1 Université de Toulouse, UPS, INP, EcoLab (Laboratoire Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement), 118, Route de Narbonne, F-31062 Toulouse, France
2 CNRS, EcoLab, F-31062 Toulouse, France
3 EPIDOR (Etablissement Public Interdépartemental Dordogne), Place de la laïcité, 24250 Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, France
We filmed and analysed, in natural and field conditions, behaviours of large-bodied European catfish (Silurus glanis) individuals (body size ranging from 80 to 220 cm) exposed to a hook baited with 20 cm-long Carassius spp. Among a total of 95 individuals observed, 80 % of the catfish clearly demonstrated interest in the bait but attacks were performed only 25 % of the time and only 12.5 % of fish were hooked. More than half of the individuals (55 %) were observed swimming toward the bait and then turning around or tasting it without performing any attacks. These observations showed that individual fish motivation and behaviour are important factors in determining whether European catfish are attracted to bait and eventually hooked.
Keywords: Bait, fishing, predation, river, top predator, video.
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