11 Year Old British Girl Hauls In 9 Ft, 193 Lb. Record Catfish
There should only have been one winner. On the riverbank was Jessica Wanstall, 4ft 10in tall weighing less than six stone (84lb) and something of a tiddler among anglers.
In the river was a monster, a near 9ft catfish that hit the scales at a record 13st 8lb (193lb).
But despite its size and whiskery age, the fish was no match for the skills of 11-year-old Jessica who waged a 20-minute battle to land her prize.
Jessica, from Sittingbourne, Kent, hooked the fish during a trip with her father to the Ebro River in North-East Spain. She said: ‘I didn’t realise just how big it was until I saw the photos afterwards. I look tiny next to it.
‘My dad thought it was going to be a small one and I told him it didn’t feel small when I picked up the rod. It was really hard work pulling it in and my arms turned to jelly.
‘My dad helped lift it on to the bank and I just laughed when I saw it. It was massive.’
Her father Mark, a 49-year-old engineer, helped return the catfish to the river after his daughter’s triumph was photographed.
He said: ‘Jessica normally catches tiddlers but just loves a day’s fishing.
‘As the fish got near we could see how big it was. Then its tail came out of the water and it looked like the Loch Ness Monster. Everybody on the bank was gasping. I’m so proud of her.’
And so he should be.
According to the International Game Fish Association, Jessica has set a world record for a freshwater fish caught by an angler aged 16 and under.
‘Her catfish easily outweighs the previous record - a 120lb Nile perch caught at Murchison Fall, Uganda, in July 2000,' a spokesman said.
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