British angler Bernie Campbell could not be happier with his 206-pound albino wels catfish, a behemoth that may break its way into the record books. According to the Daily Mail, Campbell made the historic catch late last month near Barcelona, Spain. Along with his son, Campbell was participating in a trip by Catmaster Tours when the albino fish took his hook and battled the angler for about 30 minutes on the shores of the River Ebro.
“It was so strong it nearly pulled me in on four separate occasions,” Campbell said. “I was absolutely shattered when I landed it, but the feeling was unbelievable.”
While the wels did not come close to beating the regular world record—or even Catmaster Tours’ best, which measured 245 pounds—the large fish makes a strong contender for the albino wels category. Albino wels catfish are exceedingly rare, and large specimens are even rarer. The current world record is a 196-pound fish caught by fellow British angler Phil Hilton last year. Campbell’s catch has not been officially confirmed by any record-keeping organizations, but he is optimistic. Campbell tells the Daily Mail that he had been hunting for an albino wels for the last seven years, and is absolutely astounded that his first might be a world record.
After posing for a few quick pictures, the angler released the fish safely.
According to the International Game Fish Association, the largest wels ever taken was a 297-pound, nine-ounce monster from the River Po in Italy. The angler was Attila Zsedely, who made the catch in 2010.