Catfish in Italy’s Po Delta are known for their incredible size—if not their appealing taste. With some specimens growing up to 4 meters in length, weighing upwards of 868 pounds (approx. 394 kg), this is the spot for ambitious anglers who are out to set new records.
That’s just what Dino Ferrari did while he and his twin brother were out on a fishing excursion one day in February 2015. It’s rare enough to catch a catfish over 2 meters in length. On that day, Dino hooked a monster 2.67-meter-long wels catfish that weighed a colossal 280 pounds (approx. 127 kg).
At the time, this was considered to be the biggest catfish ever caught by rod and reel—though not the largest ever to find dry land.
The fight between Dino and the monster catfish lasted around 40 minutes, Dino told CNN in an interview. Dino had no plans of having a catfish feast—they have a ravenous appetite and will eat practically anything, even swallowing pigeons whole sometimes; after reeling in the behemoth, Dino, a bus mechanic by trade, took some pictures to memorialize the catch before releasing the giant back into its watery habitat—he made the record-setting catch, and he’s got the pics to prove it.
Yet, the size of the beast was so incredible that some speculated on its authenticity. Thankfully, we have the video that makes it all but undeniable. Your jaw will drop when you see it.
However, Dino Ferrari isn’t the only record-setting angler from Italy!
Catfish fishing expert Yuri Grisendi has spent years capturing some of the world’s largest examples of the fish he loves so much, reeling in absolute monsters to measure up before releasing them back into their habitat.
He has a number of different methods for catching his fish, but this one—using a thin, diminutive fishing rod to catch one of the largest catfish he’s ever seen—might take the cake!
Grisendi was filmed for his show, Catfish World, pulling what ended up being a nearly 300-pound (approx. 136-kilogram) beast out from the water using nothing more than the tiny-seeming fishing rod he had on him.
He had to put both hands on it to manage to hold on, dealing with the absolutely massive catch in order to show off just how giant the internationally located fish could get.
It’s not the largest catfish on record, and it pales in comparison to the incredibly rare Mekong giant catfish found near China, but it’s sure on up there!