Admire these, the top five most popular fishing pictures on Facebook so far in 2014, selected by Angler's Mail magazine editor Tim Knight. Email your catch reports exclusively to: anglersmail@ipcmedia.com and post pix on the Angler's Mail magazine Facebook wall.

 

WHAT did we do before the advent of social media, I sometimes wonder? It seems ages ago! And for me, as Angler’s Mail magazine editor, Facebook is an absolute goldmine of stunning photos, shared for the whole world to see.

Blog timFor this Angler’s Mail magazine HQ blog, I’ve selected some the most liked images so far in 2014.

They’ve all appeared on our lively Facebook wall, seen not only by our 80,000 Angler’s Mail magazine fans, but by their friends – and friends of their friends!

Drop me a line to tell me about your favourite angling photograph – or better still attach the image with an email to: anglersmail@ipcmedia.com

Enough of the intro… check out the five favourite pix, so far….

 

 1. Dino Ferrari’s monster wels catfish

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With a name like Ferrari, you expect something classy, but this image blew us away with its speed off the mark in terms of Facebook popularity. It went MASSIVE! And the video (bottom of this post) has been a monster success too.

Shared during a  #BigFishFriday on the Angler’s Mail magazine Facebook page, Italian angler Dino Ferrari conquered the giant wels catfish (Silurus glanis) on the River Po in his home country.

It’s a massive 265lb in weight, measuring 8.5ft in length. The girth is something else too, as the image shows!

The Po, at  650 km, is the longest river in Italy, and is a mecca for the world’s serious catfish hunters, much like the River Ebro is Spain.

Dino has fished it for years. He is a sponsored angler with the German tackle firm Team Sportex, and had landed many 200 lb cats.

At the bottom of this blog I’ve added a video for this amazing fish – look how Dino struggles to play it in that heavy flow of the mighty River Po. I don’t think my arms or back could handle it!

The video was cut in several places, so you don’t see the entire battle. One can only imagine the feeling of utter exhaustion – and ultimate elation!

 

2. Biggest common carp of the year

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Now this an uncommon Angler’s Mail magazine #BigFishFriday catch… all 90 lb of it to Zoltan Bardoczky at Rainbow Lake in France!

The comments on this one made me chuckle, when admin-ing our page. It shocked a few thousand people.

It’s not Photoshopped, as some Facebookers claimed with a predictable ring – the cry of ‘fake’ is becoming a knee-jerk reaction to anything a bit bigger than the norm. Carp DO grow this size, especially in waters as rich as Rainbow.

I’ve only caught carp to half this size myself, so can only begin to imagine the effort it’s taken for Zoltan to support this giant fish for a few photos. Sensibly he’s held it very low to the protective cradle, before releasing it to fight just as hard for another Rainbow visitor.

If you want to admire the World’s biggest-ever carp, and more monsters, click here.

 

3. Leviathan freshwater eel

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Before anyone cries “Photoshopped”, these monster New Zealand long-finned eels are again… the r-eel deal!

This freshwater python is not what British and European anglers will be familiar with though, it’s the New Zealand Longfin eel (Anguilla dieffenbachii).

Yes, you’ve guessed – the longfin eel is identified from shortfins (also found in this part of the world) by the length of its fins: the dorsal (top) fin extending further forward towards the head than the anal (bottom) fin.

The longfin, like the European variety (Anguilla anguilla), is a threatened species in gradual decline.

Aside from this example being a Facebook sensation on the Angler’s Mail page, the species starred  in an episode of Jeremy Wade’s River Monsters, in which they were claimed to have attacked and even killed humans.

 

4. Jolly green giant – yes, a huge tench!

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It’s a #BigFishFriday hit again – a 13 lb-plus tench! This tench was caught in France, at Lac du Val, but Angler’s Mail magazine has revealed  a couple this year of similar size, caught in Britain.

There’s been speculation over the World record for tench, as such captures are not logged very well at all in most countries. In fact, Britain is one the few places where pounds and ounces – yes our imperial measures for weighing – means more to anglers  than inches or centimetres.

The heaviest tench, recognised by Angler’s Mail as it’s on the British coarse fish record list, is 15 lb 3 oz 6 dr caught by Darren Ward in June 2001 from Sheepwalk Big Lake near Shepperton, Middlesex. The water is right by the M3 motorway near London – lovely looking place, but one of the noisiest I know!

A 15 lb 4 oz beauty was seen in our pages a few weeks ago, caught by Brit abroad Jay Gardiner Jnr at Angling Lines carp fishing venue Laroussi in France.

 

5. Colossal albino catfish

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Caught by ace German angler Peter Merkel, here’s a very rare variant of the European wels catfish (Silurus glanis) that can grow to over 2.6 metres and 250lb-plus. It’s an albino.

It’s one of the most visually impressive freshwater fish we’ve seen this year, and was of course returned alive to the Rhône in France by this experienced angler who is sponsored by Black Cat.

Catfish colouration can vary a lot with the normal grey/black fish. And there are two highly sought-after variations – the ‘Mandarin’ catfish (less mottling with an orange or yellow appearance), and the even rarer albino (pinky white body tinge and  pink/red eyes).

 

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THAT HUGE CATFISH ON VIDEO!

Seeing as this weekly Angler’s Mail magazine HQ blog is on mega popular catches, check out this video (below) of Dino Ferrari’s almighty River Po catfish.

At the time of writing this blog, over ONE MILLION people worldwide had watched this video. Click and watch it… and imagine you’re playing that monster yourself!!

 

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