Name: Wels Catfish
Also Known As: Moggy, Whiskers
Scientific Name: Siluris glanis
The Wels Catfish is a species that is like marmite to many anglers, they either love it or hate it. This member of the Catfish family grows to large sizes over 200lb and is a ferocious eater that preys mainly on fish that it consumes in its large cavernous mouth.
Mainly being found in a grey or brown colour, the Wels Catfish 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 barbules to smell out any unsuspecting prey.
The large head gives way to a long slender muscle filled the body with along anal fin leading down to a small tail fin. This fish can also swim backwards as fast as it can forward
Depending on where you fish in the world the Wels Catfish is rumoured to reach sizes over 500lb but the average that will be found in many rivers in Europe is around 50lb.
Where to Catch
The Wels Catfish 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. The Caspe area being one of the favoured hotspots. Other top places to head to for these great fighting fish is the Neverland Lake in Hungary.
In the UK the Wels Catfish can be found in many lakes with Linear Lakes in Oxfordshire is one of the top destinations for anglers looking for a UK specimen.
Nearly all the time when fishing for Wels Catfish you will be fishing with a ledgered bait from the bank. Baits are normally big oily Halibut pellets attached by a hair rig to carp style rigs. 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 stand and the line is then passed through bite alarms. This will give off a loud beeping noise once the fish takes off with the bait.