This was one of 19 cats I caught over a 6 day period a couple of weeks ago. Fishing was in an area that was near desert, very hot, dry, full of mosquitos, and with Egyptian Vultures soaring overhead, no doubt looking to pick up what was left by the mozzies. No ordinary mozzies these: on day one they were biting me through a denim shirt. The photo shows the largest of the fish at 151 pounds. It also shows me dressed, undergoing tropical conditions, with the temperature hovering over 40, plastered with mosquito repellent, wearing two shirts, two pairs of trousers and even a scarf to try to keep enough blood in my veins to maintain a degree of circulation.
The largest fish came on my very last cast of the week, and took a good 25 minutes to subdue. That was 25 minutes of me pulling constantly as hard as I could on a 5 pound test rod. The fish happily cruised both up and downstream against my maximum pressure, in a river that was swollen, and well up into the tree line. One idiot asked me whether I might like to hand him my rod, whilst I took a rest. Silly question of the week. Although I was visibly tiring there was no way that fish was going to be landed by anyone else. I would rather have lost it. On returning the fish, it swam off as if nothing at all had happened to it, looking perfectly fresh, but leaving me exhausted on the bank.
Interesting species, but a great advert NOT to interfere with nature by introducing new species to a river system. The cats are, sadly, a major environmental disaster, and should serve as a warning for us here in the UK, to think very carefully about all these new species we have been introducing willy-nilly into Britain.
Locally I worry about: Cats--> Sale Water Park-->breeding success-->Mersey flood--> overflow into SWP-->Excess drains back into Mersey, taking young cats with it. Result, well on the Ebro the cats have, I am told, exterminated the chub, bream, barbel and pike over a very wide area! A German scientist introduced just 18 Wels into each of two spots on the Ebro. And the cats have certainly bred in SWP.
Bars of Silver
We've all had our fill of all this rain! Ok for ducks and fisherman. On a plus side (for me anyway) all this rain as meant that the rivers been up and down like a brides nighty, all good stuff if you can hit it right.
At work last Friday after a long week my mind started to drift as I had that warm memory drift back in to my mind of last years catches of Roach on the Irwell.
I’d not been fishing down at the Burrs since the winter and then only managing to tempt a few decent Chub but no sign of my favourite fish, the elusive Irwell Roach. Warm temperatures and a dropping river was all I needed and by 3pm I was down on my favourite peg with hemp and caster at the ready. The sudden down poor during the day had turned the river brown, and the flow looked right, the only down point was the strong wind!
As usual there were no other anglers about and I had the pick of the swims although I’d only got the one on my mind, hopefully I might tempt a few bars of silver in to the net.
Whilst I was setting up a Kingfisher flashed by obviously on the hunt for a minnow for her hungry young, hopefully a good omen. For a change the strong wind was in my favour and with the aid of a large stick float I was able to hold a steady bow in my line and kite my rig down any part of the river. I’d just had a couple of casts when my mate Alan (ex-pat) was over from America popped his head over the bank. Alan also a keen fisherman back in the States had come to see how the once polluted Irwell was doing. On cue I bumped a fish off; my anticipation heightened, things were looking good. Next cast I was total focused as I guided my float down the same line waiting for the float to bob under. Sure enough I’m into a fish not one of the biggest but better than any stocked fish. I proudly presented Alan with a lovely specimen of 8 ounces; pleased as punch. For once the elusive Roach had made an appearance rather than me just Romanising about it.
I had only meant to say for a couple of hours but I couldn’t miss the chance of a bumper catch so kept at it and by the end of the session was reward with a net of 13 lovely Roach and 2 nice Chub. Not a big net by most anglers’ standards, but some quality fish that had probably never been caught before.
No doubt I won’t be that long before I’m back down there tempting those elusive Irwell Roach.