Successful on catfish

The catfish seems like a relic from a bygone era and captivates an endless number of anglers. Remarkable are its oversize, its quaint shape and the resulting powers. All decisive arguments for waging a power struggle with these fellow species for once in one's life. Its imposing size gives it the respect it needs to live as a ruler without natural enemies. Over the last decades, catfishing has developed steadily and is more popular than ever. Many methods and mounts can be used in our European freshwater system. The reason why angling for catfish is so multifaceted. But despite the many techniques, each individual angler has certainly found his personal favourite method to target the big fish. Mine has been tapping for many years.

"Waller: ruler of the waters without natural enemies".

Michael KochTeam Black Cat
Silurus glanis, the top predator in his element
Silurus glanis, the top predator in his element

For me, tapping is by far the most exciting method of stalking the Urians. Where this method comes from and who invented it can only be speculated. The fact is that it works incredibly well and the catfish, for whatever reason, react quickly to the knocking of the wood and become active. However, you have to take a few things into account and adjust to the respective water conditions. What exactly you have to consider and how you can quickly get your desired giant, you can find out in my following article. Have fun!

Catfish react to the plop from the waller wood


The water type

Catfish are now found in many waters. Whether in fast-flowing rivers, in large reservoirs or in small ponds - the catfish adapts perfectly to the respective body of water and reaches fabulous sizes there. However, not everyone has catfish. For this reason, you should find out beforehand whether and when catfish have been stocked or caught. Once you have collected the information and a stock has been confirmed, nothing stands in the way of a tapping tour. Now it's time to get to know the water and locate the right catfish spots. Here, the location is the be-all and end-all of a successful tapping tour.

The right flow strategy is the key to success

In the river, areas with calmer currents, deep holes, obstacles in the water, bridge piers, locks, harbours and edges running across the current can be real gold mines and should be fished preferably for this reason. It is important to approach the hotspot on silent soles, as there is often a very shallow water depth. Only the rudder should be used to correct the drift, keeping as quiet as possible on the boat. A few sporadic strokes with the waller wood will arouse the curiosity of the target fish and lure them into close proximity to the boat. Due to the shallow water, you usually don't see any catfish on a conventional echo sounder, so the bites come out of nowhere without warning. Pure adrenaline!

In lakes, on the other hand, the hotspots to be found are the richly structured bottom, obstacles in the water, water plants and deeper areas of up to 30 metres. Ideally, you should let the wind "carry you across the water". A drift speed of three kilometres per hour should not be exceeded. In my experience, the ideal speed is one kilometre per hour. You drift slowly over the water, get to know it and can tap effectively and present your lures perfectly at the same time. Since the speed depends on the wind, drift bags are a "must have" for every tapping tour. Such bags for slowing down are available in different sizes and shapes, the drift speed can be effectively influenced by them.

Here is a drift bag from Quantum in size M. Great for moderate wind
The same in size XL. Optimal for stormy days.
Small, roomy inflatables are fantastic for beating in gale force winds because of their small attack surface.

There are days when you can lure the dark creatures out of their gloomy surroundings with a high-frequency knock, while on other days they respond to a low-frequency knock. As a guideline, a series of about three to eight knocks should be produced at irregular intervals every ten metres in the beginning. Depending on the activity of the catfish and the associated indications on the echo sounder, the frequency should be adjusted if there are no bites.

On this occasion, the sonar should be set in such a way that one's own lure can be seen as a line on the display. This is the only way the angler can target emerging crescents (= fish!) by lifting or lowering the lure and thus increase his bite yield.

Good to see. A catfish (large crescent) approaches the teaser (thick solid line), then dives again.

The following principle applies here: Catfish rising and standing in a water layer are not "tapped" but only hooked! If the fish then moves towards the bottom, the bait remains in place and it is tapped again. At this point the catfish angler should try to reactivate the catfish and arouse its interest in his bait again. An absolute spectacle that is worth experiencing.

My friend Mark with a nice knocking catfish, which he was able to fish successfully with the help of the echo sounder.


Tactical Tackle

Short rods between 1.60 and 2.40 m long are usually used for tapping. Furthermore, a small stationary or multi reel with a line capacity of about 150 m of a 35 mm braided line is needed. In most cases, vertical and spinning rods are used for other purposes. Finally, the tackle used should be light and easy to handle, yet robust enough to stand up to specimens of this type beyond the two-metre mark. Inline rods are highly recommended especially for tapping, as they are not ringed and the line, as the name suggests, runs inside the rod. Even in strong winds and careless movements, the line cannot wrap around the rod. With a ringed rod, this scenario would cause chaos on the boat in the event of an unexpected bite and, in the worst case, lead to the line breaking.

The inline rods make it much easier for me to continue the process up to the drill in the event of a spontaneous bite. For this reason I use them both with the actively guided rod and with the statically presented rod in the post drift.

The fact that no rod rings have been installed and the line runs inside the rod means that, for example, in wind and waves, the line can calmly wrap around the rod blank when tapping. Should a bite occur, you can still start the drill, as the line slides easily over the rod blank and cannot get caught anywhere. On rod models with rings, this scenario can very quickly lead to the rod or line breaking.
The Battle Cat Inline, a faithful companion for many years.

Waller woods are a dime a dozen. There are now no limits to the shapes, colours and depths that can be used. However, in my opinion, ease of use and good handling are particularly important. The tones must be easy to tap without tiring. In our Black Cat range, we have two woods that meet these criteria.

Various waller woods in different shapes and sizes.
The Black Cat Catfish Clonks. The Deep Water for deep water from 6 - 30 m and the Shallow Water for shallow water from 1- 6 m water depth.


With the lure, it's bangin'!

One of the best baits for tapping is the dew worm. Dewworms are easy to obtain and transport, allowed everywhere and incredibly successful. So dewworms in combination with a teaser are my very first choice when tapping. With the help of teasers we can quickly make depth changes without running the risk of the rig rolling over and tangling. This allows us to fish for catfish very quickly in a wide range of water layers with the certainty that our bait is presented perfectly.

The Battle Cat Teaser (left in picture) and the Battle Cat Silent Teaser (right in picture) are both available in Glow In The Dark and classic black/yellow.
The Silent Teaser in the colour Glow In The Dark is stocked with 12 dew worms and is "ready to fish".
Beautiful to look at, the glass beads of the Battle Cat Teaser, which make acoustic noises underwater when the teaser is raised and lowered, thus arousing the catfish's curiosity even more.
The rubber threads not only make the teaser look voluminous, they also shield the lead head. This is very helpful, as it is well known that the catfish can perceive metallic objects and be scared off by them.
A beautiful tapping catfish in the drill. The Battle Cat Teaser in the colour Glow In The Dark was once again the right choice.

Baitfish are of course also very effective enticers when tapping, it's just that sourcing, transport and the legal situation in some countries makes them difficult to use.

Small trebles on a braid make the baitfish swim seductively when tail baited and drifting slowly at a maximum of one kilometre per hour.

Tapping is a very effective method to be crowned with success in the shortest possible time, especially in this day and age when pressure to perform and private commitments are constantly increasing. You don't have to spend several days on the water. A few hours are usually enough to make the longed-for contact with the target fish. So feel free to use short time slots to indulge in your hobby. At the right time with the right method in combination with the perfect tactics and the right tackle, you will be on the "right track" and much closer to your freshwater colossus than you think.

With this in mind, I wish you every success and a great time on the water.
Michael Koch
Team Black Cat

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