The 2012 season has kicked off with a flurry of huge lower Ebro catfish being boated throughout the months of February, March and April, with already 40+ ‘ton-up’ cats being bagged by our delighted clients. Guides Al and Martin are struggling to recall a time when the fishing has been better after a blitz of big cats, the highlight of which has so far been a fish of 183lb caught by one of our regular clients, Phil Andrews.
The season began in earnest for us around 20th February, and it was perhaps a sign of things to come when Hungarian visitor Miklos Pintor snared the first whacker of the new season in cold water conditions on an eel, a fat cat of 171lb. Other notable successes within this cool period were Matt Nixon with a 162, and Dave Ellis 152.
As we moved into mid March we had the anticipated improvement in the weather, with water temperature rising and the movement of the mullet back onto the pipes. With the favourite bait now at our disposal and the cats beginning to awaken, we experienced a spell of excellent action with 6 cat per day boat hauls relatively regular. There were some excellent fish caught during this period of March, with the 2 stand-out captures being the 175 taken by first time visitor Alex Jones followed by a 172 for regular visitor Andy Pillinger. Other anglers enjoying the spectacular action included Mark Wilkinson who boated plentiful fish up to 161lb, Lee Booker whose best was 159, and Stuart Heyburn who recorded a 4 ton haul with fish up to 157.
Moving into April the action slowed down for a period, perhaps inevitable after the feeding frenzy of March. It was not long, however, before things started to hot up again with the cats feeding up in advance of the spawning period. Phil Andrews enjoyed considerable success, catching a season’s best to date of 183 along with others at 163 & 142, with fishing buddy Jamie Layzell snaring 2 cats in the 160+ bracket. Other notable captures taking place in later April have included a monster of 169 for Wayne Grady on his first visit to the river, and also a 152 for Richard Scammell, also a first timer.