At nearly 800 pounds and 14 feet long, a massive stingray caught in Thailand’s Mae Klong River could take the title of the world’s largest freshwater fish ever taken on rod and reel—and using a 300-pound test line, no less.
The capture was made by a group of scientists and anglers from a small boat in the Amphawa District last week. Stingrays fight differently than other fish when hooked, but the epic battle to catch this monster was no less challenging. It took several hours and multiple anglers rotating on the rod to land the large stingray, eventually requiring seven men to herd it into a specially-designed net before it could be taken out of the water to be examined. American TV host and nature conservationist Jeff Corwin, who led the team, called the fish simply a “behemoth.” Corwin wrote on his Facebook that the team was not able to weigh the ray, due to the stress that such a process would put on the ray, but he was confident with his team’s estimate.
“We have caught over 450 different stingrays and our estimations have been proved highly accurate on the rare occasions we have weighed this species,” Rick Humphries of the British company Fishiam, whose fishing guides assisted with the capture, told the Daily Mail.
According to National Geographic, the Guinness Book of World Records currently lists the Mekong giant catfish as the world’s largest freshwater fish. The record holder to beat is 646-pound catfish caught also in Thailand in 2005. A spokesperson from Guinness World Records said that Corwin’s team would have to submit an official application if they want to challenge that record.