British angler catches 28 stone 7ft halibut in 'new UK fishing record'
A British angler is celebrating what is thought to be a record catch after reeling in a 7ft halibut off the coast of Norway.
Paul Stevens, 45, from Norwich, landed the massive flatfish, which weighed 28 and a half stone (180kg) and was 7ft (2.1m) long.
He caught it while fishing off the coast of Norway, in what is believed to be the largest fish of its kind landed by someone from the UK. He returned the fish to the water after catching it.
It is thought, because of its size, the fish was between 70 and 90 years old.
“It pulled the boat half a mile," said Stevens. "It took three days for my shoulders to recover. I put it back. It’s breeding stock.
"It was a bit emotional. I have spent a lot of years trying to catch a fish like that."
As the fish was too heavy to bring on board his vessel, Stevens entered the water to have his photo taken with it, before unhooking it and releasing it unharmed.
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Despite its size, it wasn't the biggest halibut ever caught - the world record stands at 232kg.
Stevens, manager of Sportquest Holidays, which organises guided fishing trips for British anglers to northern Norway, caught the fish off the Lofoten islands off northern Norway, using a dead coalfish as bait.
"It dived three times and pulled the boat about half a mile," he said.
"It took me 20 minutes to reel in but that's because I am an experienced angler. It could easily take others two hours.
"There is no way you could weigh a fish that size. There is a universal formula of taking the measurements of a big fish to calculate its weight which is what I did.
Atlantic halibut - Hippoglossus hippoglossus in Latin - are among the largest bony fish in the world.
Their native habitat is the the northern Atlantic from Greenland to the Barents Sea and as far south as the Bay of Biscay.
They can reach up to 15ft in length.
The biggest halibut ever caught was reeled in by German angler Marco Liebenow in 2013, weighing more than 36 stone.