A man from Ivybridge has caught a monster Wels catfish while fishing at a lake in West Devon.
Chris Flook caught the 72lb 2oz (32.6kg) catfish, also called ‘sheatfish,’ from the Specimen Carp Lake at Anglers Paradise in Beaworthy near Exeter.
Owner of fishing and holiday location Anglers Paradise, Zyg Gregorek told Plymouth Live he believes it is the biggest Wels Catfish born and bred in the UK, as opposed to being imported in.
Mr Gregorek said: “Chris Flook from Ivybridge in Devon [caught] his biggest ever Wels Catfish at 72lb 2oz from the Specimen Carp Lake at Anglers Paradise.
“I believe this is the biggest Wels Catfish born and bred in the UK which is one of the offspring of our original stocking in the early 90s following a long fight with MAFF [Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food] to get official permission to stock them.”
He added: “The original fish were stocked as 10″ babies which were born in the UK. A couple of original fish are now over 100lbs.”
Mr Gregorek said Mr Flook has been fishing at Angler’s Paradise for ‘donkey’s years’ and he, and the staff, are delighted with his new massive catch.
The Wels catfish is a large species of freshwater catfish, usually native to central, southern and eastern Europe and is thought to have a potential total length of 5m and a maximum weight of 660lb (300 kg), according to Fishbase.