Catfish Capers was launched in 1998 by our proprietor Martin Walker. The reason for starting the business was simple. Martin has been a self-confessed catfish nut since the early 90’s and that passion continues to this day. Initially the operation was based in France, on the rivers Tarn and Saone, catching numbers of 100lb+ fish for clients. The operation was then moved to the superior fishing offered on the River Ebro in the town of Caspe in Northern Spain in 2000. If you are properly guided, there’s still nowhere in Europe that can touch it for delivering quantities of lumps.
As the business moved on, Martin decided to develop. He was looking for a catchy name for the business. Martin remembers, “Out of the blue the word capers came to me. I checked my dictionary and caper meant a high-spirited escapade… Our name Catfish Capers, was born.
By 2001, the fishing world was starting to take notice. Paul Young and the crew of “Hooked on Fishing” came down to make a programme during which Paul had our largest fish of the year from the top lake. At 128lb, it was a great fish for the time. Subsequently other well known anglers such as Andy Little and Mick Brown came down to enjoy the superb sport our company delivers.
The business continued developing, with more guides and more accommodation. The fishing has remained superb over the last few years, and the team have worked together to maintain truly world class results, season after season. Clients frequently smash the magic 100lb mark and we have guided clients to many fish in excess of 200lbs. Above all else our consistent results are the backbone of Catfish Capers, and this is really what sets us apart from the pack. For example, fishing with us during the Summer you can typically you can expect between 8-25 fish per group per day. Our best ever was 102 cats (35 over the ton) in a single day with a single group. Insane!
In 2008 the “Jolly Fisherman” was opened, bringing all the sociability of a good pub, along with the dining options of a decent restaurant. To this day Martin still acts as the chef, since he’s just not willing to risk standards dropping. He also watches the catch results like a hawk!
Martin’s unique sense of humour has, by his own admission, made him a “bit like marmite – you will love me or hate me!” He doesn’t bite, but has been known to growl! At the end of the day we feel he’s one of the sport’s great characters, and the main reason why Catfish Capers is still here 20 years later.
Martin has a team of guides working for him now, he tends to play a more behind the scenes role managing the business. He still makes regular appearances on the bankside however. What nobody can deny, with 20 years of running a successful guiding operation with 1000’s of clients consistently catching dream fish, he must be doing something right!
Moving forward, we’re aiming to improve every aspect of your fishing holiday, building on the solid foundations of the past. The focus is now on improving accommodation to make your stay more comfortable and streamline our communications so as to make organising your stay easier. As our slogan says: