“Wels Catfish” The Bucket Mouth Predator

“Wels Catfish” The Bucket Mouth Predator

The Wels Catfish is native to wide areas of central, southern, and eastern Europe and the largest freshwater fish found on the continent. It is a freshwater fish recognizable by its broad, flat head and wide mouth. Inhabiting large, warm lakes and deep, slow-flowing rivers, it prefers sheltered locations and loose structure.

Like most freshwater bottom feeders, juvenile and small Catfish feed on a range of worms, insects and crustaceans, but the bigger fish have a diet of other fish. The really big specimens have been observed eating other prey, such as frogs, rats and even aquatic birds such as ducks.

The Catfish are renowned for their vast bucket like mouths, and although they don’t have traditional teeth, they have robust sets of sandpaper-like pads used to crush anything which gets in its way. Wels Catfish can live for over fifty years and grow to some epic proportions.

On the mighty river Ebro in Spain, the Catfish capital of Europe, fish to over 200lb are regularly hooked and landed by anglers, and fish averaging 80lb are commonplace.

The Wels Catfish is a name on many freshwater anglers bucket lists because of its sheer size and powerful fighting qualities.

The species can be targeted and caught on many different tactics and baits, but the most popular way to catch them is ledgering live or dead baits over a bed of loose fed pellets.

Using a big string of pellets on the hook can also prove effective, but Carp will often eat them before the Catfish gets a chance.

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