Lanntara man Thomas White thought he’d caught the biggest fish of his life when he hooked a 350ln porbeagle shark .. but he’s gone bigger and better!
Back in 2013 Thomas appeared in the Ballymena Times with the massive shark he caught while fishing on Hamish Curry’s boat Predator out of Red Bay, Cushendal1.
Now the Ballymena man has landed a monster stingray after an epic two-hour sweltering battle between man and fish on a Thai river.
Thomas had decided to spend his holiday having a go at fishing for giant freshwater stingrays, but there was a major surprise in store when he brought his huge catch to shore for a trophy picture – the immense creature gave birth to a live pup!
“I’d seen guys on TV targeting stingrays with varying degrees of success, so I went fishing in Thailand and got 13 hooks on and landed 11. Most of them were 100 to 200lb but that one was the motherlode.
“It was real monster with a measurement across the wings of 220cm and 451cm from nose to tail. It is by far the biggest thing I have ever caught on rod and line,” he added.
Using a live catfish as bait, a draining two hours 15 minutes were spent fighting the fish, most of which consisted of trying to break its suction grip to the river bed.
Thomas said the catch was too big to bring on to a boat “so it was brought to the shore for a photo”.
“It was during this time the large female stingray give birth to a live pup, so it was a double whammy – one hook, two fish,” he added.
In the photos, the young stingray can be seen lying on the mother’s left wing. After being photographed, both fish were released back into the river. After hooking the stingray, the team battled to get it to the surface, using two bamboo poles with a large net.
“It was like trying to reel in a sheet of plasterboard,” Thomas said.