In the great family of fishing practices in freshwater fishing catfish occupy a special place. The other fishermen, those who tease usually the gudgeon, carp, pike, or trout do not like them much, in fact, and still less the animal they stalk obsessively : this fish is omnivorous, without scales, the size of which could blithely exceed two metres. The catfish has, it is true, no big thing for him. He is fat, viscous, and objectively ugly with its barbels that protrude. It is also, and especially wolverine. His appetite gargantuan deprive the rivers of their fauna, accuse the aesthetes of the hook that cannot bear to see that a catfish can be returned to the water after he was captured, according to the principle of the no-kill expensive sport fishing.

” We are often yelled at “, attests Nicolas Hoguet, who practice the fishing for the catfish in the Loire valley for the past ten years. Mid-August, in the area of Oats (Indre-et-Loire), the technician machining at a manufacturer of cutting tools has caught a catfish 2.70 m (and probably 120 kg), after thirty minutes of “combat” that his biceps still remember. The picture of her taken has made the ” a ” of The New Republic before the panic the local social networks. A specialized site was then placed at the sixth rank, a world ranking list (the first being occupied by a catfish 2.75 m caught in Italy).

Birds, dogs, the catfish will attack anything that vetch

In the chilly afternoon of October, the appointment was given in a small commune of the Loire, between Saumur and Tours, whose name must not appear here. It is indeed fishing spots such as corners fungi : it does not compete. The “siluristes” are a dozen to roam the area, at the edge of small motorized watercraft. Nicolas Hoguet has created a group with some friends, called “Loire Mukus” (such as the mucus that covers the skin green-brown catfish). The man gets out his canes in the carbon every weekend of the year, when the weather allows. In the summer, he also spent his three weeks of vacation on the river to hunt the giant ligérien. “My wife is very understanding. It is worked, ” he says.

In 2017, Nicolas Hoguet has caught about 140 catfish, “in which 50 big” – hear : of a size greater than two metres. Very present also in the Rhône and the Tarn, the kraken of the current of water exerts a fascination renewed in those who trap, most often using a lure or a bright hanging on the end of a line of hyper-resistant. Its bad reputation is part of its magnetism. Because it happens to him to swallow of birds that drink by jumping on it, the catfish was even suspected, for a time, to attack the dogs that paddle.

Nicolas Hoguet defines himself as a “defender” of the fish fantasized : “I much watching, I can assure you that it is not the vacuum cleaner that swallows everything it finds. Some days, it was beautiful pass and iron before his eyes with vivid, it does not touch it when it is full. “To go home empty-handed is a thing that still happens in the Gilliatt-de-Touraine. Not this day however. Two specimens, one of 2.05 m, the other of 1.44 m – are taken out of the water and passed under the stands, before being released by the fisherman, and his friend Cedric. Never came to him the idea of eating it, he says : “It looks very fat. Or so, accompanied by a good sauce. “

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Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.