  15. ozzy

    ozzy New Member

    Messages:
    3,936
    State:
    Lost Wages
    Wow that's some awesome pics. Congrats.
     
  16. catchinghogs

    catchinghogs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,558
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    Been waiting to here about your trip. Congrats on your trip of a lifetime.
     
  17. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,758
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    looks like you had a whale of a time.thank you for sharing your memories with us.
     
  18. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Messages:
    782
    State:
    Gore, Okla
    Looks like you had a grand old time with those HUGE fish! I'm glad they live in Spain and not here... They'd have all of the blues cleaned up in the river and there'd be no channelcat or anything else left to fish for!

    Absolutely huge! Great story.

    Will you share with us some of the techniques that worked for you?:wink:

    Congratulations on making that trip of a lifetime and thank you for telling the story with pictures for us.
     
  19. Catgirl

    Catgirl New Member

    Messages:
    13,546
    Yep Shawn, I think you're right. Dale was DA man at Kenlake with that 32 lber, but it does seem the Wels in some of those pics could have swallowed that one with just one gulp :smile2:.

    WAY TO GO DALE!!! What a trip! Thanks for the pictures and the associated stories. I'm glad you fellows had such a terrific time, can't wait to hear the reports from the rest of the group :cool2:.

    Last but certainly not least, thanks to Stephen Buss (Catbusster) for his knowledge, expertise, and sponsorship of the BOC.
     
  20. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    I'm glad you made it home safe and sound Dale and with such a great story and pic's. That would have been a long way to go just to get skunked. Did they let you put out any bank lines! lol Congratulations on catching such ginormas fish. I cant wait to talk to you in person and learn some of the new techniques that you talked about. :cool2: