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11yr-old English schoolgirl becomes biggest freshwater fish-catching child in Europe.

Byline: ANI

London, July 16 (ANI): An 11-year-old English schoolgirl has broken the record for the biggest freshwater fish caught by a child in Europe by hooking a nearly 9ft long catfish, more than twice the size of her, during a trip to Spain's River Ebro.

Jessica Wanstall, from Sittingbourne, Kent, was nearly dragged into the water when the catfish weighing nearly 200lbs took her bait.

She had to fight the beast for about 20 minutes, before her 49-year-old engineer father Mark helped her heave it out of the water.

Weighing 13.7 stones, the impressive specimen dwarfed the 4ft 10ins tall girl who weighs 5.7 stones.

"I didn't realise just how big it was until I saw the photos afterwards. I look tiny next to it," the Telegraph quoted her as saying.

"My dad thought it was going to be a small one and I told him it didn't feel small when I picked up the rod.

"It was really hard work pulling it in and my arms turned to jelly. My dad helped lift it onto the bank and I stood back and just laughed when I saw it. It was massive," she added.

Mark, Jessica, and family friend Gary Peet landed 51 catfish during their trip, but Jessica's was by far the biggest.

Their fishing guide Bodo Kunkel, who runs Bavarian Guildng Services on the River Ebro, said: "It was a large fish, much bigger than Jessica. She couldn't close her mouth afterwards, she was, how do you say, over the moon. She is the only child to have caught a freshwater fish that big in Spain and probably Europe." (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Jul 16, 2009
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