Fishing on the Danube: Catch the Catfish  

Catch the Catfish

Catfish fishing is a real attraction everywhere in the world. The Danube River is one of the most famous watercourses in Europe where catfish live. The catfish is currently the king of the Danube, the largest predator that has no natural enemy. In the following article, you can read how you can outwit and catch catfish on the Danube by blinking.

Meet the Catfish

Meet the catfish

Catfish is one of the largest freshwater fish since there have been no sturgeon or cod for a long time. Specific and very recognizable shape, with a flattened head and mustache, it is one of the most famous fish in the world. It has small eyes and a large mouth, where there are many small tooth-like teeth on the upper and lower jaw. There are no scales on the body, but it is also covered with mucus.

The catfish is omnivorous, eating everything it finds from other fish, frogs, crabs, and even birds. Catfish is the largest fish that lives in freshwater rivers in Europe. He can grow up to 5 meters in length. It spawns in May or June and the young grow very quickly, up to 20 cm in the first year. The most common size of catfish caught in the Danube is 1 meter long and weighs about 10 kilograms.

Where You Can Catch the Catfish in the Danube?


The Danube River partly flows through Serbia and Hungary is full of catfish. The largest specimens were captured in this part. In the southern part of Hungary, one of the fishing towns is Mohács. In the past, large catfish were caught on the part of the Danube River near Mohács. The town of Apatin is located in Serbia along the Danube River. This is one of the most famous fishing towns on the Danube River. Suffice it to say that a catfish weighing 208 kilograms was caught in the Danube near Apatin in 1958!

The catfish likes quiet and deep places in the river, it is mostly found in holes at the bottom of the main course of the river. Places that are protected by stumps or branches suit him best. Also, the soft bottom of rivers such as sand is an ideal base for catfish.

What is the Best Way to Catch the Catfish in the Danube?

There are many techniques for catching catfish in various ways. It is important to choose the right technique for catfish fishing. Depending on the season, weather conditions and terrain configuration, we will present here some of the most effective ways that you must try.

Catch the Catfish using Clonck

Catch the Catfish in Danube

Clonck is usually made of wood. The wood is processed so that at one end there is a handle and at the other end there is a part that is completely flat and at the end, it ends abruptly with a horseshoe-shaped extension. The blows with the horseshoe-shaped part of clonck create a sound that irritates the catfish. The catfish is then lifted from the bottom and the device for action.

An integral part of the equipment for catching catfish is also a rope. A piece of wood is tied to one end of the rope and serves as a handrail. At the other end of the rope, a tassel of red thread is made. Lead is placed under the tassel to tighten the bait. And in the end, there is a catfish hook. As bait on the hook can be put live fish, a slice of fish or the so-called “piece”, frog, roach, leech, earthworm, durbok, and many other baits.

It is interesting that many who use the catfish fishing system, with the help of clonck, tie a smaller plastic barrel to the end of the rope where the wooden handle is placed. It is interesting that many who use the catfish fishing system, with the help of clonck, tie a smaller plastic barrel to the end of the rope where the wooden handle is placed. In case you catch a bigger catfish that you can’t keep, just let it drag the plastic barrel into the water. Then let the catfish get tired on its own and you follow the movement of that barrel on the water. When the barrel comes to the surface and calms down, it means that the catfish is tired and you can pull it out easier.

This way of catching catfish with a clonck is traditional. Today, this fishing system has been slightly modified and many use modern rods instead of ropes.

Catch the Catfish by Spinning

Catch the Catfish by spinning

The modern way of catching catfish is most used nowadays. This method of fishing is also used to catch other predatory fish. Spinning is the throwing of a lure that runs through water where this process is constantly repeated. If you want to catch catfish this way you must have quality and strong accessories. The first and most important part of the accessories is the rod that suffers the greatest load. The ideal length of a catfish rod is 2.75 meters, whether you are fishing from the shore or from a boat. Along with the rod, you also need quality and strong fishing reel. On a fishing reel, it is recommended that the string be rolled up, which should be at least 40 pounds strong for the catfish.

The choice of lures for catching catfish by spinning is huge. Here are some of the most important catfish decoys.


It is made of soft and light wood. All wobblers have fish shapes of different sizes. Mostly size ranges range from 15 to 5 centimeters. The ring for hanging the lure is located on the head of the fish, where the plastic beak is. The plastic beak on the wobbler determines the depth to which the lure can go. So wobblers can be divided into shallow, medium, and deep. On wobblers, depending on their size, there are 2-3 “three-legged” hooks. Some wobblers used to catch catfish have a rattle inserted in the body of the lure. As you pull the wobbler through the water the rattle makes a sound that attracts the catfish. The most famous manufacturer of wobblers in the world is Rapala.

Lipless CrankbaitLipless Crankbait

The perfect lure for catching catfish by spinning! It is made of lead that is filled with a picture in the shape of a fish. It has 1 or 2 “three-legged” hooks on it. The hook for hanging on the hub is located on the back of the fish. They are mainly produced in lengths of 5 to 12 centimeters. Since the catfish is a fish located at the bottom of the river, the Lipless Crankbait must be heavier. Therefore, weights of 50 to 150 grams are used. Due to the vibration created by this lure, the catfish are attracted. Some of the largest specimens of catfish were caught on this particular decoy.

Soft LuresSoft Lures

Soft Lures are more common in blinker fishing. It is made of silicone in the shape of a fish. The lengths of these lures range from 5 to 15 centimeters. They are produced in various colors, from the natural gray-black color of the fish to the bright green and red color. Since this lure is made of silicone and lightweight, a jig head is added to it. A jig head is a hook that has a lead extension at its upper end and an eyelet to which you attach this lure. The weight of the lead on the jig head is chosen by you depending on the depth at which you fish. Weights of 30 to 100 grams are used for catfish.

Blinking with this lure is done by letting the lure fall to the bottom. Then you slowly raise and lower the lure at a certain pace so that it always touches the bottom and draws it towards you.

Catch the Catfish by the Deep Method

Deep Method

This is a stationary catfish fishing system that can be used both from the boat and from the shore. For this way of fishing for catfish, you need a strong rod and a reel. On the reel, it is recommended that the nylon is wound at least 0.40 millimeters thick. The system is very simple, place a lead weight on the end of the nylon, which depends on the depth and strength of the water where you fish. At about 20 centimeters, you tie a catfish hook to a leash 15-25 centimeters long. Throw in the desired place, tighten the nylon so that the lead remains at the bottom of the river. Wait for the moment for your rod tip to “play” or start to bend and the fish is there! Let me not forget to mention that with this fishing system we use the same baits as with clonck.

Catch the Catfish From the Shore or From a Boat

Catfish From the Shore

Every experienced fisherman will say that fishing from a boat has an advantage over fishing from the shore. To clarify, if you want to catch catfish from the shore, you are not able to use the clonck system. Some of the best catfish fishing grounds are not accessible from the shore, and you can easily reach them with a boat. By fishing from a boat you have more options available. You can approach the shore, you can anchor and fish anywhere you think is good for catfish. Or you can simply let your boat carry water as you drag your lure along the bottom of the Danube. This method of fishing is a vertical jig and falls under the system of catching catfish by spinning.

However, fishing from a boat also has some drawbacks. Buying a boat, outboard engine, maintaining them as well as additional necessary equipment can cost you a lot. But still, the love for fishing is priceless!

Read also: Hiking for beginners on Tara Mountain, Serbia


If you are a fishing fan, you must try to catch catfish on the Danube. It’s an amazing experience. Try some of the fishing systems described above, we can say that they have all proved successful. Maybe we should give a small advantage to catching catfish by blinking. But those are just my opinions that I had to share with you. We are waiting for you to tell the Danube in a new catfish adventure!

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