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The Catfish brothers are back and bank 2 cats to 74lbs using traditional cat fishing methods.

This week we had the absolute pleasure of welcoming back Steve and Bill, aka the catfish brothers, for their third trip to the venue. These guys are absolutely bonkers mad for their cat fishing and were bubbling with excitement on arrival. They are very much purists and have no interest whatsoever in catching a carp. In fact they do everything possible to avoid them!

Powerful gear
Powerful rods, heavy duty American sea fishing reels, 90lb monofilament mainlines with 200lb hook links. Yep, that is some serious duty gear! If you think it’s over the top then think again. These creatures are extremely powerful and the guys tool up with the gear to control them from the off…. rather than the other way round.

Doing it the traditional way
By Monday, one catfish had been landed and at 58lbs this is about as small as it gets at Beausoleil. They were fishing a combination of luncheon meat and sections of sausages, but we’re not talking normal size baits here, we are talking massive. And when I mean massive, I mean 1/2 tins of luncheon meat and 3” x 3” sections of sausage! Yep, no carp I know is going be picking that up! They were also fishing with live baits caught on site. Roach is one of their favourites, mounted on a size 6/0 circle hook.

Many fisheries have various rules which prevent them from using these dedicated cat fishing methods. If this is a style of fishing  you enjoy and are struggling to find a place to practice this art then Beausoleil is a good choice as I have no issues with the methods. They are rarely used here as most anglers are happy to catch either carp or cat and 99% of our cats are caught on traditional carp rigs. For Bill and Steve, catching a carp is not on the cards and so they do it their way and catch or blank, they have tons of fun doing it!

“Quitting is not an option”
I was back on Friday to keep an eye on the oxygen which was down again this week. By then, the air temperature had fallen through the floor and while I was in the boat, the heavens opened.

Bill with a 74lb catfish
Bill with a 74lb catfish

As I drifted about in open water, there was a flurry of bleeps from one of Bill’s rods and I thought for one minute that I’d caught one of his lines with the oxygen probe (because they fish their lines high in the water, I’d done it once or twice already. Oops…. sorry guys!) A quick check revealed I wasn’t the guilty party this time. I was expecting this to just be a another dropped run or a liner but Bill stared intensely down at the rod as the rain lashed down.

He’d obviously seen something was different about this run and lifted the rod from the rests. He walked backwards and tentatively tightened down to the lead. Feeling a kick he struck hard and was immediately in contact with a cat that boiled on the surface.

I couldn’t believe my luck! Here I was in the boat getting a proper soaking and Bill had only gone and rigged one up after not having a proper bite for 5 days!

It was all hands to the pump to make sure this one came in trouble free. I positioned the boat off the Island point to discourage the cat from going round the island, Steve got the mat, sling and scales ready only to realise that I had the catfish gloves in the boat… oops! With proper heavy gear, Bill had little difficulty controlling the catfish so I followed it in at a discrete distance and Steve helped me land the boat so we could get into a gloving position. Steve and I grabbed a glove each and hauled him straight up onto one of our massive catfish mats. What a great result! The guys had fished their hearts out and even done some nights without a bed chair or even a brolly for protection. It was a massive buzz for all of us as I really thought that it looked hopeless for them in that weather.

That’s what we love about fishing, you just never know when the tables will turn in your favour.

It was great to share that special moment with them and we look forward to welcoming them again in the future.

Catch report & Feedback from:

Steve and Bill
Dates at Beausoleil: 26th August to 2nd September
Number of anglers: 2

Brief details of your catches:

2 x Catfish: 78lbs, 58lbs

How was the weather?

Mixed, sunny and very hot for a couple of days then rain

How did you find the accommodation?

Very good

What could we do to improve your holiday?

Less rain

Would you recommend our venue to a friend?


General comments

Once again a fantastic week’s fishing holiday, house and lake are both excellent.

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