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Finally the warmer weather was upon us and it was time to sort out some catfishing trips. Our first trip was to Cobbleacre in Norfolk which turned out to be a bit of a disaster for various reasons, one being the actual catfish stock was undecided as to the quantity and size present. Putting this trip behind us I booked a 24 hour session on Jenkins lake for Glen and myself with the aim of catching a few cats and hopefully Glens first 20lb carp.

After talking to Steve the owner we found out that the lake was full of fry and the cats where feasting freely on the vast shoals of tiny roach, so we had to give our approach some serious thought. We decided we would need some kind of livebait approach but live fish are not allowed so the only real options left open to us where Glens monster Lobworms or Leeches! It's at moments like this that you realise catfishing isn't the most conventional of hobbies. You certainly would't find golfing enthusiasts or Partypoker.fr players phoning round trying to locate some leeches as part of their regular routine! But today was one of those days, and it was clear that livebait was the way to go. So a quick call to BioPharm and six Leeches where on there way. Our rig was to be a version of the worm rig with the leech popped up 12" off the bottom. We also decided to fish the lobworms again popped up 12" to keep them lively and to stop them dissapearing into the silt. We also attached a small rattle from the catfish conservation group, just for some added atraction.



As we arrived at the lake Steve was ready to take our tackle down to the swim for us with his quad bike, excellent service. We decided to fish the middle swim giving access to the whole lake and all rods would be cast to the opposite bank. On sessions like this we always take it in turns to take control of all the rods and we swap over after each fish. We fished two rods with leeches one rod with lobworm and the last rod with my fishy fishmeal boilies and then waited for the first take.

The weather had been really hot and sunny during the day and the warm evening was perfect for the cats to feed. Just after 10pm the worm rod was away with a powerful take and the first cat was on! At this point you remember just what it is that keeps you in search of this awesome fish - that hard powerfull fight. After several fierce runs the cat was plodding around under the rod tip but still hugging the bottom and refusing to give up, then suddenly off again out to the middle where it surfaced for the first time only to dive down again into the murky depths. After what seemed like several minutes the fish was ready for the net and the battle was won. After lifting the net onto the unhooking mat it was evident that this catfish was over 20lb so a quick check with the scales revealed the fish to be just over 22lb, not bad.

With the rod baited and placed in the same spot it was now Glen in charge, ready for the next fish. After 20 mins the same rod was away again but the bait was dropped just as Glen hit the rod! A quick bait up and out the rod went again to the same spot. 30 mins later the rod was off again but this time the cat was hooked. Glen had the rod bent to its limits trying to stop the fish from entering the tree roots on the far bank, all he could do was hold the spool and walk back. The fish was soon away from the snags and in open water powering around the swim unfortunately picking up one of the other lines. I reeled in the other rods to give Glen some more space as this was obviously going to be a PB for him. Soon the fish was in the net and ready to be weighed. 25lb smashing glens PB by 10lb!

The rest of the night was pretty quiet but as the daylight broke to signal the dawn of a new day the leech rod was away with a take that was so violent the rod was somehow pulled off the bite alarm. I leapt from the sleeping bag and grabbed the rod only to find the fish had gone! I reeled in to inspect the rig but could find nothing wrong so out it went again to the same spot, ready and waiting. As the sun began to shine on the water the perch decided it was time to start attacking the lobworms so, the worms where replaced with a leech.

We had not had a sniff of action from the carp and soon the reason became apparent when we looked up to the shallows and the water was covered in white froth and the reeds where bending and twitching all over the place. This could only lead to one answer, spawning! We decided to leave one rod out for the carp just incase one fancied a snack and kept the other three rods all baited with leeches. We didnt have to wait long before a hungry cat decided to have a go at a leech. The bite alarm screemed off and line peeled off the spool at lightning speed as the cat headed for the over hanging trees on the far bank. All i could do was grab hold of the spool, hang on and try to pull the fish away from the sactuary of the trees. The plan worked and after a five minute battle the cat was in the net. 24lb of pussy sliding around in my arms in front of the camera was the reward!

Ten minutes after the last cat was put safely back the boilie rod was away so Glen grabbed the rod with the anticipation of maybe catching his first 20lb carp. Unfortunately not much of a fight was had and a 3lb tench was in the net. Ten minutes later one of the cat rods was signalling a take and as Glen was by the rod he grabbed it and pulled into a powerful fish but as soon as he connected the fish had taken enough line to get under the tree and then all went slack. A few seconds later the leech rig popped up to the surface.

No more cat action was had but i did manage to land a 6lb tench just before the England game started! An excellent trip with loads of action and all thanks to the power of leeches, give them a go and see for yourself how good they are.














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