Great Rigs for Catching Catfish

Some of the best techniques for carp, catfish and other species have come from England. (Photo courtesy of Doug Stange)
Some of the best techniques for carp, catfish and other species have come from England. (Photo courtesy of Doug Stange)

The photos that accompany this article tell of the quest for the wels catfish by English anglers fishing in England, France and other parts of Europe – anglers who connect with the world in pursuit of catfish.

Catfishermen share a bond that traverses the many miles between continents and the many differences in species of catfish found worldwide. Letters from a missionary in Peru keep me abreast of their camp’s spare-time quest to catch giant catfish of the Amazon. Several other fine contacts in South America from Peru, Bolivia and Brazil, also correspond about their catches. For your information, I have pictures of catfish surpassing 200 pounds, but no evidence yet verifies those 500- or even 1,000-pound creatures that supposedly exist. The South American scene is one of intrigue, however, a story worth telling again one of these days. Yes, letters from Asia, too. And many letters from Africa, particularly Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Many of the best shore anglers in the world continue to write from England, where techniques for carp, catfish, and other species have all been refined over the past decades. Since the early 1980s, in a spirit of friendship and fellowship among seasoned fishermen, In-Fisherman has borrowed from their ideas about rigging. The English fishing scene in turn, has been somewhat influenced by our approaches to fishing with lures.

Of course many of the rigs that might be termed English rigs have had concurrent development of one sort or another here. One of my favorite rigs for flathead cats for example, the English call the float-paternoster rig. I first saw this rig used in the early 1960s by that old reprobate, Zacker, of whom I’ve often written.

Zacker’s rigging while effective, wasn’t so refined as the English version. Zacker would have been the first to admit, given his abiding interest in catching cats, that the float-paternoster rig (and variations thereof) is a better rig in many instances.


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