156lb catfish lands Wolverhampton angler another massive milestone

Angling legend Martin Hodgkinson has weighed in with another stunning achievement.

Martin Hodgkinson with his latest huge catfish, left, and two of his previous catches
Martin Hodgkinson with his latest huge catfish, left, and two of his previous catches

The 58-year-old from Penn is celebrating what could be a world record-breaking catch having landed his 150th 100lb plus fish.

Hodgkinson become one of only a handful of anglers to top the century mark two years ago and now he has reached another milestone.

The big moment arrived on the banks of the River Ebro in Mequinenza, Spain when Hodgkinson hauled in a cat-fish weighing 156lb - that's just over 11 stone, or the equivalent of a middleweight boxer.

"I don't think there are many other anglers, if any, who have done this," said Hodgkinson.

Martin Hodgkinson shows off the156lb catfish he caught on the River Ebro to reach the milestone

"I have checked through various magazines and websites and can't find any record of anyone else who has done it.

"I had been on 146 for over a year and had a couple of trips abroad earlier in the year but couldn't add to my tally. But then, on my latest trip out to Spain, I caught five.

"It was nice to do it on the River Ebro because that is a special place for me.

"It was where I caught my first 100lb fish 13 years ago and I also won the world championships with the England carp team there in 2015. I also have the record weight for the river, so it was great to reach this milestone there."

A 400lb lemon shark caught in Florida Keys

"It took about 25 minutes to land because the current is quite strong and when they decide to rest you just can't physically pull them in.

"When it pulled away it took striped 100 metres off the line, that's how powerful it was."

Hodgkinson took the sport up in his early 30s and he has trekked the globe, fishing in Thailand, America, Canada and across Europe.

This 160lb tarpon was landed in Cuba

His biggest catch was a swordfish in Florida that weighed just over a staggering 1,000lbs.

"That took an hour and 40 minutes to land and actually pulled the boat about a mile," said Hodgkinson.

"The boat we were in was 19 feet long and the swordfish measured 21!"

Having reached the magical 150 milestone, Hodgkinson has a couple of other targets.

Hodgkinson holds a 100lb Siamese carp

"I have caught 13 different types of fish weighing over 100lbs and it would be nice to find a couple of places where I can add two more to get to 15," he said.

"I would also like to catch a 200lb cat-fish on the Ebro."

Hodgkinson refuses to put a figure on how much his hobby has cost over the years, but there is no sign of any let up in his globe-trotting with his son, Lee, also getting hooked on the sport.

"I have been to some fantastic places and Thailand is probably my favourite place while Canada is stunning," he said.

"I am planning to go out to Italy next year. My son is starting to get into it and we will be heading out there.

"It has cost me a few quid over the years but it's been great. I am sponsored by Nash Tackle and closer to home, Fatty's Tackle in Wednesfield, have been brilliant with their backing and sponsorship."

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