This (pictured below rant) is one of a couple caught & released yesterday up-river from Blanchetown. It’s getting to the point that one often catches more Catties than Callop, & sometimes more than Carp. The angler who landed this beauty, John N, recalls an extraordinary day, about 2 years ago I reckon – when he caught 68 in one session. Returning to the same spot shortly after he landed another 30-odd. His were all up-river from Lock 1 but we flat-landers have noticed a steady increase in their numbers below the Lock, where we do most of our fishing.
I caught my first-ever Catfish on Moorundie beach in March of 2010 & it was later that year that they started to become a regular by-catch up-river from the Lock… & if my memory is correct it was about this time that Johnny N started to get big numbers of them. Over the past 12 months or so they have started showing up practically anywhere one dangles the angle… up-river & down, ranging in size from sprats to 500mm-600mm long. I am generally confident of encountering one whenever I wet a line these days.
So it makes one wonder when the army of tax-payer funded, non-producing leeches in the government’s employ will acknowledge that we have a burgeoning population of Eel-tailed Catfish in the Lower Murray that seems to be anything but endangered. I recall a report in the Advertiser pertaining to the fact that professional Murray River fishermen had been trying to tell SARDI scientists about the massive increase in Catfish numbers but were met with the old government chestnut – “we need to survey, study, contemplate & bollock around for at least five years before there can be any possible changes to current fishing restrictions”… or some such incompetent, self-serving tosh. That is bureaucratic code for “we don’t trust professional fishermen [or anybody else who is not an enlightened, State-sponsored bludger] to tell us what is what; we are too entrenched in retarded government culture to move forward at any speed faster than BACKWARDS”. Such are the geniuses who decide what the rest of us dog’s-bodies can & cannot do. Such is “democracy” as we know it today.
Meanwhile, thousands of perfectly delicious Catfish are returned to the water in SA by law-abiding anglers (predominantly from fear of being prosecuted by Big Basturd)… despite the FACT that there are clearly millions more that will never feel the point of a fisherman’s hook.
A SARDI report can be read here (page 33), which suggests to me that the conditions that need to prevail in order for Catfish to breed successfully & grow to adulthood… indeed seem to have been prevailing since about October 2010, at least.
Below was the fish landed by Johnny N yesterday, upriver from Lock 1
Below is the fellow (my first ever) caught at Moorundie in March 2010