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

Anglers Mail - - Match News -

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.

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