Field & Stream Online Editors

A: Despite some old historical records of blue cats pushing 200 pounds, I’d say there are no longer any North American catfish that get that big. Globally, though, there are a few real monsters. The massive European wels is said to reach as much as 675 pounds and 16 feet long. According to local folklore, these can be man-eaters. The all-tackle record for that fish is 202 pounds. While traveling in the Amazon region, I saw pictures of a piraiba catfish that would have topped 400 pounds. And the giants of Southeast Asia’s Mekong Delta reputedly can reach 12 feet and 650 pounds.