Blue sharks weighing an estimated 100lb were the top fish in the 2016 Shark Angling Club of Great Britain annual festival at Looe, Cornwall.
The three-day event from July 6-8 attracted 32 anglers fishing from nine boats and produced 68 sharks.
Billy Whistance from Bolton, Lancs, and Robert White from Market Harborough, Leics, caught the largest sharks. Billy’s blue shark measured 91 inches long with a 29in girth, while Robert’s was 89in long with a 31in girth, both worth 120 points and with an approximate weight of 100lb.
Runner-up was John Shaw, of Tavistock, Devon, with a blue measuring 88in long with a 31in girth for 119 points, and an estimated weight of 93lb.
Richard Day from Hitchin, Herts, won the prize for the most sharks with seven. The skipper’s prize for the largest shark was shared between Murray Collings , of The Swallow, and Steve Brenchley, of Meerkat. Murray’s boat also produced the most sharks, 15 sharks over three days.
A 40-year wait to catch a double-figure bass ended for Dave Grantham when he bagged this 14-pounder.
This big fish fell to a mackerel head and guts bait offered by Dave, of Sidlesham, West Sussex, while fishing from a friend’s boat out of Littlehampton.
“I’ve waited more than 40 years to catch my first double-figure bass,” said Dave.
Another double fell to Peter Lee (below), of Godalming, Surrey, who bagged a 12lb bass at Dungeness, Kent, on a black lug/squid cocktail.
A massive porbeagle shark, estimated to weigh around 200lb, has been caught from a West Wales rock mark, writes Dave Barham.
It was a combined effort between two anglers, Mark Turner and Simon Shaw.
The shark was hooked within 20 minutes on the first cast, and the initial bite was so timid that the pair thought there might be a dogfish playing with the huge bait. But moments later the shark took off, stripping at least 100 yards of line on its initial run.
As Mark piled on the pressure, his Century T1000 rod was buckled over when the massive shark breached the surface. The lads from Pembrokeshire thought it was a monster tope at first, because that was what they were targeting, but it soon became apparent that this was something much larger.
Luckily, the shark just wallowed about during the initial stages of the fight, kiting left and right. If it had decided to head out to the Atlantic, then it would have easily spooled Mark’s Penn Fathom 15 reel, which was loaded with 0.43mm mono.
About half-an-hour into the epic battle, Mark, who was on his first fishing trip for six weeks after suffering an Achilles’ heel injury, had to concede defeat and let Simon take over.
Minutes after Simon took control of the rod, the shark set off on a blistering 150yd run, and it was back to square one for the dynamic duo.
A further half-an-hour passed until the big porbeagle was finally brought to the rocks, but there was no way of landing it for accurate measurements or trophy shots. The pair made a rough guess at the length being around two metres, with a good one-metre girth; Simon is a carpenter/builder by trade, so has a good sense of judging length.
Anglers who have seen video footage of the catch agree that this porgie was somewhere around 180-200lb. That really doesn’t matter, the fact that the pair hooked and leadered such a magnificent beast from the shore is enough.
A record-breaking trio of sharks during a single week for British and Irish anglers has proved that big predator sport just keeps getting better.
The first colossal specimen, estimated to weigh in excess of 1,300lb, is believed to be the biggest fish landed by an angler in the British Isles.
Measuring in at a staggering 4.6 metres, the huge six-gill shark was caught at the end of July by Tony Carrig, from Shannon, who was on Luke Aston’s boat Rahona out of Carrigaholt, County Clare, on the west coast of Ireland.
After an hour’s tug-of-war with the shark, it emerged from the depths, where marks could be made on the boat, which were measured later.
“This is one of the largest six-gills we’ve ever had, and 1,300lb is a conservative estimate, it might well have been 1,400 or 1,500lb,” said skipper Luke.
“In 2009, one of our clients, Joe Waldis, took one back to port that was 3.9m long and weighed 1,056lb. This was the third six-gill we’d had in the last 10 days; sometimes we’ll go days or weeks
without hooking one.”
Incredibly, the two remaining anglers to land a record thresher and a record blue were shark fishing the first time.
Minehead, Somerset angler Nick Lane boated the giant thresher, estimated to weigh 368lb, while aboard Dan Hawkins’ charter boat, Reel Deal out of Ilfracombe, North Devon.
That smashes the previous record that stood at 323lb and was caught in 1982 by former Sea Angler contributor Steve Mills.
Nick, whose previous biggest fish was a 20lb blonde ray, said nothing could have prepared him for the fight: “The sound of the line screaming off the reel is one I will never ever forget. The fight was incredible, and afterwards I was left shaking and barely able to move.”
The fish took mackerel on a size 10/0 hook and was measured at just under 91in from the tip of the nose to the fork of the tail.
In another stunning session, Danny Fitch’s, on his first shark fishing trip, made history while fishing off the Welsh coast, as he set the hook into the jaws of a male blue shark estimated to weigh 242lb.
It was caught by the Norfolk angler while he fished with his friend Dave Burtenshaw aboard record-breaking shark skipper Andrew Alsop’s White Water, out of Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire.
It smashes the current Welsh record of 222lb, boated aboard Andrew’s vessel in 2010. Danny’s shark was accurately measured on board at 110in from the tip
of the nose to the fork of the tail with a girth of 42in.
“My biggest-ever sea fish up until this trip was a tope of around 40lb, so to catch a huge shark like this on my first-ever trip was like a dream come true,” said Danny.
The duo shared around 15 fish between them, with Danny boating other blues to 120lb, which were all caught on mackerel on a size 16/0 hook with 380lb wire trace.
Kayak angler Graham Smith battled for three hours with a porbeagle shark estimated at 300lb while paddling off the northern tip of Ireland.
The Fish Dynamix ambassador, from Moville, County Donegal, was fishing on June 18 when his fishing companion saw a shark was chasing a hooked pollack.
“Initially, I thought it was a basking shark,” said Graham. “But no, the ominous distinctive fin of a porbeagle came out from under his kayak.”
After two attempts at catching the shark with a bait rigged swimbait style, Graham hooked a coalfish on one rod and pollack on another and began trolling the baits.
“Within moments of trolling, up she came like a scene out of ‘Jaws!’, fin out of the water and creating an impressive wake as she charged after the bait. In seconds she had the bait and headed off with it, but she missed the hook, so I set up again,” said Graham.
Next time as the shark came after the bait he kept paddling. The shark cruised ahead of him so he grabbed the rod and waited “for all hell to break loose”, and it did. The porgie took line off the reel at an impressive rate, but after 40 minutes Graham got her to the side of the kayak.
“With that she smashed the water with her huge tail turned and violently rammed my kayak. She shifted my kayak at least 5ft through the water,” he said.
The shark dragged his kayak towards some rocks and then into the open sea. Luckily, she kept inside a half-mile circle until the last 30 minutes of the fight, and towed Graham a mile further down the coast.
After three hours, Graham felt he was winning the battle, just as a local wildlife ranger, Emmet Johnston and a basking shark tagging crew were passing by. Emmet is a shark expert and estimated the porbeagle to be easily 300lb.
Graham added: “They hung on and gave me a gentle tow to make sure the shark was well revived. I unhooked her and away she went. She was an impressive sight, and probably the biggest shark I will ever get alongside my kayak.”
After 10 years of trying to catch a double-figure bass an angler from Cardiff caught two, with the best weighing a superb 13lb 14oz.
John Fishlock, a member of the Cardiff-based South Wales Sea Anglers, was fishing with club colleague Robert Cole at a mark near Cardiff Foreshore where previously they had caught bass to 9lb.
“We think this bass ban has made a huge difference in the Bristol Channel with loads of reports coming into me about double-figure bass,” said Robert, who is also press officer of the Welsh FSA. “I decided to brush off the light gear and have a session to see if there was any early bass showing at a Cardiff mark.”
Robert and John headed for a local mark, where, about half hour before high water, John’s 175g barbel rod was almost pulled off his rod-rest. After 20 minutes he was able to net his first double-figure fish from the bottom of the steep mud bank. He caught the bass, which weighed 12lb 3oz, on small peeler crab baits on size 2/0 Sakuma Manta Extra hooks and 6lb mainline with 10lb snoods.
Two weeks later on a similar tide, the pair headed back to the same mark and John caught another bass of 13lb 14oz. Both fish were released.
Proposals have been put forward to ban the landing of bass by both commercial and recreational anglers in 2017.
The advisory body, the International Council for the Exploitation of the Seas, of which the UK and Ireland are members, suggest a zero catch in 2017 due to declining stocks of bass.
It says emergency measures in 2015 to protect bass did reduce pelagic trawl catches and also by-catches, and it is assumed this will be repeated due to the measures taken for 2016. For anglers, these included a ban of retaining bass for the first six months of the year and a one-fish bag limit from July 1.
The Angling Trust and the Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society warned UK and EU fisheries ministers last year that their failure to take heed of the scientific advice and begin radically reducing the commercial catch limits would eventually mean more pain in the long run as solutions proposed by ICES would get ever more draconian.
Both organisations have issued a joint statement setting out a call for all bass netting to cease and for bass to become a recreational and sustainable commercial hook and line species only. They want to see the introduction of a slot size for both hook and liners and anglers to allow the larger, most fecund individuals to be returned to contribute to stock recovery.
Both the Angling Trust and BASS, who see no case for further restrictions on recreational bass fishing, are seeking an urgent meeting with UK Fisheries Minister George Eustice. They want to discuss the Government's response to the ICES advice ahead of the European Council of Ministers meeting in December where the final decisions will be made.
Three anglers from Norwich, who travelled to Scotland to tackle the area’s common skate, caught three huge fish with the best weighing 202lb.
The trio of fish were caught out of Oban, Argyll, aboard renowned skate charter Blue Fin.
The first fish weighed 182lb and was caught by Jim McNicol, the second came in at 196lb and was caught by Dave Rees-Williams, while the final fish of the day fell to Rick Goodley and proved the heaviest at 202lb.
Tackle consisted of 50/80lb-class rods, Penn Senator reels loaded with 80lb braid, single bronzed Mustad size 12/0 with barbs crushed and 24in hooklengths consisting of 200lb mono, attached to an 8ft rubbing leader rated at 150lb. Whole mackerel proved to be the top bait.
Plans are afoot to create a British record sea fish list based on length rather than weight.
The British Record (rod-caught) Fish Committee is considering introducing a separate record list to provide for claims made in respect of sea fish that are either protected and may not be landed, or for those caught on boats and returned alive without being landed for weighing.
Such a length-based record list is not intended to replace the weight-based version, but, if introduced, would stand alongside it.
It was agreed that the Committee will work towards introducing length-based lists on a staged basis, perhaps starting with a list for species that may not be landed, extending the scheme to other species or categories if the pilot is successful.
The protocol for claims and minimum initial qualifying measurements will be addressed in due course.
Baiting up with a chicken drumstick for a joke produced a 5lb 8oz bass for Neil Griffiths while fishing at Sker Point, near Bridgend.
The angler from Newport, South Wales, explained: “The day had been going very slowly without a bite. Three hours in we broke for lunch and I brought out a pack of barbecue chicken drumsticks.
“As a joke and to liven the day, I lashed a drumstick to my hook and cast it out. Much to the hilarity of my fishing companions Gerrainth Hayes and Richie Williams., within minutes my rod was bouncing all over the place and I reeled in this beauty.”
Richie helped him land the fish which was returned.
A 64lb conger eel caught and released from open ground in the Bristol Channel was accepted as a new Welsh boat record on June 18.
The fish fell to Tim Theyer, a member of a charter party from the Cardiff-based South Wales Sea Anglers fishing on Andrew Alsop’s White Water, out of Penarth marina.
After being weighed and measured, the conger was returned. Evidence of the fish and the calibration for the scales was sent to the Welsh FSA. It was confirmed on June 18 as the new Welsh record, beating the previous best of 61lb caught in September 1995. The British record is 133lb 4oz caught by charter skipper Vic Evans in 1995 off Torquay, Devon.
C-MAP ANNOUNCES CARTOGRAPHY ENHANCEMENTS FOR 2016
C-MAP, a world leader in marine cartography, has announced a number of enhancements for its C-MAP Max-N+ and 4D cartography which includes improved chart presentations and performance for users of Chartplotters and Multi-Function Displays (MFD’s) from Simrad, B&G, Lowrance (with Max-N +), Raymarine, Furuno, and others (with 4D cartography).
The new enhancements will include improved de-clutter, light sector colours and berthing area labels. Further improvements will be seen in point-of-interest detail and current flows, while changes in sounding fonts and the depth palette colours assist in clearer identification of chart information. The system has been optimised for stable, fast navigation performance and easy access to vector chart data.
To coincide with Navico’s release of Software Version 2.0, C-MAP has also announced that the new Max-N+ cartography will be fully compatible with the Simrad GO7 and B&G Vulcan series of chartplotters. This development brings all of the latest content, features and functionality of Max-N+ to the compact and affordable 7 inch navigation display systems which are ideal for a wide variety of sail and power boats.
The system will include Dynamic Raster Charts, detailed satellite imagery and comprehensive marina plans in addition to C-Marina port information and multi-language charts. There are also enhancements for owners of fishing vessels with High Resolution Bathymetry (HRB) fishing charts which have unparalleled bottom contour data which assists in the identification of selected fishing grounds. Dynamic tide and current information help skippers improve safety and efficiency while improving accuracy for fishing.
The C-MAP 4D Max +, Max-N and Max-N+ are all offered at a special promotional price throughout Europe until the end of June. With the new range of enhancements and availability for an even wider range of chartplotters and MFD’s C-MAP continues to lead the way in cartography for the 2016 season.
This is an image of the biggest cod ever caught by a UK angler.
The enormous predator, weighing a colossal 90lb 6oz, was taken by Merseyside angler Bert Williams during a trip to Norway’s renowned cod fishing hotspot Soroya.
Bert bagged his prize during a guided trip by UK-based firm Sportsquest. He was fishing in 80ft of water with a 30lb class rod and a 1ft long, 730 gram Westin Big Bob Lure tied to 60lb braided line.
The fish was just one of a number of giants boated by Bert and other anglers during an explosive week in Soroya that also saw an 83lb 12oz specimen landed by Sportsquest guide Paul Stevens. Paul’s fish temporarily held the record for the biggest cod to be caught by a UK angler before Bert bagged his prize just 24 hours later.
Paul (39) from Norfolk told Angling Times: “I’ve been guiding for many years in Norway but this has been the best week we have ever had for quality fish. We’ve had 14 cod over 60lb alone and hordes of smaller fish. Most anglershave broken their personal bests - it’s just been crazy! Hooking cod this big on lures is a feeling you just have to experience at some time in your life. It’s incredible when the fishing is this good.”
The current International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) World cod record is 103lb 10oz, a fish caught by German angler Michael Eisele back in April 2013, but Paul believes this target could be surpassed before too long.
Paul said: “I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest to see the world record smashed at some point in the next couple of weeks with the fishing going so well. The conditions are absolutely perfect for it!”
This picture shows the biggest ever shore-caught cod, weighing 66lb 8oz.
Sea fishing fanatic Tom Ascott made angling history when he won a battle against the odds by hauling it up through the deep, icy waters of Saltstraumen in Norway.
The venue boasts the world’s strongest tidal current, with water moving at up to
25 knots...and the cod used this to its advantage when it stripped more than 200m of line from the Dorset angler’s reel not once, but twice during the 30-minute fight.
This shore-caught specimen is almost 20lb heavier than any other cod ever landed.
The mighty fish took a piece of herring on a size 10/0 hook to a 150lb trace, fished 100m down.
“This cod was so big it didn’t look real, and I could have fitted my head inside its mouth,” said Tom.
“As soon as it stripped my reel on its first run and I felt the braid grating through the snags I thought I was going to lose this fish, but Lady Luck was definitely on my side.
“It absolutely destroyed me. I was just praying that it wasn’t going to go on another run because I don’t think my back could have taken any more.
“The fact that I’ve caught the biggest cod from the shore hasn’t begun to sink in yet.”
Tom was fishing with Guided Fishing Norway. It’s no stranger to huge fish, as it holds the world shore-caught ling record with a fish of 59lb 8oz taken by British angler
Phil Hambrook last year.
Unfortunately Tom’s fish will not be recognised as an official world record. The International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) does not differentiate between boat and shore caught specimens – but he is claiming a line class world record for the species and a European shore-caught record.
Guided Fishing Norway boss John Strange was absolutely blown away by the capture.
“To say that the ground we fish over is extreme would be a huge understatement. That, coupled with the strongest current in the world, meant that Tom’s feat was nothing short of incredible,” he said.
“There were many times when the fish could have been lost because of steep underwater ledges and snags, but despite it spooling him twice everything went right. This catch was meant to be.”
The fish measured more than 4ft 9ins long, with a girth of 2ft 11ins.
The biggest-ever cod caught from a boat on rod and line tipped the scales at 103lb, and was again caught from Norway.
“It would have been some feat to have caught this fish from a boat, let alone from the shore,” John said.
“I’ve seen some big cod in my time, but this thing was immense, and the longer we looked at it, the bigger it seemed to get.
“A big thanks must go to Tom’s friend Stu Andrews, who jumped down an 8ft wall to haul the huge fish from the water.”
- To find out more about Guided Fishing Norway, visit John Strange’s Facebook page.
Your chance to join us on an incredible fishing trip to North America’s sunshine state of Florida
Have we got a prize for you! How do you fancy joining us on a fantastic, once in a lifetime fishing holiday to Florida?
Courtesy of Sea Angler and in association with The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, two lucky readers will be accompanying Sea Angler’s Paul Fenech and jetting off to the warmth of Fort Myers located on Florida’s south-west coast. Once there, you will experience the thrill of trying to catch the king of fish…the mighty tarpon.
This unbelievable prize consists of all flights, five night’s accommodation at the Pink Shell Beach Resort and entry into the fifth “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament taking place on May 7, 2016 (Paul was fifth in last year’s event), where more than $25,000 in prize money was paid out last year.
You will also be invited to the Captain’s Dinner the night before the event to register and meet your fellow competitors at Doc Ford’s Bar & Grill.
There will be an opportunity to visit some famous landmarks such as Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s former winter residence while the beautiful beaches of Sanibel Island are close by.
It’s free-to-enter and all you have to do is collect the tokens in Sea Angler issue 527 and 528 (sorry but photocopies and multiple entries are not allowed) to be in with a chance. Once you’ve collected your two tokens, you then need to tell us in no more than 50-words why you would like to go. Two lucky winners will then be selected and notified. Good luck!
TERMS & CONDITIONS for SEA ANGLER tarpon fishing holiday competition
The competition appears in Sea Angler issues 527 and 528.
The prize draw opens January 14th, and closes at 23:59 March 19th.
Entrants must be residents of the United Kingdom, and aged 21 or over to qualify. Proof of residency may be required to qualify valid entrants. Employees of the promoter: The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel (Lee County VCB) are ineligible to enter this promotion. The promoter reserves the right to verify the eligibility of Eligible Participants.
Entry is via two Sea Angler Magazine issues (527 and 528) via a coupon entry system. All data collected will be pooled for the prize draw, where two winners will be selected to attend a group trip with a Sea Angler representative. Incomplete entries will not be included. It is the entrants' responsibility to complete the entry form in full. The promoter (and prize partners) are not responsible for any postal issues (or other) which impede an entrants' entry being submitted correctly and/or in full. The promoter (and prize partners) are not responsible for any changes in e-mail, mailing address and /or telephone numbers provided at time of entering the prize draw. The promoter (and prize partners) are in no way liable for the reproduction or indirect access via third party web sites or home page access which reproduce mistakes or omits any of the information or terms and conditions connected with the promotion.
The competition prize draw will take place on March 10th, with the lucky selected prize winners notified by March 25th. The winners will be chosen by the editor. The judge’s decision is final, and no further correspondence will be entered into. Once notified (via the email address supplied on the entry coupon), the winner will have 14 days to reply with acceptance of their prize. Should the selected winner not reply within 14 days of being notified, then it will be deemed that the prize winner has forfeited their prize, and a re-draw will take place. Same rules will apply for the re-drawn winner (should this scenario occur). If after 14 days there has been no acceptance notification received, then the prize will be cancelled.
Each winner’s competition prize consists ONLY of the below items
• Holiday prize includes five nights’ accommodation at a three-star or above hotel in Lee County. Each prize winner has their own double or twin room allocated on arrival. In room food/beverages are not included.
• Transfers: Shuttle transfers to/from Fort Myers International Airport are included with transfers to the tournament and practice day on May 6-7th.
• Sustenance: Breakfast is included on each day of stay. Lunch and dinner are included on May 6-7th.
• Transportation: Return economy flights from the UK to Fort Myers via Atlanta or another US gateway are included
• Entry to the “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament, including equipment, boat, skipper and pre-tournament dinner on May 6th, 2016
Travel must will be outbound from the UK on May 5th and will depart the USA on May 10th (arrive back into UK on May 11th) to coincide with the 2016 “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament.
Please note that the following items are NOT included in the prize:
• UK airport transfers
• Additional food and beverages
• Spending money
• Any other excursions, travel, attractions or tips
• Any other personal or medical costs
• Travel insurance and visas
All other expenses are the responsibility of the prize winner/s. Please note that prize travel is strictly subject to availability.
The prize winners must travel together with the Sea Angler representative. All of the travel party must hold a valid in-date passport, and visa (if required) for travel (to be pre-arranged by, and at cost to the winners). Travel insurance is NOT included in the prize, and prize winners must obtain travel insurance for their trip, pre-departure.
The prize cannot be exchanged, refunded or redeemed for cash or any other prize. Once a booking has been made and confirmation provided to the prize winner, no further changes to the booking are allowed. No upgrades allowed. Hotel points cannot be accrued on prize travel. The prize cannot be extended, or amended, or sold.
This prize promoter has the right to change or withdraw the prize draw and/or prize elements at any time, and without prior notice. The prize promoter (and prize partners) also reserve the right to provide substitute prizes (of similar value) should the specified prize/s become unavailable for reasons beyond their control.
The prize promoter and prize partners do not take any responsibility for any liabilities, nor do they take any responsibility for any disappointment, injury or loss incurred by the prize winners from accepting the prize or participating in the promotion. The Promoters further disclaim liability for any injury or damage to your or any other person's computer relating to or resulting from participation in or downloading any materials in connection with the prize draw.
By entering this promotion and ticking to accept the prize draw terms and conditions, you accept that the promoter, and the prize partners, may use your name for their promotional and publicity purposes, without the payment of any fee, nor the requirement for prior notification or permissions. You also accept that by entering this promotion, you will automatically be subscribed to future communications by the promoter, and the individual prize partners, however you may unsubscribe from each individual company's communications at any time.
By entering this prize draw, you agree to and accept the above terms and conditions. Further terms and conditions apply, and may be requested from the prize promoter in writing. This promotion is governed by English law and is subject to the jurisdiction of the English Courts.
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel
c/o Four Communications Ltd
20 St Thomas Street
Email contact: FortMyers@fourcommuniations.com
For more info, visit: fortmyers-sanibel.com/