Catfish, if I’m honest this is not a fish I’m fond of and for more than one reason. First is that they can get in the way of catching other fish. They get to the bait first and then you have to reel it in and remove it from the hook, which is not easy as its a slimy fish. Rebait and repeat because when Catfish are biting they are plenty. Second is they are not great eating fish. I did discover that by smoking them and grinding into a paste they make a passable pate. But that is a fair amount of effort unless you love pate.
Speared by a Catfish
Last, but by no means least I’m reminded of a day when fishing with my friend Mark. We had spent a day of repeatedly catching Catfish and nothing else as our bait was never out there long enough for any other fish to stand a fighting chance. When shortly before giving up for the day Mark had what looked like a good bite.
He struck and there was a lot of weight there. Certainly more than the Catfish we had been catching all day. Mark said, ” Dave we’re gonna need the net, it’s a big un”. I grabbed the net and waded into the water and started scanning the surface looking for a big fin. Then I saw it break the surface, Marks rod was bent double and he was pumping for all his worth. My heart sank when I realised it was actually a massive clump of weed and unsurprisingly there was a Catfish at the end of it.
It was at that moment that the weed fell away and because Mark was pumping so hard, the weight and fish were catapulted through the air and aiming straight for me. I must be the unluckiest of guys because that fishes fins, which are like darts, by the way, went straight through my leg. I’ve never seen so much blood, it was like putting a hole in a 50-gallon drum. The blood was literally squirting out. From that day to this I dislike Catfish with a passion.
When is the best time to catch?
Available all year in The Gambia and at all stages of the tide 😩. Wanna go, see our fishing page.
What do they feed on?
Almost anything, bottom feeders ☹️
Biggest fish caught in The Gambia?
From the boat and beach Catfish reach about 3kilo
Biggest personal best?
My personal best was and is 1kilo, caught from the beach closest to Footsteps. Unfortunately I can still land 10 kilo of em somedays.