Saturday, 1 October 2011

Catfishing in Spain. CatMaster Tours Record Broken With 245lb Wels!

 All in the river together 
When I booked my trip with CatMaster Tours to fish Spain's River's Ebro and Segre back in February little did I know I would be telling this story eight months later. Myself and friend Dave enjoyed a fantastic holiday in Mequinenza last week where we were lucky enough to see and catch some very large wels catfish, but this is the story of one particular, special fish that rewrites catfishing history! Two days in to our weeks trip and fish to a huge 184lb had already been banked but that evening a true monster was about to make an appearance and it all started with a tentative little bite and just a couple of bleeps on the alarm. Upon picking up the rod and striking hard in to the fish I was met with an arm wrenching pull and a seemingly unstoppable run, braid was fast disappearing from the multiplier reel and I was forced to lock the clutch up before the fish reached the snags, as the fish stopped and turned I was able to regain some braid and I soon had the fish under control, a ten minute tug of war unfolded which can only be likened to playing a small car, the fish staying deep and out of sight before finally revealing itself a few rod lengths out. It was clear to see that this was a very big cat and I knew straight away that I was attached to one of Spain's now legendary monsters. After a couple of worrying moments where the cats huge tail slapped hard against the braid I was soon steering the fish towards the guides who were waiting to glove what would surely be a 200lb plus fish! The fish was pulled in to the waiting sling and it was at this moment we all realised just what we were dealing with, the eight foot sling was dwarfed by the fish, the cats tail hanging out the end and the sling barely stretching around the colossal belly of the beast, five of us were needed to haul the fish on to the scales where the needle swung round to a massive 245lb! I knew immediately I had broken the CatMaster Tours record by a whole 10lb and I just stood there staring at the scales in disbelief, my arms and back aching from the battle. Excitement broke out among us all and the decision to put the new record fish on a stringer overnight for photographing the next morning was made. I didn't get much sleep that night and as the sun rose in the morning we were all back at the river to see the huge fish in daylight for the first time. Under the light of the hot Spanish sun the cat looked bigger than ever and we were lucky enough to get some fantastic pictures before allowing the fish to swim away strongly and to grow even bigger for another lucky angler to catch on another day. More than a few celebratory buckets of water were thrown my way and as I stood soaked from head to toe we opened a bottle of champagne to toast what will surely be the most memorable catch of my life! As I write this, over a week later, the fish has been confirmed as the biggest wels catfish caught by a British angler! The photos have appeared in national newspapers both in the UK and in Spain and on the television on ITV1. Angling Times are featuring the story next week and BBC Somerset have been in contact with me to arrange a radio interview. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all at CatMaster Tours for an unforgettable experience and urge anyone thinking of going on a catfishing holiday to visit their website at

At 8 feet 3 inches, the cat is over 2 feet longer than I am tall!
245lb takes some lifting!

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