Now that’s a monster catfish.
Italian fisherman Dino Ferrari landed what could be a world record for wels catfish caught with rod and reel last Thursday. The 8.75-foot, 280-pound monster was caught along Italy’s Po River, in the Po Delta, as reported by Sportex Italia, Ferrari’s sponsor company.
Ferrari, with the help of his twin brother Dario, battled the behemoth for roughly 40 minutes from his boat after it took an artificial bait on the surface. After measuring and weighing the fish, and capturing a few photos and a video, he then released it back into the river.
Although Ferrari’s catch may be the biggest wels catfish ever caught with a rod and reel, it is not be the largest ever landed in either size or weight. The largest wels catfish ever recorded, also caught in the Po Delta, was 9.1 feet and weighed 297 pounds. The method by which that fish was caught is unclear.
Currently found in Central and Eastern Europe, the wels catfish can grow to extraordinary sizes (over 9 feet) depending on the habitat it is located. Within the last half century of being introduced in northern Italy, the wels has thrived in the Po River basin on a healthy appetite of annelid worms, gastropods and other fish; some larger wels have been documented eating waterfowl and other small mammals that get too close.
The Po Delta is increasingly becoming a hotspot for the large wels catfish in the country’s longest river, where a 6.5-foot wels is not an uncommon sight. As you might expect, though, Ferrari would not give up the exact location where he caught the monster.
<h2>Blue Catfish </h2>As the largest catfish species found in North America, the blue cat has long been a favorite target of freshwater anglers looking for a bullish fight to test their skill and tackle. <p></p> Blue catfish are native to the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio River basin systems - extending north into South Dakota and south into Mexico and northern Guatemala. The species has also been introduced into the eastern United States, where it has clearly flourished and grown to record size. Blue catfish frequent deep areas of large rivers and lakes, but are also found in areas with swift current, where they forage for passing food items – both alive and dead. <p></p> Preferred baits when targeting the blue catfish include live and dead herring, bluegill, bream, crawfish, blood worms, chicken livers and stink bait. Although most blue catfish are caught with bait, they can also be tricked with bucktail jigs, plastic worms and flies. <p></p> Anglers targeting blue catfish will usually present their bait on the bottom, as this is where the fish spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. Their large size, strong fights and quality meat all make the blue catfish a top freshwater game fish.