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.