Alton resident catches 736-pound catfish in Mississippi River.
Hoax or Fact:
A story carrying a picture spreading on social media sites claims to show that an Alton resident caught a massive 736-pound catfish in Mississippi River. No, it is not a fact.
The story in question actually originated from an article on River Bender website riverbender.com that came with the same title. It said that carrying on the family tradition, Kato Mudger of Alton went in search for the monster catfish discovered by his great grandpa Red Mudger. Upon discovering it at last, he had to struggle to get hold of it, and took the backup help of fourteen men to capture the oversized fighter fish before pulling it ashore with a crane. It is said that experts recognized the fish was Mekong giant catfish, it was around 170 years old and that it weighed 736 lbs. It is also said that the catfish broke the world record for heaviest fish and oldest fish ever caught. However, not many readers noticed the date the article was published - 1 April 2016. Yes, it is an April fool’s prank, no mainstream media reported of any such discovery of huge fish in Alton. The River Bender is a Community Center hosting entertainment & educational facility in Downtown Alton, Illinois.
As far as the picture that comes with the story is concerned, it is not a Mekong Giant Catfish, but a normal sized Flathead Catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) that can grow to around 155 cm (5 feet) and weigh 120 pounds. As you can see in second picture of Image Gallery, the image of man is photoshopped onto the flathead catfish picture to create an illusion that it is a huge one. Mekong giant catfish, however, can reportedly grow up to 3 metres (9.8 ft) and weigh up to 350 kg (770 lb). See last two pictures of Image Gallery.
So in short, the picture stories claiming to show an Alton resident caught 736-pound catfish in Mississippi River are hoaxes that originated from an article on April fool’s day.