Wels Catfish

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Wels are landed by gripping them by the jaw.
Animal Planet/DCL

Hooking Wels Catfish

The bell was the first indication that something had happened. One of the rods had sprung back and the line had fallen slack. I quickly wound in, felt the dull throb of a fish, then swept the rod back as hard as I could.

This fishing is done with the reel’s drag almost completely locked. Because the water level has been raised by the dams, there are lots of sunken snags, so allowing the fish to run is not an option. But nobody’s told the catfish that, and this one charged out into the current and almost pulled me over. It’s then a long, drawn-out tug o’ war, digging my heels into the slippery bank, before it appears on the surface and I can see just how big it is.

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