A potential record-breaking spurdog has been caught off the Kent coast by Canterbury angler Justin McGregor, but it will never make the list of Britain’s best because it was returned alive.

Justin’s fish, weighing a whopping 24lb 5oz, easily beat the current record weight of 21lb 3oz 7dr, but because his hound was ‘in pup’ he refused to bring it ashore for official weighing.

It was taken aboard Dave Lawrence’s Deal boat Gary Anne during a hectic session for thornback rays in Trinity Bay, during which a dozen rays fell to fresh herring baits.

Big spurdog have turned up on the Goodwin Sands during February and March for many years, so Justin’s fish, which grabbed a herring bait intended for a ray, was not a surprise.