Picture: Steve Stewart
Angler Steve Stewart landed a monster 101 lbs catfish thinking he’d broken the record for catching Britain’s largest fish.
When the same catfish – called Goliath – was caught in 1997 it busted the scales at 62 lbs and set a record.
Over the years Goliath has piled on the pounds before Steve caught him.
However, the angler won’t be claiming honours from the British Record Fish Committee (BRFC).
The group had catfish struck of its list of eligible fish in 2000.
It wanted to discourage illegal importation of the fish; it has a gargantuan appetite and can quickly destroy local species.
Steve, 57, spent 20 minutes grappling with Goliath.
He said: “It’s a bit frustrating, believe me, especially given the effort to catch him and reel him in
“It was an epic battle.
“We had to get a boat out to bring him in once I’d hooked him and it was quite a struggle.
“He was slapping his tail and using his weight to try and free itself off the hook.”
Steve is close friends with Richard Garner – the fisherman who first hooked Goliath in 1997 at Withy Pool, Bedfordshire.
Steve said: “When I caught Goliath I thought, ‘Brilliant! Now I’ve got the bragging rights.’
“But then I was told by the BRFC it won’t count officially because they have closed the list for catfish and that species no longer counts for records.”
Nick Simmonds, secretary of the BRFC, said:
“Steve gets the recognition for catching such a huge fish.
“He’s had his picture taken with it and all that.
“I’m sure we all appreciate what a special catch this is, but it just won’t count as a record.
“The committee made its decision in 2000 to no longer list catfish records in order to discourage the import of illegal catfish and because it’s a non-native species, so it won’t replace the record held by Mr Garner.”
Goliath was safely returned to the water.