Garbo reels in record catfish: UK’s biggest freshwater catch

Darren Reitz, a sanitation worker, achieved a remarkable feat by reeling in a colossal 64.4kg (143lb) catfish, believed to be the largest freshwater fish ever caught on a rod in …

Darren Reitz, a sanitation worker, achieved a remarkable feat by reeling in a colossal 64.4kg (143lb) catfish, believed to be the largest freshwater fish ever caught on a rod in the United Kingdom.

At Chigborough Lakes nature reserve in Essex, Reitz, along with three companions, engaged in a gripping 50-minute battle to conquer the massive fish.

After 14 hours of fruitless fishing on April 27, Reitz’s luck changed when he decided to switch his bait, a choice that led to his extraordinary catch.

The intense moment when the line tugged at 10:30 pm culminated in Reitz proudly weighing his remarkable achievement before releasing the fish.

‘I can’t stop talking about it, you never think you will catch something like that.’ he said. 

Immersed in the thrill of the catch, Reitz affectionately named the catfish “Scar” and expressed his happiness at the unexpected success.

His interest in fishing, sparked in 2017 after a challenging incident, bore fruit on that fateful day. The joy and satisfaction derived from such an exceptional catch are a tribute to the unpredictable beauty of fishing.

Redefining records, Reitz’s monumental 64.4kg catfish not only sets a new benchmark for British catfish but also stands as the heaviest fish ever captured on a rod in UK freshwater.

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Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water. He's into kayak fishing, ultralight lure fishing and pretty much any other kind of fishing out there.
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