Field & Stream Online Editors

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.

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