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Huge Catfish Caught by Italian Fisherman Breaks World Record

Huge Catfish Caught by Italian Fisherman Breaks World Record

A fisherman in Italy has reeled in a catfish that measured 9 feet long and weighed more than 300 pounds, setting a new world record for the largest freshwater fish ever caught.

Massimo Mondini was fishing on the Po River near Mantua on June 8 when he hooked the giant fish, which he said took him more than an hour to land. He used a rod and reel with a 100-pound test line and a carp bait.

“It was an incredible fight. The fish was very strong and it kept diving to the bottom of the river,” Mondini told Fox News. “I had to be very careful not to break the line or lose the fish.”

Mondini said he was assisted by his friend Dino Ferrari, who is also a professional fisherman and holds the previous world record for the largest catfish caught on rod and reel, at 8 feet 9 inches and 280 pounds.

“We are both very passionate about fishing and we have been chasing this record for a long time,” Mondini said. “We are very happy and proud of this achievement.”

The catfish was identified as a wels catfish, a species native to Europe and Asia that can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh over 400 pounds. They are known for their voracious appetite and ability to swallow prey whole.

Mondini said he released the fish back into the river after taking measurements and photos, as required by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), which certifies world records for fishing.

“We respect the fish and the environment, so we always practice catch and release,” Mondini said. “We hope that someone else will have the chance to catch this fish again in the future.”

The IGFA has not yet confirmed Mondini’s record, but said it is reviewing his application.

“We are aware of this catch and we are currently processing the record claim,” said Jack Vitek, IGFA’s world records coordinator. “It certainly looks like a very impressive fish.”

Mondini said he plans to continue fishing for catfish and other species on the Po River, which he described as “a paradise for anglers.”

“There are many big fish in this river, not only catfish but also carp, pike, zander and sturgeon,” Mondini said. “It’s a beautiful place to fish and enjoy nature.”

This article is based on this report from Fox News.

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