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 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 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.