MEET THE TEAM
The CatMaster team members are:
Darren (Dazzer) Wickson, Phil Aylett, Tony Corbett, Henk Stegehuis, Matthew Alexander, Alan Frederick Thompson, Drew Harding, Charlie Pickard, Darren Sinden, Dan Winston ‘Tackletart’, Richard (Dick) Ingamells, ScottWearing, StrettonHonor, Lawrence King, Alex Fanshawe, John Poole, Scott Spatcher, Jackie Proud, Glen Patterson, Dave Booth & David Morris.
The team is always growing and evolving and we look forward to adding members to the team.
I started when I was 5 like most I was taken by my grandad on the river Severn at Bridgnorth as he was the bailiff I used to be taken on a regular basis. Progressing from Gudgeon, daddy Ruff, small Perch and Roach. Moving on when at school to the canal & local pools after to some larger fish called carp. There started a passion for carp fishing various pools & lakes when I stumbled across a pool called Withy Pool in Dawley Telford where there where some 30lb plus carp and this strangely named species called Catfish well very little information was available back in the eighties, I tried all the “going” baits back then blanked for 3 months you couldn’t night fish With Pool as it is inside the Telford Town park. Using all the recommended baits finally caught my first catfish a kitten of 2lb but on of all things a home made popped up tutti-fruity Boilie. But that was the start of my fishing for these mighty creatures.
Then in the early nineties I stumbled across an advert in one of the angling weeklies for this group called The Catfish Conservation Group well as the old saying goes the rest is history form was filled in & sent off and I was a member, I went to the AGM that year, they were asking for volunteers to join the committee hand raised name given and thought that’s the end of that, only to get a call from Simon Clarke asking me to come to a committee meeting at none other than Kevin Maddocks’s home well at that time Kevin was a hero of most anglers then including me, well I couldn’t get over the reception like as though i was his long lost brother. I joined the committee looking after exhibitions, shows all around the country. During this time there seamed to be shows almost every weekend all over the country, compared with now a very limited number of shows. I even had the privilege of being part of the team that started Adams Pool.
In 2010 my wife & I were offered the opportunity to purchase CatMaster Tackle, after a period of 6 months we had tackle shops asking us to supply them with CatMaster Tackle products which is where we are now but with a fantastic team of Catfish anglers from many different walks of life all with a passion, that passion is catfish, with different methods, techniques as well as different species of catfish from all around the world.
Now in 2019 we see CatMaster Tackle grow from strength to strength which is not without pain, the team all share the same passion and most still hold full time occupations but we try to meet as often as possible and the internet has allowed us to communicate on a daily basis. We are very proud of our home grown and produced reputation and will continue to hand craft our tackle where we can in the UK.
I would personally like to thank each and every customer that has invested their hard earned cash into purchasing our tackle and we hope it brings you much success. As we continue to expand we hope you find more and more tackle outlets and fisheries stocking up on our range. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to ask anything about the tackle or setups, we are here to help and enable you to get the most from cat-fishing around the globe!
I grew up living in Leighton Buzzard, right in the original catfish heartland, catfishing seemed to be a natural progression to my love of angling. I fished Rackley Hills, Tiddenfoot, Claydon Lakes and Jones pit back in the eighties, catching some sought after cats along the way. Since then, many counties and countries have been visited, culminating in English cats of 102lb, Spanish of 208lb and French of 144lb.
One of our European Cat angling specialists, learning cat-fishing on venues like Lakemores Horseshoe Lake and Willowbank and quickly joining the CCG. A move working and travelling in France for a year meant I could spend my evenings fishing the rivers – Mostly the Loire and the L’aisne but also the Saone and Doubs at times.
Over the years Tony has become a target Catfish angler and now rarely weigh/photo UK fish under 50lb and French fish under 80lb. Tony is the man to talk to about French venues and methods to try for best results.
Tony’s favourite methods are live-bait fishing and he tries to avoid venues that dont allow the use of live-baits. In France Tony fishes a lot of tie-off weak link fishing and this is his favourite overall method. Tony’s Uk Pb is 122lb, France is 151lb and Spain 196lb.
Darren ( Dazzer ) Wickson
Dazzer was one of the first to join Ron in his quest to bring cat fishing within the uk to a new level . With his knowledge and understanding of what makes these amazing creatures tic Dazzer has made his way around the uk and France trying / testing new methods / rigs . He’s already achieved so much in the 7 sort years that he’s been targeting then . With a impressive venue list of 20+ uk cat venues and 4 70lb + fish on 4 waters and a French pb of 116lb there seems to be no stopping . As a fabricator he’s able to take his ideas and skills and come up with some fantastic product s to which some are now being sold all over the uk with in more then 50 tackle shops . As a Ccg fish in organiser dazzer gives back as much as he receives from the sport and makes conservation his number one . His methods for fishing are varied but much of a traditional and simple manner which he believes has contributed to over 400 fish since 2009.
I grew up in a family that wasn’t into fishing and it was pure chance that at the age of 6 I pestered my father into getting me a fishing rod for my birthday. I can vividly remember going to an open day held by a local club on a NW London gravel pit and catching my very first fish. It was a roach of about 4ozs which at the time seemed enormous and from that moment on I was well and truly hooked! Fast forward 30 years to today and I still feel exactly the same way about fishing and I don’t think that enthusiasm will ever leave me. Over those intervening years I was fortunate enough to capture specimens of most species but it wasn’t until 2009 that I caught my very first Wels Catfish and from that point on it was just about all I wanted to target. There was something about the fight, the unusualness I suppose and the mystery that had me addicted. I am very fortunate and thankful to be able to spend a lot of my time on the bank these days because whilst there are certainly no rules in catfishing you have got to be in it to win it.
I’ve been lucky and had some memorable cat captures over the years including my current UK PB ‘The Duke’ at 119lb along with venue and session records for Pitsford Fishery and Furnace Lakes but I suppose the one that stands out for me the most was catching ‘Footprint’ from Horton Boat Pool at 92lb 12ozs back in 2015 which at the time was also a venue record but it was the anticipation and the effort for what turned out to be the most elusive of all fish that made it the most memorable.
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Ive been fishing for Catfish since 1994 (River Ivel and Claydon Lake). I caught my 1st Catfish on a CCG fish-in at Withy Pool in 1995 (under the watchful eye of a certain Ron Griffiths). These days I mostly fish exclusively in the UK (Claydon and a handful of lesser known Cat venues).
I don’t like to use livebaits (not for any ethical reasons, just can’t face using them). I also have written several articles for the CCG’s “Whiskers” magazine. My favourite Baits is Spam / Luncheon Meat, Lobworms, Sea Deadbaits, Pellets. If I had to say what my favourite rig would be for the up and coming season I can already predict that it will be Lobworms fished under a Rattler Rig!
I started seriously fishing in my early twenties mainly fishing for carp, tench etc, an opportunity arose to work in Leslie’s of Luton in the carp department, which I of course jumped at. This was where I met my early inspirations including Kevin Maddox and Matt Hayes. I soon became hooked on cat fishing, this is where I first met Ron at a CCG meeting. I was fortunate to live in an area with many cat waters including Claydon, Airman and Jones’s and that’s where my passion for catting began. Over the years I have fished many waters and rivers in France and Spain. Recently my pursuit for big cats have taken me to Thailand where I have had many different species of catfish to 300lb +
My other passion is eel fishing where last year I landed what I call a eel of a lifetime.
I am very lucky to share my passion with my husband Jason and many hours are spent developing rigs and talking tactics, and of course arguing about swims.
I first got into Catfishing many years ago when my friend caught a catfish on a session I was fishing with him,looking at the bend in his rod and hearing his screaming clutch as all the line was peeling of his reel and all the silt kicking up from the bottom of the lake I was amazed and once the fish was landed and I seen it, I was hooked on them.
That’s when I decided to put my carp gear away and get new rods,reels and terminal tackle to handle the power off theses cats and I also decided to just target these awesome predator fish Since them days I’ve changed the way I fish for them as I’ve learnt a lot more about targeting theses predators I get a lot more pleasure now from targeting harder waters to fish as it’s more of an achievement when I do catch one Ive got a pb in the uk of 54lb 8oz and have lost a few which I am sure we’re bigger,but it’s always the big ones that get away.
And my Spanish pb is 198lb.
By day he is an IT consultant and proud father of 3 girls but when he does get time and he isn’t updating the website or thinking new promotions Darren hits the bank testing new baits and rigs. During the summer months he can be found down the South East around venues like Furnace Lakes where he landed his UK pb of 60lb. Like many others here he had to invest in adequate tackle from carp tackle such as suitable rods, landing net, mat, slings end tackle and of course line or braid suitable for the job.
Whilst he would say he is no expert he has taken it upon himself to learn about cat-fishing and is always happy to provide advice to new anglers in the South looking to advice to catch their first catfish.
“Ive seen anglers arrive at a lake fishing without any expectations of catching a catfish but when they do; seeing an anglers face when they experience the brut force a catfish offers soon turns their attention, yes a carp can play a good game but a cat teaches you a lesson and beats going to the gym for an upper body workout”.
Darren can also found onFacebook and is more than happy to answer any questions you may have or reach the team to help and answer your questions.
Fishing has been a passion of mine since childhood. I have been pursuing the challenge of outwitting this evasive predator for the past 20 years.I have fished various waters both at home and abroad and have achieved two lake records. I relish the challenge that new venues bring each season and I always enjoy a chat on the bank to share our catfishing tales. Scott also manages Facebook forums, video editing and photography. His passion is to help anglers get into catting and help land your 1st catfish or Pb.
I grow up with the pole and over the years I am also hooked on Pike with Spinning Rod and often with live bait. I heard some stories about catfish and the size and strength tickled me more than a lot so I decided to get more information about these freshwater giants. After reading about everything I could get about them my mind was set. I wanted to experience the power of a catfish and so it will be done. The first session was one I never forget! Hooked and landed a couple of them, lost a few but what an unbelievable time on the bank. My fishing gear that time was nothing else than upgraded carpgear and immediately understood that I needed to invest in much heavier material.
Hooked on Catfish! What a force! What a fantastic drills! It wasn’t so much the beauty of the fish but more the force that pulled me over the finish line. The results didn’t remain unnoticed and I was completely surprised Ron contacted me for joining the CatMaster-team. I felt honoured and I couldn’t believe it. Catfish isn’t really a dumb fish and for me it is a game to mislead them to let them take my bait. Nowadays helped by materials from CatMasterTackle in which I have complete confidence. The testing goes on but after using a lot of brands I really can say that the HD-series are on the top of my list.
Wish you all very bending rods and please be careful with our friends the pussies.
Matt started fishing when he was 8 on his local river Thames in Oxford and grow into an accomplished allround big fish angler catching double figure tench and bream from the Tring complex, double figure zander from the millde level, 30lb carp and 20 lb pike from different venues around Oxfordshire before moveing to France in 2000.
Since then he has fished for Silure Glanis on the rivers, mainly boat fishing with a fair amount of success catching many hundred pound plus fish over the years.
He also fishes even farther afield , often in the South American jungle rivers for the big catfish that live there.
Alan Frederick Thompson
Aged fifty two…Ive been catting for ten years and a member of the CCG for 5 years with a pb of 54.08lb…Slowly working my way through the UK cat water,..I have a long way to go to fish them all but im in no hurry..
Favourite water..if its peaceful and got cats then thats good enough for me. Along with most others on the team I can be found on Facebook so please do come and say hi.
My love of fishing started when I was around 5 years old and my Dad took me for the first time. I clearly remember the excitement of my first fish, a gudgeon, or a “Gudget” as I ran around calling it to anyone that would listen to my excited rants! For years I was happy just float fishing maggots for “anything that came along”, be it a roach or a perch I didnt care as long as I got a bite. Slowly though as all anglers will know you long for what you havent got and eventually “big” fish is what I ended up craving, although I do still get the same buzz from catching new species as well. Not being great on boats (I usually end up sending some groundbait over the side if you know what I mean!) I stick mainly to freshwater fish and usually exotic species. Currently I have landed 7 different species of freshwater fish over the magical 100lb barrier (4 being catfish species) and am always looking for the next opportunity to add to that tally and will continue to do so for as long as my health allows. Catfish will always make up the majority of these larger freshwater giants and I do love the challenge of targeting them in their native environment, however I have also spent many happy days angling for them in a manmade environment too. For me fishing is so diverse and even if I live to 100 there will always be new adventures and new fish for me to chase as no matter what there is always stories of bigger and better fish out there…
Like Matthew Alexander, Stretton fishes for various catfish species. Where our newest member Stretton Honor is a Thailand regular visitor with 25, yes 25 different species of catfish in Thailand along with a vast array of other species of fish. Obviously Stretton is our Thailand specialist. With a growing number of consultants (3) who fish further a field with regularity it gives us even more opportunities to expand and show that we’re here for the long term An other species that were being asked to cater for are the toothy “Wolf Fish” a prehistoric looking fish.
‘Tackle Tart Dan’ or Yoda also known by, 43 years young, fished since age of 4 when first fish was caught, have participated in all avenues/genres of angling from match angling, competative, Pike angling, Carp fishing to obviously Catfish, many trophies and awards won along the way not to mention publicationsbeen in, I have worked in the industry in 2 of the popular Essex tackle shops, Robertsons Tackle & Bowlers Angling.
Have a passion and addiction for fishing and even involved my son and daughter into competitive matches to which I’m very proud they have won many n always podium. Lots of father son/daughter times and memories made, along with bestie n brother Tony too throughout all the years. I have fished all the local Essex cat waters n many surrey and Kent too for 20+ years recognised and well known around many. Some would say I was the Catman Dan in the shops the go to guy for help n answers n many a demo too,only too happy to help. A share in manys catches n pb’s is great.
I have helped many have their first catfish. Always available to help and happy to be part of a reputable friendly name as of CatMaster Tackle helping develop rigs and products as well as help endorse them in shops and on the bank, how to use etc. Have offered myself through Robertsons tackle and local lake Jimmys to be a hands on guide so to speak for clients/Anglers to have a taste of catfishing be it there first cat or to improve or learn rigs and how to tie etc hands on demo’s, that have been popular with many repeat visitors.
With a UK PB of 84lb so far but thousands of 20’s 30’s, 40’s to my name n several 50’s n 60’s under my belt too & 3x 70+.
Spanish PB 0f 107lb
I’m a family man. work and family a priority too but fishing is my hobby, pastime, passion, skill & everything.
See me on the bank come and have a chat and even a selfie for that portfolio n social media ha ha lol, tight lines.
To say that Im addicted to fishing would be a massive understatment! when im not on the bank i can be found in my fishing room frantically testing tackle and trying to improve old ideas or come up with new ones.
I consider myself a true all rounder being just as at home bobbing around in the Bristol channel as i am fishing the Avon or the Wye, however come spring my attention turns to the cats and I’ll be out targeting them every week without fail.
I generally now only fish for specimen size cats from low stocked waters but I also enjoy fishing waters with greater stocks and usually find myself helping others catch and improve there fishing, which for me is really rewarding, its great when you wake up to a smile and thank you when you’ve helped someone catch there first cat.
Away from my UK angling i love to travel, which brings me to my main angling goals which is to catch as many different 100lb+ fish from fresh water or sea as i possible can and also see how many different types of catfish i can catch from around the world.
I am on face book and love nothing more than too talk fishing(except actually fishing) so if you need any help or advice with your UK fishing or if your planning a trip abroad just drop me a PM and i’ll do my best to help you out or put you in touch with someone who can.
PB list UK Wels catfish 76lb Pike 22lb 2oz Zander 11lb 3oz Sturgeon 54lb Barbel 12b 2oz
PB list abroad Wels catfish 164lb Mekong catfish 180lb Asian Redtail catfish 50lb Araphima 400lb
Amazon Redtail catfish 60lb Tambagui 67lb Chao Phraya catfish 95lb Siamese carp 125lb
Giant fresh water stingray 180lb Pacu 34lb Dorado 4olb
I’ve been fishing since I can remember, starting off catching perch & gudgeon, to eventually match fishing. Then in the late eighties early nineties I decided I wanted something more out of fishing. This is when my love for catfish started. I now fish for all over England catching cats from well over 30 waters. I have also fished in France on several occasions. Spain I have several times the Mequinenza area managing a brief record fish of 191lb and also a different style of drifting baits from the boat down on the Spanish delta.
My travels have taken me to Canada several times where I have fished for sturgeon catching some 200lb plus fish.
Thailand is my most recent destination fishing with a few of the CatMaster Tackle lads, I managed some nice Mekong Catfish, Amazon & Asian Redtail Catfish, Araphima, Siamese Carp & Blue Carp
I have also spent plenty of time fishing for pike, zander and a big love of mine eels