We can't promise a comfortable shredded bark peg, living within the comfort of your home from home bivvy with access to power points, for a week, with a short walk to the toilets and showers.
This is big river catfishing, we need to remain mobile and as such be prepared to pack up and move as needed. This could be through choice or if the mighty Po and its hundred or so tributaries decide to flow, then we have to move, or we are going to get very wet.
Even when static fishing it's better to try a swim for no more than a couple of nights at most so bare this in mind, travel light and pack up takes less time. and you can be set up in another swim quicker.
It is the opinion of a lot of the German anglers who fish here that catfishing on the Po and catching catfish from this venue is the champions league of catfishing, all we will say it is a very challenging venue, but when successful definitely more rewarding, knowing the work and effort you have put in to achieve your catch.
River level and flow dictate our swim and methods when she rises and all manner of debris comes down the river but with the change in colour and massive amounts of invertebrates washed off the banks and bank-side vegetation into the swollen river, it comes alive as prey fish feed, and in turn, the predators feed in earnest. These are the times when finding slack water and trotting large bungs with live-baits will produce.
If we elect to fish from the boat at night it may be better to fish the back channels from a static position tying up to the far bank or using the bamboo canes. When the level and flow are normal then anchoring the boat upstream of our chosen swim and dropping our baits up to 200 yards or more usually inline with the boat. If we get too much angle in our line, it will simply buzz under the pressure, and likely to catch any detritus flowing down the river.
The catfish of the Po are wary of this line vibration and steer clear of it, also even tho we are using block Pavia as our weight and
20 lb mono as a break- line sometimes bites can be very gentle pulls on the rod tip, but the bait isn't taken just comes back in the morning with the telltale marks of the cat's teeth.
Other times you could be woken by a very aggressive take which sees the rod nearly pulled double and the clutch clicking as the cat tries to avoid capture. On these occasions where possible, it is better to play the fish from the static position, but if needed we will jump into the dinghy and head downstream to fight the fish, eventually tiring it and landing it.
We would then head back to our Main boat where we will attach a stringer and allow the fish to recover and get some pictures the following morning if the quality of fish dictates it.
When we are bank fishing the angle problem has to be taken into consideration when choosing a swim, this also may dictate the number of rods out. This is not a get out for us, just in our experience when you have a lot of lines in the water the cats again are wary, and better to have 4 rods producing rather than 8 doing nothing.
Big river Catfishing is a team effort, from anchoring the boat, tying up to the bank, preparing live-bait, bait placement, landing and photographing fish. Some of you will have experience of all the above and some not. We make no apologies if we are instructing you on something you already know. Please feel free to ask any questions RE tackle use, familiarity of tackle and methods. We want you to be at ease and confident to tackle what could be the fish of a lifetime.