Frenchman Christophe Dubreuil has obliterated the world Wels catfish record with the capture of a 246lb 14oz specimen from Spain’s River Ebro.
The huge predator, which measured 250cm long and is the largest coarse fish ever caught on rod and line anywhere in Europe, beats the previous catfish record by more than 20lb and fell to a large pellet hookbait fished from the boat of French guide Claude Valette operating out of Mequinenza.
“The fight was long and hard, which indicated it was a big fish.
“Once it was beaten it took me six attempts to get a good enough hold of its lower jaw to glove it out. It was so heavy I needed Christophe’s help to bring the fish on to the boat,” guide Claude told Angling Times.
In the past there have been plenty of claims relating to the capture of bigger European cats, including a rumoured 674lb, 405cm fish from the Dniepr River in Russia, but hard evidence has been thin on the ground.
Well-travelled English big-fish angler Joe Taylor, who owns popular Bicester, Oxon, outlet J&K Tackle, said: “This is a truly huge specimen.
“The biggest cat I’ve ever seen was one estimated at around 3m in length which had been electrocuted by commercial fishermen while a group of us were fishing in Uzbekistan.”
l The capture of the monster Ebro fish and its subsequent weighing was all caught on video and witnessed by numerous anglers and the employees of other local guiding services.
For more details, log on to Claude’s guiding service at www.webcarp.com/claudevalette or call 00 34 974 464 622.
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