A MonsterTours team including myself, professional guide Fernando Queral Forne and two of our TeamMonster reps, Gerard Smyth and Johnny Kerr, set out on a mission impossible as some thought, float tubing for giant wels catfish in Catalunya region of Spain where even the locals in the village we work out of couldn’t believe we were going hunting these monsters in small float tubes. They witnessed the last seven lower Ebro records come out to TeamMonster over the last five years, wels catfish up to 214 lb. and over 3 meters long .
Gerard, from northern Ireland, has years of experience float tube fishing for pike. But what he was about to experience was a lot different. He was confident and excited about taking on one of these monsters in this territory and he also had the confidence of a great team around him should any thing not go to plan. We use bullet proof tackle from Shimano as in these situations the last thing you need to pack up are your reel drag or gearing, because the float tube and angler would simply be pulled under like a pike bung.Gerard put out a big bait and didn’t have long to wait. He was soon hooked up. The beast on the other end of his line simply dragged him up and down the river like a wet sock, at one stage dropping into a very deep hole approximately 60 feet deep about a mile down river from where it was hooked, trying its best to pull angler and tube under as the float tilted and half went under with rod and reel submerged.
Gerard held on for grim death, slackening off the drag just in time to safely pop back up to the surface.
After well over one hour of a smashing fight victory was ours as we gloved a monster weighing 169 pounds and taping nearly 3 meters long!
Gerard was duly impressed. “It was the most exciting and nerve wracking thing I have ever done. I’m so glad to have done it but from now on I am sticking to float tubing for pike in Ireland.”
Wels catfish were stocked in the Ebro in the 1970’s, reportedly by a German biologist, and have since nearly taken over the river.
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