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Giant Mandarin catfish falls to a spinning rod

Mequinenza. At the start of February, Quantum sponsored angler Fredrik Harbort landed a fish that will surely send shock waves across the country. Fredrik was a guest at the angling resort and met up with his friend Thomas Axthaler for a day to fish for winter catfish in Spain’s river Segre.
With Thomas’ new guiding drift boat, the duo was able to target many parts of the river that had long been unfished. Winter is an unusual time for active spinning in fast flowing water. However, the anglers hoped the warm weather conditions in Spain would allow them to hook an active winter catfish.
In the first hour alone, Fredrik managed to land two fish measuring around 150 cm. A few more hours passed before, suddenly, the little rubber pontoon boat lurched into life on a fast-flowing outside bend of the river. A monster fish had taken the Black Cat Mullet Shad and remained almost motionless in its pool. For around ten minutes, the fish was seemingly oblivious to the fact it had been hooked. It was only when Fredrik used the two-metre Black Cat Silu spinning rod and size 40 Fin-Nor Inshore reel loaded with 0.41 mm braid to apply maximum pressure that the fish appeared to realize the seriousness of the situation.
The 45-minute battle and associated physical exertion that ensued left both men shaking. Several times the fish disappeared into vegetation, pulling the rubber boat up and down the Segre. At the first opportunity, Fredrik grabbed hold of the fish and was almost pulled from the boat. Finally, using both hands, the fish was immobilized and taken ashore for a photo.
At a giant length of 251 cm, the Mandarin catfish was not only the largest of its kind to be landed with a spinning rod but also possibly the unofficial record for a catfish in this coloration. According to the angler, both men on the boat still had goosebumps for hours after the catch. It was a day neither will forget since Mandarin catfish are extremely rare and even catching a smaller specimen is a highlight in the life of a catfish angler.