Monday, 29 April 2013

Giant skate: Powys angler David Griffiths' 107kg fish

An angler who landed a giant skate after a 90-minute struggle says it followed a "classic Jaws moment". 

David Griffiths, from Powys, hauled the 107kg (16st 12lb), 2.3m (7ft 6in) fish to the surface off Oban, Argyll. 

He said it broke the British record by about 3.6kg (8lb), but it was not official because it was not weighed on a quay or bank. 

Clicks of the rod's reel after a quiet day were the first clues to the fight ahead, but he ended up putting it back. 

After about 30 minutes it was within 100ft of the surface but then decided to go back down - it was a real battle” 

David Griffithsangler 

Mr Griffiths, a fishing book publisher from Sarn, near Newtown, said it took four people to lift the skate onto the fishing vessel Laura Dawn II during a trip with friends and his 12-year-old son William. On the same trip William landed a 51kg (113lb) skate. 

He said it was only the second time he had been skate fishing and normally stuck to rivers. 

"It was about halfway through the day and I had caught nothing. Then there was a click, click, click of the rod's reel - it was a classic Jaws moment," Mr Griffiths said. 

"The boat's skipper Ronnie Campbell told me to put my harness on and standing up I secured the end of the rod into what's called a butt pad. 

"The skate has a suction pad and was stuck to the sea bed 500ft below. After about 30 minutes it was within 100ft of the surface but then decided to go back down - it was a real battle." 

Mr Griffiths did not let his opponent off the hook and after an hour-and-a-half he and three friends lifted the fish onto the boat during their trip on 2 April. 

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