The biggest Wels catfish ever caught by a British angler has been taken by Jon Avery in the form of this 245lb specimen from the River Segre in Spain.
The colossal fish was the result of the 31-year-old Somerset-based rod’s only bite of his week session with CatMaster Tours fishing a stretch of the waterway at Mequinenza.
After locating a 14ft trench at 100yds range with the use of an echo sounder he offered four large hair-rigged halibut pellets over a couple of handfuls of freebies, and received the all-important bite on the second day.
“It didn’t scream off like you’d expect a fish of its size to do, and the only indication I had was a couple of bleeps on the alarm,” he said.
“As soon as I lifted into it, though, it felt like nothing I’d experienced before. The only way I can describe it is as if someone had tied my line to a car and driven off. It made several runs to try to reach a set of snags towards the far bank but thankfully I just about managed to stop it before it got to them. When it was around 50yds from the bank it rolled on the surface and we could all see it was a huge fish. I’ve caught catfish to 19lb in the UK but when we got this on the bank I had no idea how big it was."
The guides were all very excited though, and when we weighed it at 245lb I was delighted to hear that it was not only the biggest cat to be caught with the guiding company but also the biggest by a British angler anywhere in the world.”
Jon managed to beat the huge predator with a 100kg braid hooklink and a size 8/0 hook attached to a 75kg mainline.