GIANT catfish have been on a feeding frenzy, and Angler's Mail magazine has been looking deep into the catfish scene. Here are some of the most eye-catching catches - for exclusive news in full, analysis and tips be sure to read AM mag every week.
Recent giant catches include the UK’s biggest cat coming in at a massive 134 lb, and two other whoppers in the mid-90’s.
The top UK fish came out of an Essex lake for the first time in two years and fell to catfish specialist Ian De’ath.
It was the only fish in a 48-hour session for the decorator, from Bromley in Kent, who fished with double halibut pellet.
The 58-year-old said: “This year has been a bit of a struggle for me with plenty of blanks and not many landed, so I was especially delighted to have caught Britain’s biggest cat.
“Halibut pellets are my first choice bait and I fed them relatively lightly, but cats can be caught on virtually anything meaty or fishy, and its just what they seem to fancy on the day that counts.”
At another unnamed Essex day ticket lake, just two hours into a two-day trip, Paul Burch was rewarded when a giant 96 lb catfish. It picked up the huge squid he was fishing underneath a dumbbell rig.
The Catfish Pro consultant said: “After a fight of 20 minutes I was dragged into a snag but the cat released itself after a further five to ten minutes and shortly after I slipped the net under the beast. It gave an unbelievable fight, so very powerful.”
And veteran John Smith had a mighty battle with a giant moggie, which, when finally subdued, hit the scales at 95 lb.
It was John’s first-ever catfish and turned out to be a venue record for Barway Lake, in Cambridgeshire.
The 76-year-old pensioner, from nearby Ashley, took 20 minutes to land the monster with a lot of help from other anglers.
John mounted the livebait on a size 4 barbless hook, with a wire trace to 35 lb line, complete with a rattler.
And amongst other venues that hit top cat form, Wintons Fishery in Burgess Hill, West Sussex saw its catfish firmly on the chomp.
Head bailiff Stuart Nesbitt said: “One angler had 50 in a few days when many nearby weren’t catching.
“When he left two guys opposite him who had previously blanked suddenly caught 23.
“Without a doubt 21 and 22 mm halibut pellets are the most successful bait all round but the cats are caught on a variety of things.”
CAUGHT A BIG FISH? Email pictures and details to: firstname.lastname@example.org – you could appear in the top weekly magazine, Angler’s Mail. Get it every week for all the very best coverage and advice – in full and exclusive.