Italy’s River Po has done it again. Last week, MADCAT pro staffer Alessandro Biancardi caught a 9-foot-long wels catfish that will likely replace the IGFA world length record for the species. The monster wels measured 285 centimeters (9 feet, 4.2 inches) in length and stands to beat out the existing record by just 4 centimeters, or about an inch and a half.
Biancardi is a veteran catfish angler who has targeted wels for more than two decades. He landed his potential new record after a more than 40-minute battle while fishing solo in an aluminum jonboat. The giant fish ate a soft-plastic paddletail fished on a jighead.
“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,” Biancardi wrote in a blog post. “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.
“I tried gloving its mouth two or three times, but it was still too strong,” he wrote. “I decided to go in shallow water trying to land it from shore, and after few tries, I managed to land it! I tied the fish to let him recover from the long fight then I suddenly realized that the boat was not anchored, and it was going away in the current. I was forced to have a swim to recover it with all my stuff.”
Biancardi then called some friends from a nearby fish camp to come help him get a good measurement on the beast. After taking measurements, the fish was released. Without a weight, it will not be considered for the all-tackle world record, which stands at 297 pounds, 9 ounces for a fish caught from the Po back in 2010.
For more, go to https://madcat-fishing.com.