Here it is, the monster bass weighing 19lb 4oz, that was caught and released by Wayne Milton, aboard Roger Lennon's Skerry Belle out of Ramsgate, Kent.
Well done lads, a fantastic achievement...
The porbeagles are being caught off Cornwall. This one, estimated at 400lb, fell to Ian Tyldesley, of Ammo baits, while fishing on Sam Narbutt's Bluefin Charters, out of St Ives, Cornwall. Released at side of boat.
When Richard Timothy had his first charter trip aboard Flamer IV out of Weymouth, Dorset, he completed a grand slam of a plaice, brill and turbot.
The 69-year-old angler’s first fish of the day, caught on the first drift, was a 5Ib 13oz plaice, which was the biggest caught on Flamer IV this year.
The angler, from Ampthill, Beds, used 10Ib-class tackle with a flowing trace carrying coloured beads and a size 1/0 Sakuma Stinger hook baited with rag and squid strip. His brill weighed 3lb 3oz and the turbot turned the scales around to 4lb.
A three-year quest to catch a bluefin tuna in UK waters finally ended for big-fish enthusiast Andy Griffith when he boated a 300lb specimen.
The angler, from Kent, hooked the big fish during a session aboard Andrew Alsop’s charter boat, White Water 2, out of Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire. It took nearly an hour for Andy to land the fish, which he caught on a homemade deep-diving lure.
The fish, which was released, means Andy now holds four Welsh records following his grand slam of three different species of shark in a single day back in 2013, when he boated a 167lb blue shark, 235lb porbeagle and a 194lb shortfin mako.
“I have been after a bluefin since 2013 when a big specimen stripped my reel while shark fishing, so it’s fantastic to finally achieve it, and also to have four records to my name,” he said.
An angler fishing out of Looe, in Cornwall, caught and released blue sharks estimated at 180lb and 138lb.
Alex McKay, of Liskeard, Cornwall, was fishing on September 20 with charter skipper Murray Collins, aboard his boat Swallow.
“The big one was 9ft 6in long with a 3ft girth and took two hours and 10 minutes to land on 30llb line,” said Alex, a member of the Shark Angling Club of Great Britain, who, along with Murray, had 43 in total.
A family fishing adventure produced 20 blue sharks, the best estimated at 145lb.
The big one was caught by Stuart Lane, who was fishing with his brothers Steve and Jon, plus dad Geoff.
The quartet, from Bournemouth, Dorset, caught 20 blues, their first of the species, while aboard Rob ‘Chippy’ Chapman’s Bite Adventures, out of Penzance, Cornwall, with Geoff also catching one of more than 100lb.
Using heavy spinning rods and fixed-spool reels, they baited mackerel flappers on circle hooks.
A bass fishing trip in North Wales turned into an incredible session for tope.
Fishing at a beach near Barmouth, Gwynedd, on September 16, Lee Hunton, of Crewe, Cheshire, caught a tope estimate at 40lb (it was 5ft 6in long).
The big fish was caught on a Greys BZE Bass 1-3oz rod and a Penn fixed-spool reel loaded with 15lb mono, with a running leger rig with size 3/0 hook and a Ammo frozen sandeel as bait. The fish took 15-20 minutes before Lee’s dad Tim could tail it.
“The fight was spectacular, with numerous screaming runs and the fish jumping clean out of the breakers," said Lee.
In the same incredible session Lee caught two small-eyed rays between 2-3lb, and his dad lost a large ray and caught a 4lb 8oz bass. They also lost two tope that chomped through their rigs
A three-year quest to catch a bluefin tuna in UK waters ended for big-fish enthusiast Andy Griffith when he boated this 300lb cracker.
The Kent angler hooked it during a session aboard Andrew Alsop’s ‘White Water 2’ out of Milford Haven in Wales. It took nearly an hour for Andy to land the rare fish, which he tempted on a homemade deep-diving lure.
The tuna, which was quickly unhooked before being released, means Andy now has four Welsh records to his name following his grand slam of three different shark species in a single day back in 2013. That was when he boated a 167lb blue shark followed by a 235lb porbeagle and a shortfin mako at 194lb.
Andy told Angling Times: “I have been after a bluefin since 2013, when one stripped my reel of line while I was shark fishing. It’s fantastic to finally achieve my ambition and have four records to my name, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Andrew, who predicted all these catches.”
To find out more about White Water charters, visit: whitewatercharters.co.uk
A monster porbeagle has been caught from British waters by an angler using fly-fishing tackle.
The shark, estimated to weigh 380lb and thought to be the largest ever taken on a fly, was claimed by Wiltshire angler Tim Westcott who battled with the fish for over an hour while aboard Jerry Rogers’ Fast Cats charter boat out of Cornwall.
Tim claimed the porgie while purposefully targeting the species. It’s the latest in a two-year campaign that has seen him land numerous other specimens, including a blue shark of 151lb... also on the fly.
The 54-year-old used a Bloke Shark Master 7ft rod with 400lb trace and 250lb leader with 70lb fly line, ending in a hand-sized baitfish imitation fly coated with Fish-Dynamix’s Mackerel Wand flavouring.
He said: “The take came just 10 minutes into the session. Jerry knew it was a big fish but I thought he was mucking around as for a few minutes I still had plenty of line on the reel. Then all hell broke loose and it took me most of the remaining time to recover all that line.
“After pulling it to the side of the boat my eyes came out of my head when I saw the sheer size of it, but our main objective was to release it as quickly and as safely as we could.”
Tim began his fishing career targeting tiny perch and roach on a local pond before moving to fly fishing for pike and carp on estate lakes and the Bristol Avon.
He was further inspired by Angling Times columnist Dom Garnett’s ‘Fly for Coarse’ campaign and made the life-changing decision to target more substantial quarry: “To say that I’ve had to beef up my gear to be able to deal with these incredibly powerful predators is an understatement,” he continued. “Playing those huge fish on light fly tackle is an amazing experience, and is totally addictive.
“To see these sharks take the bait and then feel their sheer power as they take off is like nothing else – it’s a bit different to catching trout and salmon, I can tell you.”
Graham Laverock had always wanted to catch a shark, and his dream came true when he boated a 90-pounder while fishing out of Milford Haven.
He travelled from Yorkshire to fish with Haven Boat Charters, Pembrokeshire, and within 40 minutes of setting up, this blue, estimated at 90lb, was on. It made four powerful runs and was landed by skipper David Hancock.
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.
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.