Hot days, slimy nights

Black Cat Team member Johann Troppacher runs the only catfish camp on the upper reaches of the Po in Italy. Fishing here on the upper reaches is not exactly easy, you have to know exactly what you are doing. The river's current speed is much lower here than in the middle reaches. At first, that sounds like it makes things easier. At first glance, yes, because the lower flow speed makes the laying out itself somewhat easier. But the difficulty is that, because of the low flow, it is much harder to spot the "hot spots", i.e. to find the places where the catfish are. You don't see swirls and/or places with current shadows, the bottom has much less structure and the fish are usually less compressed than is the case in the middle reaches. The difficulty on the upper reaches is therefore mainly the choice of spot. That's why Johann recommends guiding to anyone who has never fished the upper reaches. Peter and Ale also decided to do this. They had already been to the Po a few times, but the longed-for catches had not been forthcoming. But that was about to change...

"The Po Upper is anything but easy!"

Johann Troppacher, Team Black Cat

Peter and Ale's guiding week took place in mid-May. This is when the alarm bells start ringing for most anglers - spawning season! Most want to avoid at all costs that the planned fishing trip falls exactly in the "time of love", because the fear of sitting in front of dumb anglers for a whole week is very great. But Johann already has a lot of experience and knows exactly how to pick up our barred friends in this supposedly difficult phase. Basically, he believes that you don't have to skip this time for fishing, because it is ALWAYS possible to catch fish. If only because 99% of fishing trips to the Po last just one week and it is more than unlikely, or rather absolutelyimpossible, that all catfish spawn in exactly this one week in May or June. Of course, or rather - naturally- there is a certain time every year when the catch reports of big fish collapse, that is clear. But not all big catfish spawn in just one week either. Looking at the total population of the genus Silurus Glanis, the period of mating activity is probably three to five weeks. However, the time ittakesfor ONE specimen to do this, and thus the phase in which it takes no or very little food, is of course much shorter.

Ale and Peter also had reservations at first. However, since it was also important to them to spend a nice and relaxed holiday week on the big river, it became May after all. Johann decided this time to fish at a stone pack, one of the few places with a good current. As there was a slight rise in the water of about 40 cm, he presented the bait fish close to the surface, at about 1 1/2 m water depth. Johann offered different baits, including catfish and also an eel, using a special rig. How exactly he did it, what tactics he used and what products he used for the mounts, you can see in the following videos on Johann's YouTube channel The Haunzz Fishing & Videoproduktion... The titles of the videos on the subject are: "Wallerangeln in der Laichzeit", "A wie Aal-Montage".


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