Italian Angler’s Whale of a Catfish is Just Short of World Record

   02.24.15

Italian angler Dino Ferrari is no stranger to large wels catfish, but the one he caught last Thursday was big enough to send his team scrambling to see if it broke any records. Unfortunately for Ferrari, his massive 280-pound catfish came just short of the current world record, which according to the International Game Fish Association, belongs to a 297-pound, nine-ounce wels taken by Attila Zsedely in 2010. Like Ferrari’s catch, that fish also came from the Po Delta in Italy. A hasty measurement of the fish found it to be just under nine feet in length.

The large catfish may not unseat the all-tackle record, but Ferrari’s sponsor, Sportex Italia, is currently investigating whether the fish could qualify for a different record based on the rod and line the angler used. At just 17 pounds and nine ounces short of the world record, Ferrari’s catch is still one of the largest wels ever caught on a spinning rod.

Wels catfish are some of the largest freshwater fish in the world, and they have appetites to match. There have been stories of anglers or swimmers who suddenly find themselves pulled under by an inquisitive catfish, and reports of wels surging out of the water to eat pigeons and ducks. In the wild, these unruly catfish can grow up to 12 feet long.

Ferrari was able to release the fish successfully with the help of his brother and fellow angler, Dario Ferrari.

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