‘Monster’ albino wels catfish may be largest ever caught


British angler Bernie Campbell just fulfilled a seven-year goal of catching a rare albino wels catfish, but little did he dream that when he finally hooked one and landed it, he would also land a world's record along with it!

This whopper comes in at around 2.5 metres long, and tips the scales at over 93 kilograms. It isn't officially the world's largest just yet, but according to the UK Daily Mail, that's roughly 4.5 kg more than the albino catfish caught by fellow Briton Phil Hilton in 2012.

"We have had two or three big albino catfish out of the river, but none that has topped 200 pounds," said John Deakin from CatMaster Tours, according to the UK Daily Mail. "Albino catfish of that size are very rare indeed. This is the biggest we've ever seen. It was a very special fish."

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According to anglers, the albino wels catfish is very rare and especially sought after as trophy fish. Albinism is a rare genetic condition that affects all species of vertebrate (those with a backbone), resulting in a lack of melanin in their body, and thus they have no colouration in their skin, hair or fur, and eyes.

Campbell told the Daily Mail that he'd been traveling to Spain for seven years to catch catfish, but although it had always been a goal to catch an albino one, they'd eluded him until now. It took him a 'shattering' 30 minutes of fighting to get the fish on shore, during which, he said, it nearly pulled him into the water four times. Once he'd reeled it in, though, and had his unbelievable experience, as well as both photographic evidence and an official weigh-in of the monster, he did the honourable thing and let the catfish go.

"The record could stand for 10 minutes or it could stand for 10 years," he told the Daily Mail. "But for me it’s going to take a long time to beat this fish."

(Photos courtesy: Bernie Campbell/CatMaster Tours)

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