Largest Catfish ever caught

What is the biggest catfish ever caught? Where was it caught? How was it caught?

The largest catfish ever caught was landed on May 1, 2005 in a small village in Thailand called Chiang Khong. It was a Mekong Giant Catfish that officially weighed in at 646 pounds and was just shy of 9′ long (2.7 meters). Of course, it wouldn’t qualify for an IGFA record for several reasons. First, it is not a listed species of game fish. Second, it was caught in a net and landed by several people. And sadly, the Mekong Giant Catfish is listed as a Critically Endangered Species, and should’ve been released, and the people who caught it should’ve been charged. The fishermen stated that they had hoped to sell the fish alive to environmentalist groups, who would release it upriver to spawn. Unfortunately, the fish died (duh), and to top it off, was ignominiously chopped up and sold to the local populace as an entree. Instead of being sensationalized, it should be listed as a very sad chapter in the annals of fishing. The fish could’ve easily been photographed and released. The really bad thing is that these people were not starving. And the Mekong River is home to hundreds of species of perfectly edible, easily caught fish that are not on the Endangered Species list. This didn’t have to happen, and the people responsible have not been held accountable, as far as I know. It’s just my opinion, but if it is illegal to catch and endangered species, it should also be illegal to buy or sell one, except maybe for an aquarium, or scientific concern. In this case, the environmental groups created the market for the fish, which might otherwise have been released alive. I fear many species are doomed to extinction unless we start to pay more than lip-service to our efforts at management.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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