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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We're going to need some bigger chips to go with that! Angler reels in giant 185lb catfish by himself after friends head to the bar

By Hugo Gye

Fishing fan John Whittaker was delighted to reel in a 13-stone catfish on an angling holiday.

But he had no witnesses - because his friends had already given up for the day and headed off for a drink.

John, 45, from Stockport in Greater Manchester, had headed to the River Ebro in Spain with two pals to try and land one of the area's giant fish.

Whopper: John Whittaker landed this huge catfish on a fishing holiday in Spain

So he was over the moon to catch the 185lb whopper - but disappointed that his friends Dave Watkins and Nick Duffield had already called it a day and gone to the pub.

Luckily, angling guide Gary Sheridan rushed to the bank and helped John haul in his huge catch.

John, a manager at a building firm, said his two friends didn't believe his luck when he told them what had happened.

He said: 'When I told them what I'd caught, they were clearly under the impression it was a fisherman's tale.

'Then I took the pictures to prove it and forwarded them on they couldn't believe their eyes.

Huge: But John's mates had already given up and gone to the pub

'They really wished they'd not gone to the pub, as it was a dream fish and I might not have landed it if it had caught on their lines. It was the best day's fishing of my life - the other catfish I caught weighed 72lbs and 130lbs and I also landed a common carp weighing 45lbs.'

The River Ebro, which flows through the city of Zaragoza, is a popular destination for anglers because of its monster catfish.

Last year, blind grandmother Sheila Penfold made headlines by landing a fish even bigger than John's catch.

But both fall some way short of the world record for a freshwater catfish - a whopping 646lbs.



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