A skilled angler in England, Tomas Marcinkevicius, recently reeled in an extraordinary 133-pound wels catfish at a catch-and-release pay lake in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. This colossal catch appears to surpass the official British record of 62 pounds set in 1997 at Withy Pool, as reported by AnglingTimes.
Despite the potential to secure a new record, Marcinkevicius, an avid catfish enthusiast, expressed disinterest in pursuing official recognition. In an interview with AnglingTimes, he remarked, “It’d be nice, but I already know of larger UK cats that’ve been caught. I’m just happy with the fish.”
The larger wels catfish he refers to were caught in the past but were ineligible for record status due to the British Record Fish Committee’s suspension of record-taking for this species over 20 years ago. In November 2023, the committee reinstated the catfish on its record list, acknowledging the self-sustaining population’s growth to significant sizes.
Regardless of official recognition, Marcinkevicius’s catch is undeniably impressive, especially considering the conventional belief that the best time to fish for these species is during warmer months.
Notably, Marcinkevicius has been on a remarkable streak during the colder months. In early December, he landed a 115-pounder, a 97.5-pounder, and several others over 70 pounds. He recounted catching over 30 fish during this period, losing count along the way. About a week later at Willowcroft Fisheries, he hooked into what he initially believed to be a 50- to 60-pounder.
As the adrenaline kicked in, Marcinkevicius realized it was a significant catch. After a 30-minute battle, he successfully landed the massive wels catfish, weighing 133-plus pounds, before releasing it back into the water. Describing it as his biggest catch to date, he expressed his joy, stating, “I’m really pleased.”
In a unique touch, the fishing concession asked Marcinkevicius to name the fish, and he chose the moniker “Tom Cat.” While his achievement is remarkable, it’s worth noting that the world record for a wels catfish stands at 297 pounds, 9 ounces, set by Attila Zsedely in the river Po in Italy on March 11, 2010, according to the International Game Fish Association, the keeper of world records.