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For 85 years, the record set by legendary angler Georgina Ballantine had seemed untouchable.

Few who have seen the delightful photograph of the slight Miss Ballantine immaculately dressed in tweed hat and coat standing next to her giant catch believed another woman would ever land a freshwater fish bigger than the 64lb salmon she hooked.

But today it was confirmed her record has fallen after housewife Bev Street dramatically landed a monster catfish which tipped the scales at 66lb.


Angler Bev Street, 45, hooked the monster catfish which tipped the scales at 66lb, making it the biggest freshwater fish caught by a woman in Britain

Her success on a week's fishing trip to Bluebell Lakes in Oundle, Cambridgeshire, earlier this month smashed Miss Ballantine's long-standing record for the biggest freshwater fish caught by a woman in Britain.

Angling experts hope that Mrs Street's feat will inspire more women to take up the sport, which is commonly thought of as a male preserve.

Mrs Street, 45, had just gone to bed in her tent on the bank when her electronic rod alarm sounded, heralding the start of her record-breaking catch.

Mother-of-one Mrs Street, who was wearing the camouflage apparel favoured by today's high-tech anglers, said: "There was a terrific bend in my rod, about 90 degrees, and as I picked it up it nearly pulled me in, it was so heavy.

"It took about 30 minutes to reel it in and at one point it got snagged in a weedbed. I was just thinking about putting my rod down when it came free and came towards us.

"It wasn't until it was about 15 yards away when it was lit up by my head-torch that I saw it in all its glory."

Her husband Chris, 38, and another angler had to wade into the water to heave the fish out.


Bev's catch beats the 85-year-old record set by Georgina Ballantine in 1922 when she caught the 64lb salmon (above)

The lake's bailiff was called out to verify the weighing, and it took the three men to lift the fish up and put it in Mrs Street's arms for a photograph.

Mrs Street, of Skegness, Lincolnshire, said: "I knew it was going to be big but it didn't cross my mind that it was going to be a record.

"Even now I can't believe I have broken the Ballantine record. It's taken a long time but at last somebody has done it.

"I'm over the moon and I couldn't sleep for two days afterwards because I was so excited."

Mrs Street took up angling three years ago after being encouraged by her husband, and the couple regularly go on fishing holidays together.

Up until now, her previous biggest catch was a 29lb carp while Mr Street has caught a 44lb specimen before.

It is thought there are only eight catfish weighing more than 60lb in Britain, making her achievement even more remarkable.

Mr Street, a driver, said: "I'm so proud of her, it's just brilliant. It's bigger than anything I have ever caught." Miss Ballantine, part of the Ballantine Whisky family, set the previous record on October 7 in 1922 when she landed the 64lb salmon from a boat on the Glendelvine stretch of the River Tay in Perthshire, Scotland.

Such was its size and strength that she said her arms remained swollen for two weeks afterwards.

Michael Heylin, of the British Record (rod caught) Fish Committee, said: "The Ballantine catch is a very famous record because it was caught when there were hardly any ladies angling. Her record has stood the test of time.

"This new record is brilliant news, it is a massive achievement. Hopefully it will encourage more women to take up the sport, just like Ballantine did."

Of the estimated three million sea and freshwater anglers in Britain, around 300,000 are thought to be women.
 

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Goodness me,that is one big pussy she has there !!! :eek:hmy:
 

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Just a point......what is this doing on the Scottish catch and venue forum,shouldn't it be in general chat, or some course fishing forum.

Now it is........
 

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thats a nice fish.soz i missed the meet pauline.couldnt afford the diesel.plus working at 9 the next day.one day i will make a meet:clap:
 

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sorry balintine wins everytime as hers was a real fish not something brought in to a pool to grow big.
 

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Hiya,
sorry balintine wins everytime as hers was a real fish not something brought in to a pool to grow big.
Yup couldn't agree more, the wild native fish wins hands down over a "possibly" imported alien fish stuck in a puddle to be grown on.
 

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Totally agree with Marty and Davy. But credit where credit due it is a cracking fish though.
 

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Sorry guys but B*LL*X - that is the biggest fish ever caught in Britain by a woman...end of story.

Maybe the Ballantyne fish had more 'quality'..being only possibly caught by a member of the upper classes however the biggest fish ever caught by a woman in British freshwater is now 66lbs!!

got to agree with you here mate..just because a fish is located in a lake doesn't mean it is less worthy.

all fish in lakes "grow on"..it is what fish do...we'd all be p!ssed off if they didn't grow wouldn't we..whether they are in a lake, river or the sea!
 

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I also agree with Davy and marty,but still think it is a catch to be proud of!
 

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yes,an impressive fish,but as a specimen to compare against that fishes growing potential,ballantyne wins hands down
 
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