For seven years, British fisherman Bernie Campbell sought to catch a rare albino wels catfish, but the odd-looking fish had always eluded him—until a recent trip on the River Ebro near Barcelona, Spain, with CatMaster Tours.
Not only did Campbell reel in the rare species, but he also caught what is believed to be a world record for the albino wels catfish, beating the previous mark by 10 pounds, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
The enormous fish weighed a whopping 206 pounds and stretched 8 feet long.
“We have had two or three big albino catfish out of the river, but none that has topped 200 pounds,” expert catfish angler and guide John Deakin of CatMaster Tours told the U.K. Daily Mail. “Albino catfish of that size are very rare indeed. This is the biggest we’ve ever seen. It was a very special fish.”
Campbell, 54, was fishing with his son Gary when he hooked into the beast, using special pellets for bait and 1,800 feet of super-strength fishing line.
“When I got the fish closer to the shore and I saw it was white, I couldn’t believe it,” Campbell told the Daily Mail. “It was so strong it nearly pulled me in on four separate occasions.”
After about 30 minutes or so, Campbell pulled the monster fish into shore where it was weighed, photographed, and released.
“I was absolutely shattered [read: exhausted] when I landed it, but the feeling was unbelievable. It was a huge fish, but when we got it on the scales I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
“It was my first albino, and it was a world record.”
The record fish surpassed by Campbell’s catch was a 196-pounder landed last year.
“The record could stand for 10 minutes or it could stand for 10 years,” he told the Daily Mail. “But for me it’s going to take a long time to beat this fish.”
Photos courtesy of CatMaster Tours Facebook page; Campbell’s son Gary appears with him in last photo
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