This is a picture of the biggest ever fish caught on a pole.
The 132lb wels catfish is believed to be one of the first triple figure fish to be landed on a pole after it was banked by an extreme French angler called Sebnash. Incredibly, just days earlier he had banked a 112lb specimen on his 13m pole.
The 31-year-old adrenaline junkie specialises in catching huge carp and catfish on extra-heavy pole gear and his latest personal best from a gravel pit in the Champagne region of France was no exception.
“The fight was not as long as you would expect because the elastic and pole was very strong, so it only took 20 to 30 minutes. When the fish is quiet we get in the water, take it by the mouth and get it on the mat,” he said. “At first it was hard to land catfish on the pole so eventually I started using stronger hooks and 75kg braid. When you hook the fish you have to lift the pole and get off the seatbox. Then you walk backwards so you have the maximum pressure to pull on the fish. If you let the catfish get the upper-hand it will break the braid or the elastic.”
Seb fed his special catfish ‘soup’, which consisted of dog biscuits, a mix of 2mm to 20mm pellets and some additives. He then fished a large piece of paste on a size 2 hook with a 0.5g homemade float over the top. And to control each catfish he needed two strands of 6mm diameter latex elastic - the thickest available - through three sections of his pole.
A slightly scaled-down set up has also seen him slip the net under carp to 57lb and sturgeon to 62lb.
“It’s more fun and much more exciting!” he said when asked why he prefers a long length of carbon to fight specimen-sized fish as opposed to a rod. “You have no reel so you can’t give the fish any line. A rod is too easy!” he joked.
Bigger and bigger fish are now being landed on pole tackle. Earlier this year, Garbolino’s Jason Le Bosquet recorded the largest pole-caught fish in the UK when he managed to get the better of a 64lb 4oz sturgeon from Lindholme Lakes.