It took almost 45 minutes to reel the fish in
An Italian fisherman has caught a world-record breaking catfish, after reeling in an absolute monster measuring 2.85m (9ft 4 1/4 in).
The staggering fish was caught by angler Alessandro Biancardi in the river Po in northern Italy, after an epic battle lasting 43 minutes.
To give you a sense of the size of this river monster, the tallest person ever recorded measured 8ft 11in.
Speaking about his fishing achievement, Biancardi told the Daily Mail: “When it surfaced for the first time, I really realised that I had 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 had ever seen in 23 years.”
He said that the titanic catfish seemed stunned that Biancardi had managed to catch him, and it “stood still for some seconds before starting a very complicated fight.”
Biancardi continued: “I tried gloving its mouth two-three times, but it was still too strong.
“[So] I decided to go in shallow water trying to land it from shore.”
And, after a lengthy struggle with his aquatic opponent, Biancardi “managed to land it.”
Although he managed to have it measured, the fisherman decided not to weigh the beast due to fear that it would be too distressing for the fish.
So, he decided to release it back into the water, giving other anglers the opportunity to also try and land the fish.
He explained: “I was very curious about the weight but I feared [it would] stress the rare specimen too much, so I decided to safely release it, hoping it could give another angler the same joy he gave me.”
Biancardi is a professional fisherman who competes with the MADCAT fishing team.
The team say the hulking fish will break the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) all-tackle world record for length.
But it won’t be able to count for the official world record, which was 40 cm smaller and also pulled from the river Po. This is because Biancardi released the fish back.
He will have one record to his name though, as it qualifies for the IGFA’s catch-and-release world record, and beats this by just four centimetres.