THE biggest coarse fish ever landed in Britain on rod and line has been taken from a popular day-ticket complex.
Keen specimen angler Adi White had been targeting Northamptonshire’s Bluebell Lakes complex when he hauled out the mammoth catfish that is estimated to have weighed over 120lb.
After selecting a renowned spot on Swan Lake, the Leicestershire-based rod decided to present a 15mm glugged CC Moore Meteor pop-up boilie 12 inches off the bottom and received a take on the first night of a four-day session. Not long into the battle, unfortunately the hook pulled, leaving Adi to reset the traps in the hope of another run. Shortly afterwards he was given a second chance following another violent take, and spent over an hour coaxing it into net.
“I always fish one rod for catfish when I’m at the venue, and when it screamed off I instantly knew it was my target species,” explained Adi.
“When I set the hook it was like a dead weight and it took a long time to even move it off the bottom before it began to strip line. It was then a case of very slowly drawing it towards me. Once in the net, a friend and I tried to lift it from the water but it was so heavy it was a real struggle. It was at this point we realised I could have landed the country’s biggest coarse fish.”
Although its true weight will never be known, he believes the specimen could have broken the 120lb barrier said: “The dial on the scales went past 110lb but it was too big to fit in the sling and a large part of its tail lay on the matt. It will always be a mystery but it’s a catch I’ll never forget,” he added.
Venue boss Tony Bridgefoot has removed a number of big catfish in recent years but was confident a triple figure specimen was still there for the taking. He said: “I always knew a fish of this size was possible and I think it will continue to pack on the weight quickly. Adi didn’t have any way of retaining the fish safely so that it could be rehomed and it was released back into Swan Lake to fight another day.”