After a very unsuccessful trip around 2 years ago I was determined to catch my first catfish. 5 of us (Marc, Ryan, Jason, Keith and myself) were booked on the main specimen lake at Cackle Hill, a lovely fishery in the heart of Biddenden just down from Headcorn Airfield.
7am saw us at the gates eagerly awaiting getting the rods in the water. Ryan and myself have yet to catch a cat so we were equally as excited! After setting up and having the rods in the water for just over an hour we knew it was going to be harder than we first thought! The weather had been forecasted for overcast conditions but it was totally opposite, blaring sun and high temperatures meant the fish were not feeding like we had hoped. Many carp we saw on the surface ignored our floaters, basking in the sun, teasing and frustrating us as some of them were upper doubles!
Around 1pm Ryan had the first run, line screaming off his reel, the fish was violently shaking his head trying to shake the hook out.
After 10 minutes Ryan has landed his first ever catfish, not a giant by anyones standards weighing in at 21lb but for his first fish he was over the moon!
Then not long after he was into another! This time the cat has found a hole to hide and it was a constant game of tug-o-war. Eventually Ryan had got the better of the fish and landed himself a bigger fish beating his personal best. 25lb and one happy angler!
After that it was quite again, lots of carp showing but not feeding. It was HOT and I don’t blame the fish for not feeding. Towards the evening Marc had managed to pick one out, we didn’t weigh the fish because it was small, we estimated around 8/9lb. We had hoped for it to pick up in the night when the temperature dropped. Around 1am I had a run and battled with what felt like a carp but was another catfish just smaller than Marc’s, a little disappointed but it was my first catfish and I wasn’t going to blank! After that the night was quite and nobody was rudely awoken by a screaming run, the same could be said for most of the day with the only fish landed was from Keith, a nice 20lb beating his personal best too!
Keith and Ryan had 2 more runs each but due to, how do we say, knot imperfections (sorry Ryan) they had lost them! All in all it was a fantastic trip that was more of a social with lots of laughter, watching Spitfires train, already talking about our next trip and what our targets will be. I thoroughly recommend Cackle Hill Fishery as they have a lake to accommodate anyones needs in fishing, from big cats and carp to a mixed bag of silvers. They also have lodges on site for people looking for a holiday and a tackle shop with cafe on site!