Philip lands a whopper and fishing record!

Philip Crawford, second from right, gets a helping hand to show off his mighty catch. INPT35-009
Philip Crawford, second from right, gets a helping hand to show off his mighty catch. INPT35-009

A Laurelvale man who caught a whopper catfish while on holiday in Spain has also landed himself in the record books!

Philip Crawford hooked the 216lb (or 15stone 6lb) fish during a tour on the Ebro river two weeks ago, and it has been officially confirmed as the heaviest catfish caught in Spain this year.

The father-of-two, who hadn’t fished in 10 years but decided to join a tour while on holiday in Salou, described reeling the fish in as “half an hour of brute force”.

He said, “I had bruises on my leg from the fishing rod and my shoulders, arms and legs were aching afterwards.

“The catfish is not a lively fish but when a fish of that size does decide to go there’s not much you can do about it.”

But the pain was worth it for the keen angler who, after reeling in his catch, was given a hand to haul it onto the river bank.

The fish, like others caught with CatMaster Tours, was eventually released back into the river. Explained Philip, “We keep them for 15 minutes to half an hour in the shallows to make sure the fish are OK before we let them go.”

And incredibly, just an hour later, Philip caught another 138lb catfish.

He said, “I really wasn’t expecting it. In the UK, the average size of a catfish is around 70lb, and in Spain it would be around 100lb.

“I have friends who have fished near where I caught mine and the biggest they have caught is 109lb.”

Colin Bunn of CatMaster Tours said, “The biggest catfish we have caught as a company is 245lb but this one of Philip’s at 216lb is the biggest caught this year.”

The whole experience has given Philip the fishing bug again. “I would definitely go back, but next time I would go with a crowd and stay for a week,” he said.

“I have two young sons and now they are a bit older and I have a bit more time I am planning to start bringing them out fishing.”

For now, though, Philip is simply wallowing in the glory of his feat and enjoying telling his ‘big fish’ story.