Rare albino catfish hooked in the Red River

While out on the boat with Blackwater Cats Outfitter, a first time catfisher wrangled a one in a million catch.

First time catfisher hooks one-in-a-million catch

After 30 years of catfishing, a Manitoba fishing guide finally landed his great white whale over the weekend. His client hooked a rare albino catfish in the Red River. 

On Sunday, Blackwater Cats Outfitter owner Donovan Pearase and some clients were fishing for about four hours and had caught quite a few good-sized fish when the catch of the day broke the water. 

"Catfish are pretty dark in colour and this one was pure white. So, it was pretty easy to see," Pearase said.

"At first I was taken aback for a second and then I got a good glimpse of its head and mouth and I knew it was a catfish. So instantly you kind of think the only thing it could be is an albino catfish, even though I've never heard of one before."

Pearase said that one of the other guests just happened to be filming at the right time.

"We were both kind of shocked," Pearase said. "Harry [the client] was just hanging on for dear life trying to get it into the boat, he didn't say much."

Albino fish do appear in nature but Pearase explained they usually don't grow very large because they have a difficult time hiding from predators. 

"To see an albino catfish, particularly of that size, is pretty rare. You are definitely probably looking at one in a million," he said. 

The fish was about 86.36 centimetres and even qualified for a Manitoba Master Angler award. You can't keep anything over 60 centimetres from the Red River so it was put back in the water but not before they grabbed some photo proof. 

On top of being albino, the fish was about 86.36 centimetres and even qualified for a Manitoba Master Angler award. (Blackwater Cats Outfitter/Facebook)
The rare albino catfish was released back into the water after the photos were taken. (Blackwater Cats Outfitter/Facebook)