Catfishing fans in the UK will soon get the chance to prove they are the best catfish anglers on the planet after plans were announced to launch an annual World Catfish Classic fishing tournament.
Teams from more than 25 countries are set to take part in the event on Spain’s River Ebro next summer, where they will do battle with the venue’s legendary monster catfish during a three-day spectacular.
The competition is the brainchild of Ross Honey, who for the past 12 years has successfully run the World Carp Classic. Judging by feedback, he’s adamant that the new event will prove just as popular.
“The response has been phenomenal. I was in Hungary recently and when I revealed my plans the local representative said that they wanted to take 15 teams! They won’t be allowed that many, but it just goes to show how hot competition for places is set to be,” said Ross.
The Catfish Classic, which is being sponsored by fishing tackle giants Berkley, is set to be staged on three sections of the river around Chiprana, which the contestants will rotate between to ensure fairness. Space will be available for 80 teams, each comprising two anglers and one ‘runner’, who will help out with peripheral tasks such as baiting-up swims.
According to Ross, the event promises to be an experience that will last long in the memory of those taking part. He said: “The stocks are prolific - I recently sent down a group of test anglers to the stretch and they had 30 big catfish in a single day, 20 of which were over 100lb, to a top weight of 190lb! The whole town is going to be involved, and the opening ceremony will see the teams parading through the streets sporting national flags - it’s going to be the catfishing Olympics! After each day’s competition, the food and entertainment will all be laid on, making for an amazing international gathering each night. There will be a substantial cash and tackle prize fund, to be announced at a later date - safe to say, the winners won’t be disappointed.”
Well-known big-carp angler Frank Warwick has already tasted Ebro glory, having taken a brace of monster cats weighing 187lb and 203lb on his first ever visit to the river. He’s already put his name down for the tournament.
“If the World Carp Classic is anything to go by, this event is going to be massive hit and that’s why I just have to be a part of it. I couldn’t think of anything better than having the chance to represent your country while fishing a beautiful venue stuffed full of big catfish.
“I’m friends with a number of Belgian and Hungarian carpers who are already champing at the bit and the event isn’t until next year! Fishing needs big, well-organised events like this, which brings anglers together from all over the world.”