Italian catches huge wels catfish; is it a record?

Italian fisherman Dino Ferrari with his 280-pound wels catfish from the Po Delta that might be a world record. Photo from Sportex Italia Facebook page
Italian fisherman Dino Ferrari with his 280-pound wels catfish from the Po Delta. It might be a world record on rod and reel. Photo from the Sportex Italia Facebook page

Italian fisherman Dino Ferrari, an expert at catching big wels catfish, outdid himself on Thursday when he landed an enormous 280-pounder in the Po Delta, a part of the famous Po River, the longest river in Italy at more than 400 miles.

The wels catfish was put in a sling and weighed out at 280 pounds. Photo is from Sportex Italia Facebook page
The wels catfish was put in a sling and weighed out at 280 pounds. Photo is from the Sportex Italia Facebook page

The Po River and Delta are known for massive wels catfish, but anything bigger than 6.5 feet is considered extremely rare, and this one measured 8.8 feet.

The U.K. Mirror reported that Ferrari’s fish could possibly be the world’s biggest wels catfish caught with a rod and reel, though records of this sort are difficult to confirm.

The Mirror and NT News reported that the biggest wels catfish ever recorded was a 9.1-footer from the Po Delta, but they differ on its weight—one reporting it as 308 pounds, the other as 317 pounds. The method of that catch is uncertain.

Sportex Italia, Ferrari’s sponsor, called his fish the “world record spinning torpedo,” which might mean it’s a world record for a Torpedo spinning rod made by an Italian manufacturer, though it also simply says it’s a “world record in the spin fishing for catfish.”

Regardless, Ferrari’s fish is one of the biggest wels catfish recorded in recent history.

After weighing the wels catfish, Dino and Dario Ferrari released the beast back into the Po Delta. Photo is from the Sportex Italia Facebook page
After weighing the wels catfish, Dino and Dario Ferrari released the beast back into the Po Delta. Photo is from the Sportex Italia Facebook page
Any wels catfish over 6 1/2 feet is considered extremely rare. This one was 8.8 feet. Photo from the Sportex Italia Facebook page
Any wels catfish bigger than 6.5 feet is considered extremely rare. This one was 8.8 feet. Photo from the Sportex Italia Facebook page

The wels catfish is the second-largest freshwater fish in its region, ranking behind the beluga sturgeon. The largest beluga sturgeon on record is reportedly 3,463 pounds.

Ferrari told GrindTV that the fish took an artificial bait on the surface, and the fight from a boat lasted 40 minutes.

The best part about Ferrari’s catch is that after he and his brother, Dario, weighed the fish, they released it back into the delta so it could fight again another day.

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