Uit The Guardian van 24 februari 2009:
A British angler xe2x80″ with a dozen helpers xe2x80″ has landed what could bethe biggest freshwater fish ever caught with a rod and line, it emergedtoday.
The giant freshwater stingray, weighing as much as 350kg(772lbs, or about 55 stone), was the size of a garden shed and socumbersome that Ian Welch had to enlist the aid of 12 other people toget it out of the water.
Welch, a professional fisherman, biologist and columnist for the magazine Angler’s Mail, was visiting Thailandto help with a stingray tagging programme when he landed the monster inthe Maeklong river. The 45-year-old said he was nearly pulled over theside of the boat when the specimen took his bait.
He said: "Itdragged me across the boat and would have pulled me in had my colleaguenot grabbed my trousers xe2x80″ it was like the whole earth had just moved. Iknew it was going to a big one.
"It buried itself on the bottomand the main fight was trying to get it off the floor. I tried withevery ounce of power but it just would not budge. After half an hour myarms began shaking and after an hour my legs went. Another 30 minuteswent by and then I put a glove on and physically pulled the line withgritted teeth and somehow I found the reserves to shift the fish."
Oncethe stingray was off the bottom, Welch, who weighs a relatively modest73kg, managed to lift it to the surface relatively easily.
"Assoon as we saw it there was just silence because everyone was just inawe of this thing," he said. "That line from the film Jaws came to mindabout needing a bigger boat because we had to get it to the shore totag it."
The group managed to put a large net under the fish andtowed it to the bank. Welch, from Aldershot, Hampshire, said: "It took13 people to lift it into a large paddling pool we had set up in orderto tag it and take DNA samples.
"I was absolutely exhaustedafterwards and did very little for the rest of the day and just had acold beer. As a life-long angler and a biologist it is great that mytwo passions have come together and culminated in something I couldonly have dreamed of."
The female stingray was about 2 metres(7ft) long and the same width, and its tail measured about 3 metres(10ft). From its measurements it was calculated that it weighed atleast 265kg, and possibly up to 350kg.
Its venomous barb had tobe wrapped in cloth while it was out of the water. Once it was taggedthe fish was released back into the river. Welch said he swam out withthe fish and kissed it goodbye.
Angler’s Mail has billed Welch’s specimen as probably the largest freshwater fish fully authenticated as caught by rod and line.