Giant 200-Pound Catfish Caught After Fisherman's Hour-Long Battle

A giant catfish weighing over 200 pounds has been reeled in by an angler after an hour-long battle.

British angler Ditch Ballard had been fishing for carp in the River Ebro in Spain when a bend in his rod showed him that something huge was attached. He realised it was a near nine-foot catfish.

Ballard's line began "uncontrollably ripping off the reel," he said in an Instagram post describing the catch.

The angler then made the decision to jump in and untie his boat in order to concentrate on reeling in the huge fish. The catfish pulled the angler along in his boat, as he battled to bring it to the surface.

"The next hour was simply painful; as my muscles fatigued and the adrenaline wore off my body temp began to crash, and I found myself crouched in the bottom of the boat trying to hold on whilst shivering uncontrollably," Ballard said on Instagram.

Ballard noticed just how far the fish had towed him down the river. The angler was nearly a mile from shore and cold. He struggled to get his gloves on to finish the battle.

"I NEEDED this battle to be over one way or another, so I just pulled with all I had left in me," the angler said on Instagram.

Finally, the enormous catfish surfaced.

"I managed to get a hand on its jaw. I was physically and mentally exhausted but had to give one last push to secure my prize. It was the biggest battle of my fishing career, yet I wouldn't wish it on anyone," he said. "As the sun crept up a couple of hours later a harsh ground frost cloaked everything in white, I cradled this mammoth creature for a moment and wondered how I was ever going to beat it in fresh water... Thinking about it now, I'm not sure I ever want to!"

The Ebro river is known for being home to huge catfish and is known as the "catfish capital of Europe." The species found here is called the Wels catfish, which is known for growing to particularly large sizes.

It is native to central, southern and Eastern Europe, and can be found in many basins of the Baltic, Black and Caspian Seas. It is on the bucket list for many competitive anglers due to its sheer size, and the challenge it takes to reel one in.

Anglers occasionally reel in beasts of over 200 pounds, and ones weighing 80 pounds are common.

Catfish swimming
A file photo of a catfish swimming underwater. Wels Catfish can grow to huge sizes. abadonian/Getty

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