A Japanese angler’s pictorial story of how he tackled and cooked a gigantic catfish from a Sheung Shui river drew a massive audience online. Hiroshi Hirasaka, the famed chief editor of the “Monsters Pro Shop” blog, who is known for his pursuit of huge, strange creatures, said he was drawn to the city after learning there were fish there, living in dirty water. His target was a scaly beast from the genus Clarias . Hirasaka said on the blog that he spent days next to a Sheung Shui river, believed to be the Ng Tung River, that was incredibly and unbearably dirty and foul smelling. The angler initially thought there would be no fish in such polluted water, which he described as looking like “honey dew cream soda”, but he was surprised to see many catfish. After several fruitless hours of using real bait, he turned to lures. The fish were so large and powerful that they broke free every time he came close to catching one, deforming the metal hooks on the lures as they fled. On the fourth day, he finally secured a 110 cm fish he identified as Clarias batrachus , a walking catfish native to Southeast Asia. The “man against fish” battle drew cheers from pedestrians. Ng Tung River is one of several local water channels frequented by anglers in search of various fresh water species. Hirasaka may have won the tussle at the water’s edge, but the fish had the last laugh. When the angler tried to cook and eat it in his hotel room, he found the fish’s digestive system full of black mud, filling the kitchen with the stench of drain water. Hirasaka said it was the most awful-tasting and strong-smelling fish he had ever eaten, even after he deep-fried it, grilled it, and put it in curry. He used milk, sake and ginger to try to get rid of the fishy and chemical smell, but was unsuccessful. It took him two days to finish eating the fish, which he described as “the most terrible and stinking fish [he] had ever eaten”. Hirasaka claimed his story drew about three million readers since it was posted on March 11.