The UK’s leading catfish expert, Simon Clarke, established Catfish Pro in 2004 as a response to the growing demand for catfish fishing tackle and accessories. Simon had been a catfish angler since 1984 and at the time was also the secretary of the Catfish Conservation Group. Catfish angling has been a steadily growing area of the sport for many years, but for much of this time it has suffered from a lack of specific equipment and information in general. Simon’s unrivalled knowledge enabled him to set about sourcing products and designing equipment to meet that market, with the help of other leading anglers. Initially retailing direct to anglers, it didn’t take long for shops to realise the need for a better selection of catfishing tackle and Catfish-Pro became an established brand to meet the needs of the big retail outlets. Since its inception in 2004, Catfish-Pro has continued to develop the only full range of equipment and accessories available in the UK and this specialist range is being expanded upon year on year as new products are constantly under development.
The Catfish-Pro product range was designed to cope with UK catfishing as well as catfishing abroad. This means that the equipment and size of gear varies dramatically across the range, as European waters, such as large rivers in France, Spain, and Italy can hold fish to over 200lb. For example, hooks are available from size 6 up to size 10/0 in order to meet this need. As these are a long fish (a 100lb fish is 2m long), Catfish-Pro produce very large unhooking mats, weigh slings, landing nets, weigh bars and scales. Many lakes now have rules regarding adequate unhooking mats, which understandably have to be significantly larger than other companies produce. The range of rods also accommodates for the size of the fish and the Persuader range of rods can cope with power of the catfish fights without being too aggressive in action. They combine power with fish playing action, which makes them vastly superior to spod rods or heavy carp rods, as well as being the perfect tool for other forms of predator angling. Catfish have large bony mouths with very abrasive teeth and the terminal gear is designed to cope with this. Large fish can test your terminal tackle to the limit, so the range of terminal tackle has been constructed to more than meet the needs of these monster fish. The range includes a full selection of hooks, hooklinks, swivels, beads, hair rigs, and other rig components for making up catfish rigs. There are also a number of specially designed unique catfish rigs in the Catfish-Pro range. These have been designed to present baits in a particular way to target catfish at a variety of depths and for different baits, including sub surface rigs which are particularly effective for catfish.
The UK now has over 500 lakes containing catfish and many UK anglers travel abroad each year to fish in France, Spain and beyond. As shown, the Catfish-Pro range can equip anglers for all situations and many of its products are also used by carp, predator and sea anglers.