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What a whopper! Dales angler lands monster catfish
A DALES angler reeled in a monster catfish weighing a whopping 169lbs while on holiday.
Mark Billington, of Sedbergh, hooked the catch-of-a-lifetime on a two-day fishing trip on the Ebro River in Spain.
On the first day the 38-year-old hobby fisherman caught a brace of catfish tipping the scales at 21 and 50lb.
But day two took a dramatic turn when there was a rapid hit on his mullet baited line.
The father-of-two, who was on holiday with his partner Anne Benville, said: “The fish tore off on a 150 yard run and had to be followed by the boat.”
Mr Billington said once the boat was positioned over the gargantuan fish it took him three quarters of hour to drag it into his boat.
“Once its head reached the water surface I could see the size of it. It was a bit of a shock. It was really exhilarating to see it and have it on my lap, it weighed 12 stone.”
His catch has been ranked as one of the top ten ever caught in the lower part of the Ebro River – the largest being 188lbs.
Once Mr Billington had posed for a few pictures with his catch he let it swim back into the open water.
“My children were absolutely thrilled for me,” said Mr Billington, who works for JMP Foodservice.
“They know how excited I get when I catch something so they were all very pleased for me.”