Enduring tales of quests for salt-water records
UK salt-water boat records categorised as significant have changed hands numerous times in the past 50 years.
Five species have resisted challenge – a brill of 16lb caught off the Isle of Man, flounder (5lb 11oz, River Fowey), grey mullet (10lb 1oz, Portland Harbour), blue shark (218lb, Eddystone) and tunny (a famous fish of 851lb, caught off Scarborough in 1932).
In the half-century under review from 1962, the pollack record was 23lb 8oz for a fish caught in Cornwall at Pells Reef, off Trevose Head.
Rising in five stages, it has become 29lb 4oz – a most unexpected catch made off Dungeness in Kent.
With a wealth of experience in all aspects of upvc, from windows & doors to conservatories and anything in between GDH UPVC offers competitive prices why not call today you maybe surprised!
Contact: 01803 226676
Valid until: Thursday, June 20 2013
The mark for the coalfish, a species that has become comparatively rare in Westcountry waters, has changed hands ten times and now rests at 37lb 5oz for a fish from a wreck lying south east of the Eddystone, off Plymouth.
The conger record, arguably the most coveted of all, has seen 11 improvements, and seven of these fish weighed over 100lb, including the incumbent heavyweight of 133lb 4oz taken in Lyme Bay.
On four occasions the ling record has been broken, moving from 46lb off Plymouth to 59lb 8oz off Whitby, while there have been three holders of the mackerel record.
In 1962, a fish of 4lb 11oz taken off Flamborough Head held sway for seven years when it gave way to Steven Beazley's fish of 5lb 6½oz. That held for many years, finally falling to a fish of 6lb 2oz hooked off Cornwall's Penberth Cove.
Although this review covers boat records, the shore mark for mackerel demands inclusion – a remarkable specimen of 5lb 11oz taken at Devon's Berry Head.
The turbot record has been broken five times, significantly by Paul Hutchings, then a junior, whose fish of 31lb 4oz hooked off Devon was the first to be noted in the wreck category, as were the next three until the record returned to open ground off Salcombe at 33lb 12oz.
In the past five decades, the whiting record has had many owners. The late Rita Barrett started the ball rolling with a fish of 6lb 3oz taken at Rame Head, which some years later was displaced by a Lyme Bay fish weighing 1oz heavier.
At the beginning of this year, a long-standing Falmouth fish of 6lb 12oz held the record, but only last May this was blasted up to 7lb 6oz off Plymouth.
At the start of the past half-century, the gilt head bream still had to appear in the record list. First noted in the early 1970s at a very moderate weight, there have been six boat improvements to its present 9lb 15½oz – a fish from 'The Bag' area at Salcombe.
There has only been a single improvement of the red bream record in 77 years, from 7lb 8oz off Fowey to the massive specimen of 9lb 8oz 12dr from the same area.
In 1962, the plaice record stood at 7lb 13oz, until a fish from the Skerries Banks lifted it by 2oz two years later. Today, a Scottish fish weighing 10lb 3oz is the target to beat.
Currently, of 176 national records, the Westcountry has a hold on a remarkable 72, the breakdown being 41 boat and 31 in the shore category – a totally dominating situation.
The top five records unlikely to be beaten are mackerel, red bream, flounder and turbot, both boat and shore.
Mako shark from boat and shore ling complete the list, while the recent explosion of black bream successes suggests that both of its category records are now at risk.