Wels Catfish Catch Reports Pictures and World Record Catch Story!

Discussion in 'Wels Catfishing' started by CatBusster, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. CatBusster

    CatBusster New Member

    Messages:
    295
    State:
    Out Fishing
    I hope you all read and enjoy the following adventures and that we all learn from the challenges and share the excitement that lay before me in the next 10 months fishing.

    Catbusster's 2005 Wels Fishing Report
    A WORLD RECORD BREAKING YEAR!

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    To be honest I am still sat in disbelief at the fishing achievements of 2005, being faced with the task of summing up our adventures to some comprehendible context without writing a book is something I will have to get used to. Just standing on the banks of the river instinct fuels excitement of the unknown and the promise of uncaught monsters lurking in the depths before you

    The first 6 months of 2005 was spent refining fishing methods and techniques for both the carp and the catfish.

    I had been mesmorised in livebaiting for Zander and caught many into double figures using freeline live and deadbaits in the form of the silver fish known as a bleak. The smaller ones were divine wrapped in foil and filled with lemon and whiskey and slowly cooked fresh on the BBQ. When the weather started to warm the Zander seemed to push further out iinto the river and out of casting range, some boat fishing was conducted but the carp were nearing the town and in large numbers.

    I started applying my carp fishing knowledge to the river early November 2004.
    With a short festive break in frosty England I boasted at the table of having landed over 30 30lb commons from the short time spent about 10km down stream of the town of Mequinenza. My time in England just about saw in the New Year as I was keen to bait hooks and continue my understanding of fish movements from many steady trickles of bait.

    March was my best month carp fishing on the Ebro; I had been experimenting with pebbles and elastic bands, using Richworth, Carp Company & Heathrow Bait ingredients for hook baits and paste and consistently throughout the month bumped into big fish.

    Having tempted a 41lb 10oz common to the banks under the castle back inNovember and seen a mid 50lb on the bank and heard the rumours of several over 70lb I knew it would not be too long before one graced my net.

    I soon found that fishing short sessions worked better than having lines out for most of the day, most of my takes would occur within the first 20 minutes of fishing and usually the first fish was the biggest fish of the session. I had lots of good fish with a silly average size the best sessions being two fish over 39lb and a mid forty, two 49lbers within an hour, a 54lb 14 and a bigger common carp that I was unable to weigh. With sessions like this I started taking my small catfish weigh sling as I was convinced I was going to catch one of the 70lbers I had heard of. Alas this was not to be the case and reality soon set in as news of some visitors due from England saw the last of my personal carp fishing for 2005.

    April saw an unexpected break with some dummy run week sessions, the first with Ian Russell & Rocket Ron, in pursuit of colossal Commons. As we drove past the horde of avid catfish anglers on the Segre our camp awaited hidden from sight from both dusty track and boats eye view amongst an Ebro fruit orchard. The action was thick and fast, the natural setting was somewhat radiating the feeling of anticipation, some scale perfect 30lb virgin fish were caught but a move for a final session resulted in Ian landing in Heathrow brimming with the recollection of netting his pb common of 39lb 14oz. I had hoped that the big fish caught in March would still be in the same area but a river of this enormity ensured that wishful thinking, expecting the biggest and best proved me wrong.

    Dan Baylis was next in preparation for my opening weeks guiding, we spent three days carp fishing in a big fish area and resulted in several good 30lbers topped by a 43. A move onto the Segre ensued; the low water level hindered fishing but produced good fish never the less. Unfortunately Dan was in the office evicting a kebab from the previous evening’s frivolity when a carp rod ripped off, I could see Dan’s head poking from under his bush, watching me as the rod bent flat. It was nearing the margins when Dan joined me at the front of the swim; the catfish was a stunning Albino.

    On saying adios to Dan at Barcelona airport, the prospect dawned on the drive home of catching more Albinos on the Segre, the cat fishing tackle was soon organised, boat, echo and an armful of 5lb pebbles.

    News soon spreads fast and I was unable to set up in the swim from where we had caught the Albino. It was hard watching other guides play in the areas I had seen most fish activity, reading the river is essential especially at certain times of the day. With an understanding of the river bed features you can start to predict and identify directions and times of fish movement dependant and in relation to the variable river conditions. I was able to catch some big fish from the areas I fished, but getting them up on the bank is a different story.

    Having released a string of good fish in the margins without weight or photo, when I saw the next 125lb albino rolling on the end of my line I was under no illusion when I secured it by stringer and phoned for a camera. I further weighed just two fish leading up to June due to not wanting to risk fish safety and my back, these being a 158 and a 187.

    In the month prior to our first week’s cat fishing, I travelled down south in pursuit of big Mirror carp and barbel. I fished a few nice places with Graham
    Noon and had some of the best fishing catching fully scaled mirrors and Andalucian Barbel one a chuck touch ledgering. I also winkled out a green turtle that smelt worse than you know what. There will be articles out on the barbel fishing done in 2005 so I won’t steal anyone’s thunder as some excellent fish were caught; the potential of Spain is phenomenal.

    The first official weeks cat fishing guiding was soon upon me, and what lay install, no previous guided holiday, fishing experience or amount of wishful thinking could have prepared all who took part. From an evening session on Thursday the 30th June to an hour before twelve bells on the night of Wednesday 6th July, I had guided Duncan Rooke, Brian Dunlop from Surrey &
    David Moore from Weymouth to no less than 49 catfish of which 22 were over 100lb, 2 were albinos both over 125lb, 6 fish broke the 150lb barrier & 2exceeded 185lb with the biggest & best fish being saved till last & setting a new Spanish record at 212lb, the biggest catfish ever to be caught by a Briton. The total weight of catfish caught on this record breaking week was 5146lb (2339kg) making the average weight of each catfish caught over 100 lb.

    The second week saw another steady flow of big fish, Ian Cooper’s tally of 18fish for 1721lb put more than a smile on his face, he managed 7 fish over 100lb, three over 150lb with the biggest going 188lb. Son Luke ended up with 15 fish for 1542lb, six were over the 100lb mark & had 4 fish over 150lb & a new personal best of 180lb the combined weight resulted in 3263lb (1483kg) of catfish.

    Mark Angold and Jamie Francis were next and after hearing of the success on the first week my Dad bless him came out to see me and what all the fuss was about; Jamie already had a personal best catfish of 180lb, here we go I thought, as Mark read the scales that stopped on 188. Mark also had a good fish 10lb lighter and both returned to England with new personal bests, phew. It was nice to see Jamie at the Sandown Show.

    Dad returned home at the end of July as Dan Baylis arrived with Matt Cotton and Chris Green, and an excellent week carp and cat fishing was had with a story of the one that got away, stained on my brain. Matt’s biggest went 180lb Chris beat that by 1lb, Dan is yet to return to the fishing since discovering slip mats and vinyl round my house, mmmmmmmm.

    Wayne Anstee and Mick Evans braved a slow weeks fishing for 11 cats, Mick’s first fish tipped the scales at 187lb followed by one over 100lb lighter, then a 110 115 & 125lber. Some freak electrical storms towards the end of a sticky week brought Wayne a 205lber beating his previous fish of 65, 78, 150, 162 & 174lb. Wayne and Mick are to return this July, game on.

    A hectic week entertaining Matt & Dan Eastwood & Del & Jack Morley was up next, thoroughly enjoyable and action packed. Over 20 cats were caught and some nice carp, the best cats being a 192lb half albino, backed up by big fish of 188, 180, 169, 165 & 160lb.

    Steve Morrison, Darren Gallager & Dipesh Patel basked in the Spanish sun late August. The river conditions were not the best, however, after a string of small fish & each being familiarised with the tackle the bigger fish started to show. 143lb topped Steve’s list & also landed a 37lb carp, Dipesh who had lost a lump the night before, hit a resounding take first thing for one at 139lb & having only tickled fish less than 100lb to the bank, Darren brought up the rear with a 174lb specimen.

    Mick and Paul Wheeler flew out for some fishing and sight seeing with many strong fighting cats to 143lb. This was probably my hardest week as we did the least fishing; sometimes only several hours fishing were enough as both were willingly beaten up by the hard fighting Wels, the morning and midday sun, and the local entertainment & refreshment.

    I then had a few weeks to myself around the new moon of September; as I had done so much bank fishing I was itching to get the boat out and roar off down river out of sight and out of mind. I managed a few good sessions in this month for the cats with both pellet, live eel and dead carp steaks, my best fish had been a 189 but, on the 17th two fish from the Ebro within 45mminutes of each other 191 & 192lb saw me take some much needed time off to move houses.

    As our cat fishing season was nearing an end I had weighed 235 catfish, 149of them were over 100lb, 72 were over 150lb an impressive 38 catfish were landed over 175lb with 2 breaking 200lbs for a total weight of 31, 473lb, not a bad whistle stop tour for a one man band.

    In October Geoff Smith, Ian Ede, Mick Lunnon, Steve Jordan and Malcom Sherring camped out on the Ebro in a big fish area for the carp and managed near 300 takes for the 5 days fishing. Unfortunately the bigger fish were lost, but some nice 30lbers and a 29lb fully scaled mirror were netted. The carp action tailed off towards the end of the week, and was no wonder when Malcom played a 159lb cat on carp gear for over an hour.

    The remainder of October was a good month for fishing; I had only done a few sessions in this month as time was needed to be spent back in the office.

    In our last months fishing, November was damp and cold, the carp were starting to show in numbers and the catfish were looking to rest.

    Del Bulfield & Stephen Powell braved the fist misty week of November, we mainly fished the Ebro for Carp but the river conditions changed mid week and the cat fish rods were put out for a few sessions. On the last night a double take was played out that resulted in catfish of 158 and a 198lb, an excellent photo. Having performed the photos first light we were running late for airport pick up and drop.

    Patiently waiting at Barcelona was my Dad along with Mick Barnes, Garth Ethelston, Mathew Grover & Ian Russell. Another week plagued by uncomfortable weather conditions still produced some nice fish, Dad caught some nice carp to 38lb, Mick gloated at the German silver fish anglers with a 3lb+ roach along with a few nice carp and a 125lb cat, Garth wrestled with a 176lb cat before posing for the cameras, Matt waited patiently for his best cat of 147lb whilst Ian steered clear and upped his pb common to 42lb. This was a special week for spotting large shoals of carp, exploring new areas & soaking up local hospitality.

    Our last week was spent in the company of Benji & Louis Jaques, Matthew Ford & Joel Crozier who consistently battled strong winds and icy rain, some good sessions carp fishing resulted in some nice mid and upper 30lb commons, in addition a few small cats were to be had. The last week brought some nice carp for dad, he reminded me never to have him out in November again!

    These were just the highlights and not all fish caught are mentioned but never the less much appreciated and well looked after. Catfish care is very important, practical experience of handling and safe release of big cats is essential; if you have no experience with 100lb fish and you are thinking of fishing the River Ebro then your fist trip is best done with a Guide.

    There are many guides to choose from
    The best recommended by a friend
    Some in for a fast buck
    And some in to the end


     
  2. CatBusster

    CatBusster New Member

    Messages:
    295
    State:
    Out Fishing
    Many thanks, fingers crossed for when Paul & Eric place rod butt in butt pad.
     

  3. Ace

    Ace New Member

    Messages:
    881
    State:
    Gastonia N
    :0a34: I found this photo on the Internet It disturbs me that some one would KILL all eight of these GiantWels Catfish.

    I hope more people feels the way I do.

    Ace :0a15:
     
  4. CoonX

    CoonX Member

    Messages:
    737
    State:
    Oklahoma City O
    More than likely, the cats were kept in keepsacks. Put on the bank for the pictures and then released.
    Will
     
  5. CatBusster

    CatBusster New Member

    Messages:
    295
    State:
    Out Fishing
    Shame if they all went to the pot, you never know one of them one day could have been a record fish

    Ace I always practice catch and release and have never had a cat die on me but there are a few who still take what they catch, I always say big fish are friends and not food.

    The pic is a good days fishing dont you think lol, if they did go back, I hope they did not suffer, we presume they are tough being an ultimate predator, I spak a bit of whale as in the finding nemo film lol, but have not yet masterd wels lol so I use big wet mats when on the bank and tend to take most photos in the water

    we retain our big cats on ropes as opposed to sacks, if roped for too long they get rope rash
     
  6. bearcat

    bearcat Member

    Messages:
    925
    State:
    Nokomis, Illinois
    great recount of your years fishing. It sounds like great fun. Thank you for posting it.
     
  7. Dragger

    Dragger New Member

    Messages:
    538
    State:
    North Carolina
    i beleive the more you release the more ,you catch down the road .............
     
  8. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,359
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    CatBusster - Congrats on all the big Cat's you caught in 2005. I'm totally amazed by the stories and photo's! If I can ever make it over to Spain I would definetly want to fish with you! Paul & Eric are in for a real treat, wish I was going!
     
  9. CatBusster

    CatBusster New Member

    Messages:
    295
    State:
    Out Fishing
    Wow I knew this season would start off well, Having no expectations of the size of this years fish check this one out for the first fish of the Carp & Cat Bussters Season caught just this morning on first light!

    More pics to follow and full story when all has sunk in

    Tightest Lines to you

    Stephen
     

    Attached Files:

  10. davesoutfishing

    davesoutfishing New Member

    Messages:
    479
    State:
    Menominee Michigan
    wow thats huge congrates
     
  11. RIP

    RIP New Member

    Messages:
    1,298
    State:
    Somerville, Tennessee
    What a way to start your season. I hope it will be a good year for everyone. Congrats on that one!
     
  12. CatBusster

    CatBusster New Member

    Messages:
    295
    State:
    Out Fishing
    Thanks RIP, attached are some more photos and below is the press release.

    Paul / Eric - Got your shorts packed yet?

    CARP & CAT BUSSTERS PRESS RELEASE

    FIRST FISH, FIRST LIGHT
    MARCH 4TH 2006

    THE SON OF BIG CARP MAN RON ‘ROCKET’ BUSS HAS MADE CATFISHING HISTORY FOR THE SECOND TIME IN LESS THAN A YEAR THIS WEEK & HAS SET THE WORLD OF CATFISHING ON FIRE YET AGAIN WITH HIS FIRST GUIDED FISH OF 2006 BEING IN EXCESS OF 200LB & A RECORD FISH IN ITSELF.

    BRIAN WESTERGAARD FROM COPENHAGUEN BANKED A 203 LB - 2M 41CM WELS CATFISH FROM THE LARGEST RIVER SYSTEM IN SPAIN, AT FIRST LIGHT ON THE 4TH OF MARCH 2006 & IS TO BE CLAIMED THE LARGEST CATFISH EVER TO BE CAUGHT BY A DANISH ANGLER.

    THE GIANT CATFISH TOOK A STRING OF SPECIAL 22MM HALIBUT PELLET AT A DEPTH OF 16 METRES USING "THE PEBBLE RIG" 80LB MAINLINE BRAID TO A SIZE 10/0 CATBUSSTER CONTINENTAL PELLET HOOK.

    STEPHEN SAID

    " SEVERAL GOOD FISH WERE LOCATED LATE LAST EVENING WITH THIS FIRST LIGHT TAKE TAKING ALL CONCERNED TOTALLY BY SURPRISE, MY FEATURE LOCATION & PRE-BAITING HAS PAID OFF BEYOND ANY EXPECTATION.

    THE TAKE WAS SLOW & STEADY, QUICKLY MOVING FROM THE MARGINS TO SOME 150 METERS INTO THE MAIN RIVER EBRO ON ITS FIRST RUN. THIS IS MY FIRST GUIDED CATFISH OF 2006 ON THE MORNING OF THE SECOND DAY OF BRIAN & TROELS ADVENTURE, QUITE SOME ACHIEVEMENT.

    I AM MOST GRATEFUL FOR BRIANS NATURAL FISHING ABILITY & AGILITY IN LANDING THIS HARD FIGHTING SPECIMEN & TROLES HALFDAN TAYLOR FOR HELPING ME BEST LOOK AFTER THE MONSTER WELS WHILST ON THE BANK & SOME EXCELLENT PHOTOS. "


    IF YOU REQUIRE THE FULL STORY & EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE IN CONTACTING US BY EMAIL RETURN, PHONE OR TEXT.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. CatBusster

    CatBusster New Member

    Messages:
    295
    State:
    Out Fishing
    Here are two more pics to show its length - awesome fish!

    :)
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Chuckb

    Chuckb New Member

    Messages:
    211
    State:
    Pana Illinois
    Great start to the season Stephen!!
     
  15. Ulizth

    Ulizth New Member

    Messages:
    262
    State:
    St. Clairsville, Ohio
    Congrats! That is quite the catfish. Maybe someday I will be lucky and get a shot at one of them.
     
  16. HOPPY4

    HOPPY4 New Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Waldorf MD
    Catbuster, the fish the Brian caught is a serious speciman and I know that it made you proud to have assisted. Great Fish again and we all look forward to seeing more this season.

    HOPPY4
     
  17. maddcatter

    maddcatter New Member

    Messages:
    614
    State:
    Newark, Oh
    That's it, I'm saving my money for a trip over there.
     
  18. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,359
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    Stephen - Wow! Awesome fish to start off the year! Thanks for posting all the photos!:)
     
  19. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN