WHEN British holidaymaker Sheila Penfold cast out her rod for a lazy afternoon fishing in Barcelona, the last thing she expected was to land a deep-sea monster.
But that is what she got when – after a 30-minute duel – she pulled out a 15st 4lb catfish.
Penfold, just 5ft 3in tall and registered blind, has now entered the record books for catching the biggest ever freshwater fish by a British woman.
“It goes to show that just because you are blind it doesn’t stop you breaking records like this.”
Thanks to assistance from husband Alan and son Arthur, the courageous grandmother, from London, managed to wrench the 8ft 2ins long catfish from the river Ebro.
“I was exhausted but elated afterwards. The record has taken a while to sink in,” explained the partially-blind Penfold.
“I’m still walking around with a smile on my face. But it goes to show that just because you are blind it doesn’t stop you breaking records like this.”
Once the catfish had been weighed and snapped, Penfold duly returned her record-breaking catch to freshwater river.
Until now, the record for the biggest fish caught in Britain by a woman was 69lb 8oz, just one third the weight of Penfold’s whopper.
“I would think this is the biggest freshwater fish caught by a British woman,” said Mike Heylin, of the British Records Fish Committee.