Stefan Seuß and Benjamin Gründer celebrated a special milestone on one of their latest Black Cat Guiding Tours. On 4 November, the 20th catfish of over 100 kg (220 lb) to be landed during their guided angling tours hit the net.

However, anybody who thinks that, after so many giant specimens, the catches are a matter of routine would be vastly mistaken. Each and every one of the monster fish requires both angler and guides to give their all. As fate would have it, it was team angling colleague Sven Weide of the Quantum Sea Team who landed the milestone 100-kg catfish. 

And even an angler with Weide’s experience of big fish (his catches include a halibut of over 150 kg) had his hands full with this one. He recalls: “Just after we started the fight from the dinghy, the fish planted itself under a fallen, sunken tree. And it wouldn’t move. Heavy mist added to the difficulty of attempting to land the fish. Finally, with the help of Stefan Seuß and a second boat, Benjamin and I worked the fish free. It was perilous because we had to cut the tangled line and tie it together again in the blink of an eye.” In fact, the happy anglers had to free the giant catfish from obstacles three times before it was finally landed. When it came to weighing and measuring the monster, the tape recorded a length of 2.52 m while the digital scales stopped their rapid ascent at a breathtaking 105 kg (232 lb).

The events unfolded on the middle reaches of the Po in northern Italy, the base of run by Bernhard and Ute Heiner. The river was just slightly higher than normal at the time of the catch, which is somewhat unusual in the guides’ experience. Extreme high waters of up to five metres above normal level and persistent rain are normally the order of the day at that time of year. However, Sven Weide and his two Quantum-Sea colleagues Andre Joskzo and Gunter Cohrs were able to enjoy warm days of up to 20°C on the river. The milestone catfish fell to a deadbait fished on an underwater rig weighted with a stone.