German fisherman lands monster halibut –

German fisherman lands monster halibut Published:  24 November, 2010

A GERMAN fisherman has landed the biggest catch of his life – a monster halibut worth over £2,500.

Gunther Hansel, who fishes mainly for pleasure, caught the record-breaking halibut weighing 220kg or some 34 stones while in Iceland. It was large enough to provide almost 1,000 meal size fish fillet portions.

He took more than two hours to reel in the 2.5m (8ft 2in) monster of the deep off Bolungarvik, in Iceland’s Western Fjords, where it took five men to eventually haul the 970-portion fish on board. Gunther said his life’s ambition as a fisherman had now been fulfilled. Giant halibut are nothing new in the North Atlantic region. They grow to a great age and a great size, but they are usually caught by trawlers which have the power to pull them in.

Gunther used a more modest 30lb line and a plastic lure to catch the halibut. Once he got it alongside their boat, a rope was tied around its tail so it could be hoisted on to the deck. Herbert Loechel, managing director of the fishing tour operator, said: ‘After the bite, we had to worry that Gunther would land the fish. It took him 135 minutes. But the boat’s crew helped hoist the giant fish, with more anglers on board to help, on to the boat.’

The 70-year-old pensioner who is from Magdeburg, near Berlin, has now broken the halibut catch record for an individual beating the previous best by 8.2kg (18lb). The earlier record was held by anglers Bosse Carlsson and Hans-Olov Nilsson, weighing 210kg (464lb), caught off Norway in July 2009. He has now sold it for £2,500 at a local fishmarket and split the money with the others on his trip.