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Beginners Luck


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November 24, 2006







Possibly the biggest case of beginner’s luck in angling

Lewis Smith



When Carl Smith hooked his first catfish, it took two friends to hold him back as the 226lb (102kg), 8ft (2.4m) monster tried to turn the tables and instead drag him into the River Ebro in Spain.

“The force of the initial tug practically sent me crashing to the ground,” Mr Smith said. “Its mouth, with rows of sharp teeth, made it look like a man-eating shark.”


The battle to land the giant fish, which beat the European record by 2lb, took the school caretaker from Owestry 35 minutes. The catfish, a European wels, was then weighed, measured and held for a photograph — just in case anyone questioned this fisherman’s tale. “We christened him Jaws and released him back in the water,” said Mr Smith, pictured holding the tail.


European wels catfish are common in lakes and rivers in Spain, Italy and Greece, but generally reach a weight of 80lb to 100lb and about 3ft in length. They are reputed to eat anything which can fit in their huge mouths.

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