A fisherman caught a catfish that may very well be the largest ever in the Po River, beating the previous world record by an inch. Video evidence of the catch has taken aback many in the fishing community who had no idea that a catfish could grow to such a gargantuan size. The giant fish is a glimpse into a world that many thought to be long gone, as overfishing takes over many bodies of water.
The catfish, weighing in at a massive 330 pounds, was too much for the angler to hold while out of the water, so he was forced to dip into the river to take a picture with his prize catch. That fisherman was Allessandro Biancardi, an Italian who is a member of the MADCAT professional fishing team. The team released a statement along with Biancardi to celebrate the catch.
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Biancardi described his catch in great detail in a story reminiscent in many ways of Moby Dick. He said, “In silence I approached the first spot and after few casts a powerful bite arrived, the fish stood still some seconds before starting a very complicated fight, between strong currents and a lot of submerged obstacles.” Little did he know, this battleground would be where his fishing career would finally be launched into the worldwide spotlight.
After a long arduous fight, the end came nearer to Biancardi, who began to tire the giant. He said, “I calmly managed to fight what I felt to be a prehistoric fish. I followed it for 40 endless minutes, when it surfaced for the first time, I really realized that I hooked a monster, adrenaline started pumping hard and the fear of losing it almost sent me into a panic, I was alone facing the biggest catfish I ever seen in 23 years.”
The giant was never officially weighed. Given the stress of the battle and the prolonged time that it was forced to stay on land to be measured, Biancardi felt that it would do too much damage to keep the fish out of water any long, saying, “I was very curious about the weight but I feared to stress too much that rare specimen so I decided to safely release it, hoping it could give another angler the same joy he gave to me.”
That spirit of passing on the joy to another angler is part of what has made the sport of fishing so popular. Sure, Biancardi possesses incredible skills. That doesn’t mean, however, that some other hobbyists would not be able to catch the fish. And, next time, that same fish may be big enough to break its own record. No doubt, the Po River will be flooded with fishermen in the coming weeks as they try their hand at reeling in the monster that has taken over the fishing world.
Featured image: Screen shot from embedded video.
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