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Three days of fishing in the Czech Republic – Looking for wild fish like the slimy Wels Catfish

Posted by on August 5, 2019

After the first time fishing in the Czech Republic where I caught a ton of Carp, it was time to go after some catfish but this requires low level light requirements. Yes! Night fishing! Not the safest nor the most rewarding but it can be productive! I’ve caught catfish before but they were really small so for me to go after giant catfish like these Wels Catfish is an entirely different challenge. There are some different tactics required for this as the really big ones can be dangerous. Some have even reported to knock people into the water in attempt to swallow and taste humanflesh! There have been some spectacular stories out there which might have been true stories, not myths. Of course, if I really wanted to catch a giant catfish, that might take… what? 1-3 weeks? Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be doing that.

The beginning part of the day was basically fishing off of a boat in the morning until noon. Unfortunately, the bites were slow and far from each other to where I only got 2 bites – the fish didn’t really chomp down hard enough to where I could set the hook. The fishing conditions were not great either as there was no wind nor current which help move along in the river looking for fish.

To start the second part of the day, I caught a few Chubs while using a lighter rod on a river that has much faster current. Despite the bugs attacking me, I managed to keep trying my best at casting before we moved onto another location as the sun started its descent. Despite a few more bites, I sat down for a minute before all of a sudden the bell indicator on one of the main rods started ringing and shaking. Fish on! I fought the fish for a bit as it tumbled and toiled in the rapids before I got a visual on it in the dark. It looked like an eel but after getting it in the net, it was a European catfish, a Wels Catfish! My first one! It wasn’t big nor too small – about 4-5 kgs (10-12 pounds) but it was another fish being checked off of the bucket list!

After releasing the fish, I waited some more with my fishing guide hoping for another bite but we could see in the distance that a thunderstorm was coming. Rain is not an issue but the prevailing wind and lightning strikes can be issues. So just as we were starting to pack up and leave, bam! The bells on the other fishing rod started ringing – another fish! I jumped over there and set the hook to start reeling in the fish. As I reeled in the fish in, I noticed that it had a very different shape – it was no catfish. It looked like a Zander or even a big Chub actually until my fishing guide said that it was an Asp. Different fish species. Wow. That’s exciting to catch something new!

wels catfish fighting night fishing bells hooks fish prague czechia

With the bells ringing and the rod shaking, it was FISH ON! Time to go to work and reel in my first Wels Catfish. Of course, I didn’t know that it was a Wels until the fish was closer to shore and I could see it more clearly.

oof smelly slimy catfish european europe freshwater agua dulce long slender fish

Finally! It’s in the net meaning that it’s officially caught. First time that I caught a catfish in Europe and this big! But gosh, is this fish slimy and smelly.

Slimy Wels Catfish European pez de gato prague tourism adventure fishing pesca hard to do

Even this slimy, stinky Wels Catfish requires a fish dentist to get the hook pulled out. It’s even harder when it’s late at night and hard to see.

catfish long slender snake like fishy

It’s what? Maybe 5-6 kilograms (10-12 pounds)? He stinks a lot. Good thing people don’t eat these because if they do, it’s goodbye to good breath for life.

Asp fish predatory european europe czech middle

At first, I thought I landed a huge Chub or even a Zander because of the silverly body. But upon looking at it closer, my guide said that it was an Asp, not an Ass. Asp is a type of predatory fish but for some reason, took some worms.

On the second day, due to weather conditions, it was going to be far better if I went fly fishing so the change was made and off I went! My fishing guide said that the wild trout are very active especially as the sun sets and there is a bug hatch. He was right. I didn’t really get any bites during the day at all. It was only during the last part of the day, the last hour or so was when I started getting bites to where I landed both a wild brown trout and rainbow trout. I didn’t have time to really take a picture of them since both were far small compared to the fish that I’ve caught in the past and not to mention, I wanted to start casting right back out again because the fish were munching away during the bug hatch.

rainbow brown trout fly fishing in czech republic

The fishing at this river was at its best during the last hour of sunlight when the fish seemed to go crazy after the bug hatch. It doesn’t like there is fish but there are.

fly fishing brown trout bug hatch wild river creek

It’s not a good photo but I hooked and landed this wild Brown Trout. My first success on the second day after going on a “blank” but not on this day! Going to catch something at least!

One amazing part was when I cast this one trout 5 times and he kept missing the fly! I think it was starting to get pretty dark so the fish was unable to hit it properly. I cast to him 4 straight times and all misses. Then I cast to another area where I saw a fish but couldn’t get him to bite so I tried the trout that missed 4 times. A 5th time! But unfortunately, again another miss. I was astounded to see that because usually trout will give you a maximum of 1-2 times to cast and hook them. That’s it. If not, then no more chances until maybe the next day.

The third day was the finale which reminded me of a machine gun day – fish, fish, fish! Intermittent hooking and landing fish throughout the day on a nice river where I had to watch the tip of the rod to make sure that fish were not stealing my bait aka me feeding the fish. No, I had to strike and set the hook when they were feeding and had the hook in their mouths. I must have caught 20, 30+ fish on this day ranging from Common Carp, Crucian Carp, Roach, Bream, and Silver Bream. I even reeled in a small Wels Catfish as well!

silver bream fish european

I’ve caught Bream before but this was a Silver Bream, more chrome-colored than the usual Bream. I caught a lot of these Common and some Silver Bream throughout the day.

wild carp hard fighter fishing

Unlike catching Carp in the Carp Ponds, these wild Carp are better fighters because they’ve had to earn their right to live and fighting off predators. They still take off like fish rockets when hooked that even the bigger ones like this one can still give a nice fight. This one is about 3-4 kgs (6-8+ pounds). Of course, there are bigger ones out there but this is a wild one, no beer bellies like the ones in Carp farms.

black carp royalty fish wild

Check out this nice black-colored Carp. Usually, these fish are more brownish or gray or green, but not this one. I’ve never seen a fish with black scales like this one! Very unique type of fish!

day time catfish catching spinning rod baby fish black marbling skin scales

A baby Wels Catfish which was very untypical for catching one during the daytime but I figured that this fish would learn. For a young Wels Catfish, you can see the great marbling on its skin as well as the long whiskers. A vast difference from the big one that I caught on the first day or night. Probably this was due to seeing the fish at night time.

Czech Republic has a secret – you can fish there and do well! In 3 days of fishing, I caught 10 different species of fish! That’s a lot there!

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