The largest catfish ever caught was 9 feet long and weighed nearly 650 pounds. The catfish was hooked in Thailand on May 1, 2005. In addition to being the biggest catfish on record, experts think it may be the biggest freshwater fish of any species.
The fish belonged to the Mekong giant catfish species. Members of this species routinely reach between 400 and 500 pounds just a few years after hatching. The Mekong giant catfish is critically endangered. Conservationists tried to save the specimen that was caught in 2005 for use in a breeding program. However, the fish died shortly after entering captivity.