Big cats love lapping up my fishy paste
All-round specimen angler and former chemistry teacher Bill Rushmer gets a great deal of satisfaction catching big fish on bait and tackle created by himself. This week he reveals how to make a winning bait and float that has helped him to tempt some impr
ISTARTED experimenting with fish flavours back in the 1960s, with the intention of attracting carp. I came up with a recipe consisting of an egg and some crushed anchovies, which I added to a base mix to produce fish-flavoured paste and boilies. Although I had managed to catch some quality carp, I quickly realised that the bait was also attracting pike.
Rather than using chopped up anchovies in my paste, about five years ago I started to use anchovy-based Blue Dragon Fish Sauce instead. I then began to wonder whether the bait would also attract another freshwater predator found in the UK – wels catfish. Catfish are a species that I have always admired, although it must be said that my wife, Virginia, is not so keen on them, ever since one swung its tail around and slapped her on the back of the head at Anglers Paradise, in Devon!
I caught my first catfish during a live session for Let’s Go Coarse Fishing magazine in September 1996. The fish was caught at night from the Split Lake on the Yateley Complex, using a tench livebait. Ian Welch had stocked the venue with catfish a few years earlier.
Since then I have used mainly sections of oily fish, including sardines, blueys and herrings, when targeting cats. But the idea of using a fish-flavoured paste for catfish seemed to make sense, as the recipe also includes halibut pellets, which are another bait that attract catfish.
In the past I have had trouble with dropped runs from catfish when using running leads with big, sliding rings. To overcome this problem I started to float fish using corks balls, but changed over to polystyrene balls, to lower the resistance
Virginia is not so keen on them, ever since one swung its tail around and slapped her on the back of the head!
■ Bill first caught a catfish back in 1996, during a live session for Let’s Go Coarse Fishing. It looks as if the magazine’s designer had some fun creating the pages!
■ Bill soon realised that catfish were attracted to his fish-flavoured paste, with one trip producing over 20 of them, including these two big cats caught at the same time.