What started out as some friendly angling competition between two life-long friends eventually ended in a two back-to-back catches of world-record fish. According to the Daily Mail, the retirees from the United Kingdom each hooked what are believed to be record-setting albino wels catfish. Of course, one of the records only lasted about an hour. Tom Herron and John Edwards were fishing in the River Segre in Spain when their group was surprised by not one, but two massive fish.
“From when you arrive in Barcelona you spend 18 hours a day, six days a week, on the river bank,” Herron recalled. “From early morning you can fish until midnight.”
During their trip the anglers caught and released a number of catfish, but none were as exciting as the brace of albinos that they hooked on September 23. Edwards was the first to make a catch, landing a seven-foot, 11-inch catfish that weighed 209 pounds. By just three pounds, Edwards broke the world record held by a 206-pound wels caught also in Spain by British angler Bernie Campbell. Edwards’ fight had barely ended when Herron hooked the second one.
“But when they were photographing his catch my rod started to go, and I said ‘I’ve got a big fish here, I don’t know what it was—but it’s one big fish,'” Herron told the Western Morning News.
The anglers had already been on the beach for eight hours in fierce competition, but it took 40 minutes more for Herron to one-up his friend’s new record. Astoundingly, the angler pulled up an eight-foot, one-inch behemoth that weighed 221 pounds, handily usurping Edwards’ world record.
“When its head came out of the water I thought ‘Crikey, it’s enormous, about a metre wide,'” Herron told the Daily Mail.
You can see photos of the fish below:
Albino and partially albino catfish are considered very rare, and as such are prized fish. It is believed that the albinism, which is genetic, may be influenced by heavy metals in the water where the fish is born. Therefore some waterways are well-known among catfish enthusiasts to sport albino catfish, especially since many anglers decide to release the fish afterwards. Herron and Campbell say that they and their guides made sure that the fish were released without incident.