Angler Who Caught Monster Catfish Explains Why He’s Turning Down the Record
A British angler who recently caught a record-breaking catfish has no interest in actually making it to the record books. Instead, he’s just thrilled with the accomplishment itself.
Tomas Marcinkevicius caught the wels catfish—a species native to large swaths of central, southern, and eastern Europe—from the Willowcroft Fishery catch and release pond in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire last month. The monster weighed in at a whopping 133 pounds, smashing the current record of a 62 pounder caught from Withy Pool in 1997 by more than double.
The British Record Fish Committee had previously suspended record-taking for the species back in October 2000 amid concerns of people importing fish. However, in November 2023 the committee readmitted wels catfish for record contention due to the self-sustaining population growing to large enough sizes that importing was no longer a concern.
In an interview with Angling Times, Marcinkevicius recalled the moment he “hooked the big one.” At least initially, he didn’t realize what a catch he had on the line.
“I don’t think it knew what was going on at first,” he told the publication. “But when it reached my bank, it charged off to the other side of the lake. I saw its tail slap the water’s surface and knew it was a bit special.” As to why he’s uninterested in the record, Marcinkevicius said: “It’d be nice, but I already know of larger U.K. cats that’ve been caught. I’m just happy with the fish, which I’ve named Tom Cat!”
But while landing a 133 pound catch is certainly an accomplishment, Marcinkevicius has hooked some other giants this winter, which is notable considering the species tends to be more active in warmer months. “The weekend prior I visited Crow Green Fishery in Essex, where I landed a [119 pound personal best] plus 30 other cats,” he explained. “I didn’t think I’d beat that, but little did I know.”
The world record for a wels catfish is currently 297 pounds, 9 ounces. According to the International Game Fish Association, that fish was caught by Attila Zsedely in the Po River in Italy, the longest in the country, on March 11, 2010.