Far Bank

In­spired by re­cent re­ports of cat­fish on the prowl, Dom Gar­nett has been try­ing to catch a late-sea­son mog­gie on the float. Here, kitty kitty...

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

Catch­ing a late-sea­son cat

SO of­ten in any fish­ing sea­son, the trick is to find time for your plans.

The pain of it is not so much the blank days, or the fish you lost at the net, but the ideas that never got off the ground.

Ad­mit­tedly, cat­fish have rarely slunk on to my an­gling agenda, but there’s def­i­nitely some­thing about them. The mad­ness is catch­ing on, too. Once, they were about as pop­u­lar as ver­ru­cas – but more of my friends seem to be tar­get­ing them of late.

Per­haps it’s the style of fish­ing that has put me off be­fore. Legering a huge bait and wait­ing a small eter­nity isn’t my idea of fun, but when I saw Jack Pells float­fish­ing for them in An­gling Times, this tac­tic seemed too ir­re­sistible not to try.

With a good stock of smaller cats, An­gler’s El­do­rado in my home county of Devon seemed a crack­ing op­tion. I say ‘small’, but even a 20 to 30-pounder is out­ra­geously strong. I prayed it would still be mild enough to get a bite or two. Why oh why had I left it so late?

Al­though it seemed a bit left field, I set up with an old cen­tre­pin with 20lb line and a ro­bust float rig. I also brought plenty of ranksmelling ground­bait and pel­lets, along with some Ka­banos for the hook – a re­ally po­tent-tast­ing Pol­ish sausage that I fan­cied would be tid­dler-proof and ideal for a big meat eater.

Ar­riv­ing silly early, things looked per­fect. I found an un­sea­son­ably muggy, misty morn­ing, not to men­tion a lovely snaggy tree with rea­son­able depth un­der­neath.

Un­for­tu­nately, there is all to of­ten a gap be­tween our day­dreams and our ac­tual time on the bank. After a bite­less morn­ing, I went for the dam end and po­si­tioned the bait fur­ther out. It looked less at­trac­tive, but per­haps the cats were ly­ing deeper? It was any­one’s guess at this point, and per­haps my lack of ex­pe­ri­ence with the species was show­ing.

The cats did feed in the end, but not in my swim. Just as I was get­ting rest­less, I saw an an­gler fur­ther along the bank with a dan­ger­ous bend in his rod.

It was hard not to feel a lit­tle jeal­ous, but you couldn’t help but ad­mire the stu­pen­dous 38-pounder on the bank. The cap­tor was not Do­minic Gar­nett, but a de­lighted Do­minic Wa­ters. Nor was it a fluke – I’d watched him cast his bait on a six­pence, right by a juicy look­ing snag, not to men­tion bat­tling it gamely over sev­eral arm-aching min­utes.

Try as I might, I couldn’t catch my own. To­day the cat was most def­i­nitely out.

The day­dream is still there, then, but next year I mustn’t wait till sum­mer has passed.

Par for the cats? Not ex­actly, but I loved the idea of float­fish­ing.

Do­minic Wa­ters was un­der­stand­ably de­lighted with this mog­gie.

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