PARK lakes can often hold many surprises, but none can be bigger than this giant 122lb catfish landed by Phil Spinks from Diss Mere in Norfolk.
The monster fish, one of the biggest ever catfish landed in the UK, was caught during an Angling Direct product shoot by Phil and cameraman Chris Ansell. Taking well over an hour to tame on the carp tackle it was hooked on.
Originally setting out to catch the venue’s carp, Phil tackled up with 10ft 3lb test curve rods and Shimano entry level bait-runners loaded with 12lb line, which was tested to the max when around midday the enormous fish struck…
“The fight was incredible. Every time we brought it closer, it would shoot back out across the lake,” Phil tells us.
“We had to keep swapping the rod between us to keep our breath, the whole time with a large audience gathering to see just what we had hooked.”
Fortunately, realising what Phil was attached to, the owner of Diss Angling Centre was soon on hand to provide the correct equipment to deal with such a large creature.
“If we hadn’t had the catfish unhooking kit brought down, we would have just had to unhook the fish in the net. We had nothing to deal with something of this size,” Phil said.
Stocked illegally, the impressive fish was not returned to the lake but rehomed at a specialist catfish fishery by the Environment Agency.
A representative from Diss and District Angling Club told us:
“The fish was introduced to the lake without the club’s knowledge a few years back. Once we became aware it was in there, we were under strict instructions from the EA that should it be caught they must be contacted, as we have no licence for the species.”