A fisherman in Italy got the catch of his life a few weeks ago after reeling in what is believed to be the largest catfish ever caught.
Allessandro Biancardi, a member of MADCAT fishing team, was out fishing solo on the Po River on May 25 when he got a powerful bite on his line beneath the muddy waters.
After following the fish for around 40 minutes, it finally surfaced and Biancardi finally got a glimpse of what he had hooked: What he called a “prehistoric monster.”
“Adrenaline started pumping hard and the fear of losing it almost sent me into a panic. I was alone facing the biggest catfish I ever seen in 23 years.”
He attempted to get his hands in the beast’s mouth to drag it in, but the fish and the current of the river were too strong. So he decided to get to shallower waters and attempt to pull in his massive haul from the shore.
Despite putting up quite the fight, the angler was finally able to get the catfish securely on dry land – but he almost lost his boat in the process:
“I tied the fish to let him recover from the long fight then I suddenly realized that the boat was not anchored, and it was going away in the current. I was forced to have a swim to recover it with all my stuff.”
Well all that work turned out to be worth it. When it came time for the official measurement, the massive catfish clocked in at 9 foot, 4 inches long and weighed 330 pounds. It’s the longest catfish ever recorded, beating the previous world record by over an inch.
“I was sure that the fish I caught was special, but I never imagined what would happen next when we measured the fish on the mat. Under the incredulous eyes of many anglers, the meter stopped at 285 cm (9 feet, 4 inches), it was the new world record catfish!”
But there’s good news for anybody out there looking to break the record: After getting the feat recorded, Biancardi safely released the catfish back out into the river…so maybe it’ll grow another inch or two before it’s caught again, and somebody else can claim the world record the next time they reel this monster in.