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Fishing for catfish with Salmo lures

Fishing for catfish with Salmo lures
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Fishing for catfish with Salmo lures Nowadays we can find quite a number of quality lures on the market. Among them a few are especially good for catfish. Already some time ago I heard that some of the Salmo lures are very effective in catching this predator. However, as far as I know, they were not created for this particular purpose. Some time ago I saw the Salmo show at the Hungarian Salmo Cup 2006. The lure that caught most of my attention then was the Salmo Skinner. As I was watching its intensive action, I thought it had been designed especially for catfish. And this is just one of many types of the fishing lures offered by Salmo! With this in mind, my friend and fishing companion – Adrian and I decided that it is high time to test these lures.

Is it made for fishing catfish?

For the test purposes we chose the legendary catfish-fishing site, the river Po. In this location any catfish lure can prove their effectiveness over a relatively short time.

From the wide range of lures offered by Salmo we chose a few models which, judging from our earlier experience, seemed the best for our purpose, i.e. Skinner, Whitefish and Boxer. We knew they would prove effective. Since, as I already mentioned, these lures had not been developed for catfish, we had to replace the original high quality treble hooks and split rings with the stronger ones.

The preliminary test we did during our brief fishing trip in the summer proved the effectiveness of the Salmo Whitefish and Boxer wobblers, so we were pretty of their success also this time.

We inaugurated our trip fishing with these two models. Adrian’s favourite turned out to be Whitefish. We used the 13 JDR model, a thirteen-centimetre long deep-runner (approx. 1.5 metres while retrieving). First we thought the lip was its weakest part. Yet, to our surprise, our tests showed that even when the hooks were set in a critical position that could break the lip of any other crankbait, the lip of Whitefish remained intact.

Here is a cheerful volunteer for the test

Unfortunately, its joint – similarly to other jointed lures – is not strong enough for the mighty jaws of catfish, and practically after every fight we had to adjust it to recover appropriate action. Still we have to admit that we did not have to throw away even one, although several catfish volunteers did their best batter our lures to pieces!

So the first day of tests was focused on Whitefish and we got catfish strikes one after another. Boxer was consistently ignored, though, as I mentioned before, during the previous fishing trip the treble hooks of this model hurt numerous catfish jaws.

On the second day I began to test the 15-centimetre long version of Skinner. I got the first strike very quickly. It was not a giant, but Skinner showed its potential. After this catch, I had more fish actions with Skinner than my two partners together. And so very soon Laci changed his lure to Skinner as well. But we still waited for a long-expected big catfish. Patience brings roses; on the next day one of them broke the losing streak! We were drifting past a riprap where the stream made a nearly imperceptible turn back. I managed to flip my Skinner there, and this lure is of considerable weight (52 grams). As soon as I began to retrieve the crankbait, I felt the growing heaviness as if the hooks were set in a large sandbag. I responded immediately using the whole set power and the response I got was a prestigious splash made by the caudal fin. Then our struggle began. I have caught a lot of catfish in my fishing life but this time it was particularly pleasant, because the charm of novelty was there as well. Now we were sure that the catfish love Skinner!

My first catfish with Skinner

Of course, after the fight I was nearly as exhausted as the catfish. Subconsciously afraid of another monster strike I cast my lure too forcefully and the wobbler hit the rock on the bank. The lure’s body was broken, but the durable through-wire construction held my Skinner in one piece, furthermore there was nothing to be said against the movement action. After all this, maybe at my third timid cast, I got another horrible strike. At first I thought that the good fortune had again put me in touch with a big one. But this fish, although very strong, had to give the palm to the previous catfish, as it weight “only” 37 kilograms.

Then I put aside GT colour Skinner and until the end of our fishing trip – I used RT colour, although colour does not seem to matter very much to catfish. Anyway, they stroke the new lure with same fierceness. Soon, Laci and me set hooks every 3 seconds!

Skinners did remarkably well in the training, maybe except for accidental damage caused by the stones, but no other lure “like” this kind of treatment either. On the last day Adrián missed a large catfish, but in the middle of the night he managed to take out a trophy over 50 kilograms.

We lift in this catfish of 56 kilograms only to take a photo

To sum up our experiences during this fishing trip, Skinner was the definite winner. We often had the impression that this lure had not been designed for pike but for catfish. Probably it was the period when catfish were going after the pray of the same size, like larger minnows or flathead mullet, and this is why they liked Skinners so much. Also Whitefish and Boxer proved themselves as great catfish lures. As neither anglers nor predators are well familiar with these lures, they have the advantage of novelty and great potential, which will surely prove successful in catching many of these “whiskered” predators.

Béla Lukácsi; http://www.haldorado.hu



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