A ‘monster’ catfish could be the largest ever caught at a staggering 9ft 4 1/4in tall, after an Italian fisherman wrestled with the bottom-dwelling beast for 43 minutes before finally reeling it in.
What started out as a normal day of fishing on the Po River for Alessandro Biancardi soon turned into a dream for the keen fisherman.
He managed to hook the record catch after only a few casts, but “panicked” after realizing he was facing the biggest fish of his 23-year career all alone.
The professional fisherman, who is part of the MADCAT fishing team, did not realize the scale of the wels catfish until it began to surface and he struggled to get it out of his boat and onto land.
Alessandro said that while he was curious about the weight of the giant, he did not want to distress him too much and decided to release him “in the hope that he can give another fisherman the same joy that he gave me.”
Italian fisherman Alessandro Biancardi managed to catch a record catfish in the Po River
Catch of the day! Alessandro was ecstatic as he caught his dream fish, which is over 9 feet 4 inches long.
After a recent drop in water levels following major flooding in northern Italy, Alessandro decided to take to the water last week.
Not expecting anything out of the ordinary to happen on his solo trip, the fisherman prepared for his day on the water as he normally would.
He checked his gear and said, “I always need to be 100% sure everything is in place if a dream fish decides to take my lure.”
And lo and behold, his dream came true, and he hooked a gigantic catfish that he has now shared amazing photos with on the riverbank.
Alessandro described his astonishment upon encountering the ‘prehistoric fish’, which is almost the length of two people.
“When he first surfaced I really realized I hooked a monster, the adrenaline started pumping hard and the fear of losing him almost made me panic,” he said.
“I was alone in front of the biggest catfish I’ve seen in 23 years.”
Alessandro’s battle with the big cat saw him face fast-moving water and debris in the swollen river, and even nearly lose his boat and gear when he jumped ashore to try and tow it away.
Alessandro tried to glove the monstrous fish’s mouth as he struggled to catch it for 40 minutes.
“The fish stopped for a few seconds before starting a very complicated fight,” he said.
‘I tried to glove his mouth two or three times but it was still too strong, I decided to go into shallow water trying to land from the shore and after a few tries, I managed to land!’
The fisherman then tied up the fish to recover from the long struggle, before suddenly realizing that his boat, which was not anchored, was drifting away in the current.
If a battle with a giant catfish wasn’t enough, Alessandro was forced to swim to retrieve his boat and all his belongings.
He then called his friend to help him measure the beast, as he was sure the fish was special.
Sure enough, the catfish was a record-breaker, with Alessandro and his fellow anglers hardly believing their eyes when they measured it.
The massive catfish surpasses the current IGFA world record for all length tackle by a full 40cm.
“I was very curious about the weight, but feared I would stress this rare specimen too much, so I decided to release him safely, hoping he could give another angler the same joy he gave me.”
MADCAT says the huge wels will break the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) world record for all tackle length.
It beats the current record holder, another fish taken from the Po by fisherman Attila Zsedely in 2010, by 40 cm.
Unfortunately, since Alessandro decided to throw his impressive catch, it won’t count in terms of this record.
It will, however, qualify for the IGFS catch-and-release length record, beating the previous record holder, a huge fish also caught in the Po, by four centimeters.
I am Rakesh Sharma, I associated with Elite News as an Editor, since 2021. I take care of all the news operations like content, budget, hiring and policy making.