Pro Angler Catches 280-Pound Nightmare Catfish in Italy

In “more reasons to never enter large bodies of water” news, a professional angler appears to have landed an absurdly large catfish while fishing along the Po River in Italy.

CNN’s Greg Botelho and Joseph Netto report that Dino Ferrari, an angler sponsored by sports safety apparel company Sportex, recently pulled ashore a 280-pound Wels catfish with only a light tackle spinning reel. 

Photos of Ferrari posing with the cartoonishly large fish have emerged, and naturally, the question is whether this couch-sized animal is a hoax or a real thing humanity should fear at every waking hour.

The fish’s existence is difficult to confirm, as Ferrari, a catch-and-release fisherman, let his quarry go after bringing it in for weighing. What we do know for sure is that the Wels catfish is essentially a mutant version of the American catfish and can reach up to 300 pounds. (The largest recorded catch in Italy tipped the scales at 298 pounds.)

Even more ridiculous, this large species of catfish has been observed heaving its body out of the water in an attempt to swallow pigeons and small wildlife feeding on the river shore. 

Again, avoid oceans, lakes and rivers at all costs.

As for his magic fishing hole, Ferrari is keeping the exact location a secret. After all, he can’t have old Santiago blowing up his spot. He did say it took 40 long minutes to reel the fish to shore, where he kept it for a half-hour.

So, for those of you keeping track at home, you can add “fish the size of NFL linemen” to the list of sea creatures that can jump out of the water and hunt you down on dry land. I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to top the land-hunting octopus (link contains NSFW language) from last week, but here we are.

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