Skippers take on sea fish with 12ins rods

The mini-rods proved to be extremely tough.

The mini-rods proved to be extremely tough.

Foot-long rods have featured in one of the most unusual sea fishing matches in the UK. 

Competitors had to catch as many species as possible, armed with a tiny rod and reel normally used by anglers fishing through the ice in Scandinavia.

All places for the unorthodox match were filled within hours following an advert on social media, and it was hailed a huge success after competitors did battle with more than 20 different species including the biggest fish, a 12lb ray.

Bosses at Weymouth Angling Centre in Dorset pitched the proposal to local skippers Ryan Casey and Lyle Stanford, who run Supernova and Meerkat Charters, respectively 

And such was the success of the unique fishing challenge, another event is being planned. 

“There were 40 places available and within a few hours they were all sold out,” said Ryan Casey, skipper of the 11m BW Seacat ‘Meerkat’. 

“With a full match booked, Weymouth Angling Centre contacted Fladen Tackle who provided the ice fishing rods, and it wasn’t long before we were out of the harbour and casting 2lb leads on pieces of carbon that were no longer than your foot! 

“It was hilarious to watch but the rods were surprisingy sturdy and could handle the weight.” 

Over the six-hour event anglers were allowed just five fish of any one species and could use only mackerel, ragworm or squid on the hook.

The angler who caught the most fish and accumulated the most points – all species scored differently – was declared the winner, and a separate prize went to the angler with the biggest fish. 

Ryan Casey added: “More than 20 different species were landed, including wrasse, bream, dogfish and gurnards – with a 12lb undulate ray the biggest fish boated. 

“A couple of the ice rods did break under extreme pressure but they’ve proved they can land fish well over 10lb. 

“Next year we’re planning to stage a big-fish ice rod challenge targeting tope, rays, ling and conger eels – watch this space!”