THIS monstrous catfish is thought to be the biggest freshwater fish ever caught in the UK.
Measuring six-and-half feet and weighing 144lb it was heaved out of a Southminster lake by James Jones, 31, of Southminster, after a two-hour tussle.
James, a chef at the Ye Olde White Harte Hotel in Burnham-on-Crouch, battled with the giant fish for nearly an hour before help arrived.
"When I caught the fish I didn’t have my mobile with me and I was screaming on the bank before two guys came flying down to help me line it,” said James, who had been on a three-day fishing trip at Oak Lakes Fisheries, on Burnham Road.
It took three of them to drag the fish from the 3.5 acre lake onto the bank and another passer-by to help them heave it onto the weighing scale.
"I hadn’t got a single bite for the whole trip and then I caught this one,” said James.
"I saw its head first and I thought ‘that’s a big fish’ but then I saw its one-and-a-half metre tail flapping and I realised it was massive."
However James cannot claim a UK record because the British Records Fish Committee stopped considering claims for catfish in 2000.
The previous record, set in 1997, however, was just 62lb – caught in a lake in Withypool, Somerset.