A British angler has landed one of the biggest fish ever to be caught in freshwater – an incredible 550lb freshwater stingray.
Luke Benson, who is in the military, was fishing on the Bang Pakong River in Thailand when he hooked into the river monster, which took an incredible FIVE HOURS AND FORTY MINUTES to land – something he did single handed.
The mighty fish measured over four metres long and nearly two metres wide, and was the biggest his guide Jean Francois Helilas had ever seen in many years on the river.
Said Jean: “December to May is the very best time of the year to optimize the chances to hook up one of those elusive aquatic creatures. Also we know too well that particular kind of fishing is kind of similar to gambling: we know where their territories, we know how to fish for them, the best rigs to use, and the best baits to attract them.
“But the fact is the main needed parameter for the angler to capture a himantura chaophraya has to be above all getting a big hand from Lady Luck! We had four of our baits sucked by stingrays on the Saturday but no take. The next day Luke landed a first giant freshwater stingray in the morning around 10.30am: a male weighing over 100 pounds. We were already pretty satisfied with that capture. We had to phone a few friends to come helping playing the huge stingray.
“It is not the longest fight we ever had with a giant stingray. Years ago, while guiding my good friend Doug Olander, the editor of Sport Fishing magazine, four of us took turns to play another mega monster for 7 hours …until sadly the leader (certainly too much whipped by the ray’s tail) gave up and broke on us.”