10-stone catfish caught by Essex chef

Angler James Jones, 31, of Southminster
Image caption James Jones said he "had to shout for help" when he realised what had taken his bait

A chef and keen angler from Essex has caught what is thought to be the largest freshwater fish - weighing more than 10 stone - to be landed in the UK.

James Jones, 31, of Southminster, caught the 144lb (65.3kg) wels catfish at the Oak Lakes Fishery, Essex.

In Britain, before records were suspended in 2000, the largest catfish caught weighed just 62lb (28kg).

Mr Jones said anglers knew there was a huge fish in the lake but nobody had caught it. It took two hours to land.

'Longer than me'

After weighing the fish it was returned to the lake.

Mr Jones, a chef at the White Hart in Burnham on Crouch, said when he realised what had taken his bait he "had to shout for help".

Image caption Mr Jones has been fishing for about 20 years

"Other anglers ran over to try and help me land it," he said.

"It was quite obviously massive. Nearly seven inches longer than me. Everyone was quite impressed.

"Normally I don't catch anything, so this was quite nice," said Mr Jones, who has been fishing for more than 20 years.

The current world record for a wels catfish is 250lb 3oz (113.5kg).

A Mekong giant catfish, caught in Thailand in 2005, is the biggest catfish ever caught in the world and weighed 646lb (293kg).

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