Spain’s River Ebro, one of the biggest and best-known rivers in Europe, is famous for its huge wels catfish that can weigh 100 pounds or more, and stretch several feet long.
Catching one that size is not common, so when fishing guide Ben Hervey-Murray landed a personal record while fishing solo Tuesday night, he quickly let the world know via Twitter.
“Had a proper Ebro monster this evening,” Hervey-Murray tweeted.
A monster, indeed. The accompanying photos are of Hervey-Murray with his first trophy wels catfish that weighed 100 pounds and stretched 6 feet long. A friend helped him lift the fish for one photo. Incredible.
“The river conditions are now perfect for the wels to start feeding heavily before spawning takes place, and I strongly fancied a shallow area just off some snags in one of our private swims to produce a catfish [Tuesday] night,” Hervey-Murray wrote in an email to GrindTV Outdoor.
In an area he christened Area 51 for all the baitfish that fly out of the water, Hervey-Murray noticed the big tail of a wels catfish as it chased baitfish just before dark. He tossed a dead baitfish on a tuna hook toward the feeding fish, and the fish took the bait.
“I was fishing from the riverbank,” he wrote. “This can make things tricky with the bigger fish as they just set off downstream and are fairly unstoppable, but I managed to turn this one before it got too far. Then the technique for landing them involves grasping their lower jaw, which takes some [guts] with the big ones as they have strong jaws and lots of tiny teeth.”
Twenty minutes later, he managed to do just that, dragging the monster catfish onto shore. Friends and fellow guides helped with the photos, weighing, and release of the fish.
“It was an incredible fight,” Hervey-Murray wrote, adding that they are hoping for bigger wels catfish in the coming weeks for his fishing clients “as the river comes into form.”
“It’s a great start to the summer!” he wrote.
Photos courtesy of Ben Hervey-Murray.