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The Website for all Anglers

Details of freshwater fish anglers might come across when fishing the waters of the UK and Ireland



Barbel  latin name: Barbus barbus



Bleak Alburnus alburnas fish species



bream  - latin name - Abramis Brama



Carp Cyprinidae  Cyprinus carpio



crucian carp

Crucian Carp


chub -  Leuciscus_cephalus



Dace - latin name - Leuciscus leuciscus



eel - latin name - Anguilla anguilla



grayling Latin name thymallus thymallus



Gudgeon Latin name Gobio gobio






pike latin name: esox lucius



Roach latin name: Rutilus Rutilus



Rudd - latin name- Scardinius erythrophthalmus






sliver bream

Silver Bream


Tench latin name: Tinca Tinca




Wels Catfish


Zander - latin name - Stizostedion lucioperca



Species of UK Coarse Fish


Wels Catfish

Fishing for catfish, description of catfish, baits for catfish and methods for catching Wels catfish


Common name:  Wels catfish
Latin name:  Silurus glanis


Wels Catfish


Current UK Rod Caught Coarse Fish Record

Wels Catfish uk record - 62lb (28.123 kilo’s) 1997 R Garner from Withy Pool, Henlow, Bedfordshire


Description and Habitat of Wels catfish - Silurus glanis

Wels catfish - Silurus glanis
The catfish, so named for their prominent barbules that look like a cat's whiskers is the longest and heaviest species of fish in the UK. I have read somewhere that the Wels catfish is originally from the eastern countries in Europe. They were introduced into the UK more than one hundred years ago and was stocked in the lakes of Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire by the Duke of Bedford. Since then there are more commercial venues where they have been stocked. It looks nothing like a 'regular' fish. It looks similar to an eel and has a long scale less body, an enormous head with six 'whiskers' protruding from it and an equally enormous mouth. The large head tapers back to the large tail. The fish has a small dorsal fin and an anal fin that stretches backwards until it almost reaches the tail. The paddle like pectoral fin is also very large. The head has tiny eyes with two very long barbules, one protruding from underneath each eye, and four shorter barbules on the lower jaw. The mouth is filled with hundreds of tiny soft teeth on the top and bottom of its jaw. These teeth are used to grip its prey before passing it to the two sets of crushing pads at the back of the throat. Colouration of catfish is normally a dark greeny, brown black body with creamy yellowish sides creating a mottled camouflage effect ideal for when they are hunting their prey. The male can be identified by a pointed flap of skin behind the vent. In the female the flap of skin is shorter and fatter.
Spawning in the UK usually takes place during late spring - early summer when waters warm to around the 70 degrees Fahrenheit mark. Unlike most other fish the male builds a nest for the female to lay her eggs. The nest is normally in a secluded spot such as a natural cavern, a hole or under banks or logs. The female deposits the eggs, anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 and 3mm in size, and they hatch in 3 to 10 days depending on water temperature. The male catfish will guard the eggs until they hatch and protect the fry until they leave the nest. The fry are believed to feed on larval aquatic insects, aquatic plants and plankton and as they get older they feed on larger food stuffs such as small crustaceans, small fish, mussels, molluscs, crayfish, worms etc. Catfish are not fussy eaters and will eat almost anything, live or dead.


Fishing Methods for catching Wels catfish - Silurus glanis

Catfish can grow to a monstrous size and weight so make sure you have the tackle to cope.
Fishing for catfish in the UK is similar to fishing for eels and mostly done by ledgering a deadbait. Predominantly, coarse fish such as roach, rudd and bream are considered the best deadbaits but this is an individual choice. Sea fish can also be used as deadbaits, and mackerel and herring are good choices because they are an oily fish and their scent trail carries a long way in the water. Using coarse fish or sea fish is an individual choice as I have mentioned but it also depends on what the owner of the water you are going to fish allows. Check with him or her first. I have read that boilies and pellets are also being used for catfishing. Whether these bring more results I don't know. The catfish can usually be found patrolling the margins or in in deep holes, among weed beds and lilies, hiding in hollows under the bank or lurking under overhanging branches of trees. Snaggy areas are a favourite. I have read that catfish feed mainly at night, but will feed at any time in coloured water and that fishing at night in coloured water produces the best results. (stands to reason really!)

Baits for catching Wels catfish - Silurus glanis

The main baits for catching catfish is any fish as live or deadbait.
Also used is fishmeal pellets, fishmeal based boilies, worms



There are many Catfishing holidays abroad where you have the chance to catch a true monster.
The famous River Ebro in Spain was stocked with catfish in the late 1970's and these fish now average a weight of 40 to 60 kg, with fish over 75kg being caught.
France has the River Seine and also lakes where catfish have been stocked - in one lake 50 tons of huge Carp and Catfish have been stocked.

Check out my fishing holiday pages.


If you catch a 'big un' drop me a line and a photo


The Wels catfish is declared noxious in Queensland, Australia. It is illegal to possess, rear, breed, sell or buy Wels catfish, live or dead, without a permit. It is an offence to release Wels catfish into Queensland waterways or use them as bait, live or dead. Penalties of up to $200,000 apply.





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