It was a dream come true for biologist and fishing enthusiast, Ian Welch, when he reeled in a 771lbs stingray, while fishing in the Maeklong River in Thailand.
Ian, who was assisting a stingray-tagging project when it happened, said that when his rod first hooked the giant fish, he was dragged around the boat and would have fallen in the river, if one of his colleagues had not caught him by his legs.
In an attempt to protect itself, the stingray dug itself into the bottom of the ocean, and it took Ian 30 minutes of extraordinary effort to pull it away. As the majestic creature floated up, Ian and his colleagues stood awestruck for a few minutes.
They towed it to the shore, where it took another 60 minutes and 13 men, to haul her into a paddling pool. The 7ft long and wide stingray, with a tail that measured 10ft is believed to be the largest freshwater fish to be ever caught with a rod, breaking a 2005 record held by a catfish that weighed 646lbs.
In case you are wondering, the fishermen let the endangered stingray go as soon as they tagged it and took some great pictures. It turns out this is not the first time Mr. Welch has caught giant stingrays - he reeled in a 300lb one in November 2008. However, this was definitely the biggest one and he was so exhausted after the whole event, that he did nothing else for the rest of the day, but bask in the glory of his success!
Giant freshwater stingrays, which can live up to 25 years, are so strong that they can drill through boats using just their spines. They are currently on the vulnerable species list, and whilst exact numbers are not known, scientists believe that they have dwindled to such low levels, that there is a danger they soon become extinct.
Source: mirror.co.uk, Dailymail.co.uk, metro.co.uk