Diving: an impressive encounter with catfish

Diving with catfish

This afternoon, my friend Alain offers me to come and dive with him at the Croisette. I’m happy to meet Alain and Didier for this dive. As soon as I arrive, the two friends suggest that we go diving  and search a catfish.

They know that I never saw this strange animal during my many cold water dives. We don’t make an appointment with nature. But still, diving offers this incredible opportunity to always be able to face new things.

We look forward to dive with a catfish and therefore set this goal for the dive of the day. Although I must admit that I have never been in a hurry to find myself face to face with this impressive fish.

I just returned from a crazy weekend at the Paris Dive Show so I laugh to put on my louboutins. What do you mean, the red underneath is missing?
Hélène se prépare à plonger avec les silures à la Croisette
Mes “louboutins” version plongée | © Different Dive

Diving

The water is not yet too cold (8 degrees). What a joy to be in this environment that I love so much.

I try to go down  but a few meters away my ears say “no.” Fifteen days before, I caught a bad flu and it seems that it left some slag. I’m about to give up because I never want to push on my  ears.

[ To discover: 6 tips to protect your ears while diving 

Finally, as if by magic, the pressure balances. Thank you life!

Plonger avec les silures à la Croisette permet aussi de plonger dans les vestiges de l'histoire
Vestiges de l’exploitation | © Different Dive

The visibility is very correct and I can once again admire the remnants of the past of the business. A few crayfish and other fish greet our passage. Alain and I have fun taking selfies underwater. Life is beautiful.

Hélène et Alain en mode Selfie
Avec Alain en mode sérieux | © Different Dive

Suddenly, the other buddy call us with the help of large movements with the beams of his torch. I suspect he has found the catfish so I run towards him.

Diving with catfish: the encounter

There are not three, but one. And it looks beautiful and really big (I’ll learn later that it was the little one).

Wow, I’m in awe.

The catfish with its rounded and flat head, its large whiskers and its body ending like that of an eel is there in front of me.

He evolves quietly towards me and does not seem to be bored by our presence.

Deux plongeurs suivent le silure
Face à face | © Different Dive

As I want to take a picture of it, I point my torch at it, but he makes a sudden side move. I understand that it is bothered by the light and leaves my lamp aside.

The catfish will walk us for about ten minutes quietly around the quarry while staying at a constant depth of 18 meters. It has no stability problems. It emanates from him a calmness and tranquility that makes me totally disconnected from everything else. From above, I imagine it’s a shark and I’m somewhere in the warm, exotic waters that are home to many large predators. For a moment, I almost believe it.

While I thought I was a little uncomfortable with this dive, I came out of it positively impressed.

What a wonderful experience.

Hélène Adam lorsqu'elle est à la Croisette pour plonger avec les silures
OK | © Different Dive

Diving with catfish: a few recommendations

Like any dive with animals, it is necessary to know a little about the species in order to be able to approach it without disturbing it. That’s the whole point of bio diving.

Did you say catfish?

The catfish is a freshwater fish without scales up to 150 kg and measure 2.70 meters (the record in France is 2.74 meters. Usually it measures about 1.5 meters and weighs much less than 150 kg.

Rather solitary, this large omnivorous fish usually lives in deep waters and is not afraid of polluted environments. It enjoys the rich and peaceful waterways at the expense of the clear and vivid waters where he does not stay. For example, many catfish are present in the Tarn or in the Seine in Paris. The catfish is voracious.

Un silure entre un plongeur et moi
Entre lui et moi | © Different Dive

Namely:

  • The catfish is almost blind: avoid putting your lamps in it’s tiny eyes
  • It has very small teeth, which makes it harmless to humans.
  • If it likes to catch a rat or other pigeons, the catfish eats a lot of trash. So it’s better not to eat it.
  • Sometimes accused of threatening ecosystems, it seems that its presence is regulating the population of other voracious fish.

The video

Do you like diving with catfish? Have you ever done that?

Tell me in a comment below. I would be happy to talk to you.

And most importantly, don’t forget to be happy 🤗

Hélène

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