Page 4 - Catfish NOW | January 2017
P. 4

The Bank Tramp
by Ron Presley

                   Engaging wels catfish, it’s purely for sport.

   T reliable these stories are, I’m not sure,” joked

	 he 47-year-old angler wandered the Mutton.
shoreline in search of simple pleasures. He 	 The Bank Tramp reports that catfish are
was looking for a suitable spot in the West not native to the UK. They were first introduced
Midlands of England to cast his rods in search in the 1860’s. “They are mainly confined to
of giant wels catfish. He often spends a week lakes where they have been stocked, but we
or more sleeping with nature and enjoying do now have some small populations of fish
the outdoor life.                                established in several of our river systems.”
	 “I am usually fishing for catfish, but 	 Mutton sees similarities and differences
sometimes other species,” said the angler. in UK and US fishing. “Catfish are not the
“On occasion I have forgotten to take a predominately targeted fish in either country.
shelter and end up sleeping rough, and since In the U.S bass fishing is huge and here in the
I’m not the neatest of anglers, some call me UK carp are the most targeted species. The
the “Bank Tramp.’”                               biggest difference, I guess, is that catfishing
	 The “Bank Tramp” is Dave Mutton in the UK is strictly done on a catch and
of Coventry, a city in the West Midlands of release basis.”
England. “I fish for catfish all over the UK
and beyond,” said Mutton. “My ‘home’ waters
are Dog Lane Fishery in Warwickshire and         “. . .the catfish is the biggest
Lakemore Fishery in Cheshire. I love fishing
for all predatory fish, but the catfish is the   freshwater predator we have . .”

biggest freshwater predator we have here in
the UK. It’s also big and ugly - a bit like me,
really!”                                         	 “Catfish are seen purely as a sporting
	 When Mutton refers to catfish he is            fish,” continued Mutton. “Catfishing is very
talking about wels catfish. His personal best    much a growth area in the sport of fishing over
Wels is 149 pounds. “We only have one            here. Many people are moving away from
species of catfish here in the UK,” advised      carp fishing and searching for something a
Mutton. “The wels catfish grow to about 150      little more challenging.”
pounds here, but grow larger in mainland         	 Fishing access in the UK is nothing like
Europe. Spain, France and Italy have fish        that in the US. “In the UK there are pretty
of over 250 pounds. Even bigger specimens        much no public waters where you can just
have been recorded in Russia and Eastern         turn up and fish free of charge,” explained
Europe.”                                         Mutton. Nearly all waters in the UK are owned
	 Paralleling American tales of catfish          and managed to some extent. They generally
as big as Volkswagens, Mutton reports tales      fall into 3 categories.
of fish in the 600-pound range in the Volga      	 There is day ticket fishing where anglers
River in Russia and Kazakhstan. “Just how        can just turn up and pay to fish. “Sometimes
                                                 day ticket fishing is on a booking system,”

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