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Species Spotlight: Wels Catfish

The Wels Catfish is the UKs largest freshwater fish but can still be found all over Europe in many lakes and rivers. The Wels Catfish size can range from 2lbs to sizes well over 200lb making it a target for the freshwater specimen hunter who fancies upping his game from fishing for the usual European freshwater inhabitants.

Name: Wels Catfish

Also known as: Slugs, Kittens, Moggies

Scientific Name: Siluris Glanis

WELS CATFISH Description

The species is like marmite to many anglers, they either love it or hate it. This member of the Catfish family grows too large sizes over 200lb and is a ferocious eater that preys mainly on small fish that it consumes in its large cavernous mouth. Mainly being found in a grey or brown colour, they can also be found in albino colouration making for great photographs when caught.

With its large flat head and small eyes, this fish is instantly recognizable as it prowls the water and it mainly relies on its large barbells to smell out any unsuspecting prey. The large head gives way to a long slender muscle filled body with along anal fin leading down to a small tail fin. This fish can also swim backwards as fast as it can forward

Average Wels Catfish Size

Depending on where you fish in the world the species is rumoured to reach sizes over 500lb but the average that will be found in many rivers in Europe is around 50lb. However, the worlds biggest Wels Catfish was caught in the Po Delta in Italy.

Catching Wels Catfish

The species is now widespread around Europe with it inhabiting many freshwater rivers and lakes. One of the most famous destinations that many anglers travel to is the River Ebro in Spain with the Caspe area being one of the favoured hotspots.  Other top places to head to for these great fighting fish are the River Po in Italy which currently holds the world record Wels Catfish and the Volga River in Russia. In the UK they can be found in many lakes.

Some of our most recommended destinations are ;

How to catch a Wels Catfish River Ebro:

Nearly all the time when targeting this species you will be fishing with a ledgered bait from the bank. The main Wels Catfish bait is normally big oily halibut pellets attached to a Wels Catfish rig which is just a hair rig usually used in Carp fishing. However, at times, dead fish baits are also used but these have to be rowed out and dropped at the required distance as they cannot be cast out. These rods are placed in a rod rest and the line is then passed through bite alarms which will give off a loud beeping noise once the fish makes off with the bait.

Contact us

Make sure to view all our alternative Wels Catfish fishing holidays.  Additionally, you can call us on 01603 407596 or email our freshwater expert, Paul Stevens, at to make an enquiry. We also have a great range of freshwater fishing videos that can all be found in our Freshwater fishing Youtube playlist.

Tight lines,


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