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Monster Catfish Caught in Northern Italy [PICS]

Why does Italy keep cranking out these gigantic catfish?

This past May, Italian angler Dino Ferraro caught a monster of a catfish, as reported by International Fishing News.

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Measuring 8.6 feet, this fish from the River Po in Northern Italy weighed in at a whopping 260 pounds. Ferrari, an angler for the German tackle firm Team Sportex, is no stranger to massive catches of 200 lbs or more, but this one certainly takes the cake.

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Ferrari’s fish is easily one of the largest catfish ever caught in Europe, but even it falls shy of the 2011 record held by Hungarian Zsedely Atilla. His catch weighed in at 297 pounds, 9 ounces.

As monstrous as these fish seem, they still don’t hold a candle to the world record. On May 1, 2010, two Thai fishermen netted a truly gargantuan catfish from the Mekong river. This beast of a fish weighed in at no less than 646 pounds and measured nearly nine feet in length.

To be fair to the European fishermen, experts suspect the massive catfish caught by the Thai fishermen may actually belong to a specific species known as the Mekong giant catfish, which already has a predisposition to growing so huge.

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On top of it, catfish are known for their ability to grow big fast. Coupled with their unfortunate reputation as a ‘trash’ fish, most are left to grow huge as anglers favor more popular fish.

With catfish growing this large around the world, the only question is where will the next huge catch turn up and what will the lucky angler do with it?

For a man like Ferrari, who’s so accustomed to catching giant fish, a catch like this is just another day on the water. A few photos, and he’s off to pursue the next big fish.

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Monster Catfish Caught in Northern Italy [PICS]