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Nine members of our Club - https://www.facebook.com/pages/SCBI-Sportfishing-Club-of-the-British-Isles/116133465115464 - have recently returned from an enjoyable two days sharking; our planned third day, the Wednesday, was cancelled due to 20+ knot winds. We fished in groups of three with a plan to ‘rotate’ the groups between the three boats - Sea Angler 2 skippered by Malcolm, Crusader skippered by Ricky with Kevin crewing, and Mirage skippered by Dave with Simon crewing.

Monday was virtually windless, with that being the day that the group fishing with Malcolm on Sea Angler 2 spotting a school of juvenile Bluefin at 100 yard range. So not the school of ‘giants’ initially sighted off Penzance over the weekend that resulted in so much excitement in the Press. But I wonder if that was the same migration that commercials encountered off Portland last year? One of our members who’d targeted juvenile Bluefin in the North Eastern Adriatic earlier in the year was of the opinion they were similar sized fish in the 70 to 100b range. (Alright I won’t go on about the lack of any recreational quota within the EU’s quotas.)

Any rate they had, on Sea Angler 2, just a solitary Blue, with the other boats both recording five each.

Tuesday was much better. The wind was up and we all got decent drifts. We were on Crusader and were some 16/17 miles past the Eddystone, I suspect on the edge of the shipping channel. All three boats released 10 fish each. (So 41 in total for the two days.)

Um … although we had to work for our tenth after I - and I know I can, on occasions, be somewhat excitable - popped my 30lb line! Unfortunately my ageing FinNor Regal doesn’t have a strike setting on it and, with the fish really motoring and the clicker left on for maximum effect, I pushed the lever to …….. SUNSET! (I’d also lost a fish earlier in the day. That had swum past the float before going down and abraded the line. It broke on the strike.)

Still despite my embarrassment - and not surprisingly they weren’t prepared to let me forget it - and with literally minutes before lines out I got another run which proved to be the biggest fish of the trip. (I was a tad more ‘sensitive’ with my drag settings this time.) We brought it through the transom door and taped it out at 90” (7’ 6”) short length with a girth - it was a really fat female - of 42”. That equates, using the ‘formula’, to 198.5lbs - a personal best. (My previous best had been estimated at 140lbs and came from the Azores when we were night-time fishing for Broadbill. That was on a mono trace!)

We understand that that’s the biggest fish from Plymouth this season and, in all probability, was one of those ‘Gulf Stream/North Atlantic Drift’ fish rather than one coming from Portugal. That said though I do recall, many moons ago, they used to encounter those 200lb fish 20 miles off Cape St Vincente - the westerly point of the Algarve - mixed in with a sprinkling of Makos.

Other points of interest.

Dave and Simon on Mirage were really impressed with the consummate angling skills of our ‘dancing two-some’ taking on a double header on their Stellas. Seriously they performed well in keeping the fish apart, and bringing them to the transom separately for release.

What was noticeable on day one was that the birds in the chum trail would not easily spook - we saw one with a shark literally ‘up its bum’ before it lifted off and moved just a few yards. However on day two, with more chop, they would spook as a group and stay in the air for a significant time. That was usually the precursor for a bite. We suspect though, given the length of time those birds were unsettled at the end of our day, that the penultimate fish - the one I popped off - and the larger one had been in the chum trail deep for some time before taking the baits.

Mackerel were thin on the ground throughout and as many sharks, perhaps more, were taken on Whiting as Mackerel.

One of our members lost one fish when the heavy mono, backing the wire, was bitten through and, and it’s the perceived wisdom, that the fish had rolled up on the trace. Kevin however on Crusader had a different view. He felt that on hooking the bait would often be blown up the trace and lodge on the connecting swivel where, on occasions, another shark would take it and chop through the leader. Any rate since he’s used to lightly wire the bait to the circle hook he’s had no cut-offs. Worth considering?

Finally let me complement our crews - really nice guys, very professional and great company!
 

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Nine members of our Club - https://www.facebook.com/pages/SCBI-Sportfishing-Club-of-the-British-Isles/116133465115464 - have recently returned from an enjoyable two days sharking; our planned third day, the Wednesday, was cancelled due to 20+ knot winds. We fished in groups of three with a plan to ‘rotate’ the groups between the three boats - Sea Angler 2 skippered by Malcolm, Crusader skippered by Ricky with Kevin crewing, and Mirage skippered by Dave with Simon crewing.

Monday was virtually windless, with that being the day that the group fishing with Malcolm on Sea Angler 2 spotting a school of juvenile Bluefin at 100 yard range. So not the school of ‘giants’ initially sighted off Penzance over the weekend that resulted in so much excitement in the Press. But I wonder if that was the same migration that commercials encountered off Portland last year? One of our members who’d targeted juvenile Bluefin in the North Eastern Adriatic earlier in the year was of the opinion they were similar sized fish in the 70 to 100b range. (Alright I won’t go on about the lack of any recreational quota within the EU’s quotas.)

Any rate they had, on Sea Angler 2, just a solitary Blue, with the other boats both recording five each.

Tuesday was much better. The wind was up and we all got decent drifts. We were on Crusader and were some 16/17 miles past the Eddystone, I suspect on the edge of the shipping channel. All three boats released 10 fish each. (So 41 in total for the two days.)

Um … although we had to work for our tenth after I - and I know I can, on occasions, be somewhat excitable - popped my 30lb line! Unfortunately my ageing FinNor Regal doesn’t have a strike setting on it and, with the fish really motoring and the clicker left on for maximum effect, I pushed the lever to …….. SUNSET! (I’d also lost a fish earlier in the day. That had swum past the float before going down and abraded the line. It broke on the strike.)

Still despite my embarrassment - and not surprisingly they weren’t prepared to let me forget it - and with literally minutes before lines out I got another run which proved to be the biggest fish of the trip. (I was a tad more ‘sensitive’ with my drag settings this time.) We brought it through the transom door and taped it out at 90” (7’ 6”) short length with a girth - it was a really fat female - of 42”. That equates, using the ‘formula’, to 198.5lbs - a personal best. (My previous best had been estimated at 140lbs and came from the Azores when we were night-time fishing for Broadbill. That was on a mono trace!)

We understand that that’s the biggest fish from Plymouth this season and, in all probability, was one of those ‘Gulf Stream/North Atlantic Drift’ fish rather than one coming from Portugal. That said though I do recall, many moons ago, they used to encounter those 200lb fish 20 miles off Cape St Vincente - the westerly point of the Algarve - mixed in with a sprinkling of Makos.

Other points of interest.

Dave and Simon on Mirage were really impressed with the consummate angling skills of our ‘dancing two-some’ taking on a double header on their Stellas. Seriously they performed well in keeping the fish apart, and bringing them to the transom separately for release.

What was noticeable on day one was that the birds in the chum trail would not easily spook - we saw one with a shark literally ‘up its bum’ before it lifted off and moved just a few yards. However on day two, with more chop, they would spook as a group and stay in the air for a significant time. That was usually the precursor for a bite. We suspect though, given the length of time those birds were unsettled at the end of our day, that the penultimate fish - the one I popped off - and the larger one had been in the chum trail deep for some time before taking the baits.

Mackerel were thin on the ground throughout and as many sharks, perhaps more, were taken on Whiting as Mackerel.

One of our members lost one fish when the heavy mono, backing the wire, was bitten through and, and it’s the perceived wisdom, that the fish had rolled up on the trace. Kevin however on Crusader had a different view. He felt that on hooking the bait would often be blown up the trace and lodge on the connecting swivel where, on occasions, another shark would take it and chop through the leader. Any rate since he’s used to lightly wire the bait to the circle hook he’s had no cut-offs. Worth considering?

Finally let me complement our crews - really nice guys, very professional and great company!
what a great report mate and what a fish well done it seems that once again plymouth has fished really well for the blues we had 8 the weekend just gone but only to 90lb did you get any photos of the beast? or was it as heptic as I would imagine it would be with a fish of that size also how long did it take to get in?
 

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Thanks Biffo. Probably not much more than 10 - 15 minutes, and it was the only Blue that day though that completed a circle of the boat. The tackle's a bit brutal though - it's a 'Stateside 50lb trolling rod matched to that FinNor loaded with 30lb Ande Tournament. Although I was a bit more cautious that time I do, after the first run, tend to forget pre-sets and push the lever drag up. If the line 'sings' then there's too much pressure!

It was only the second fish the crew had brought into the boat that season. Sharks don't have a rib cage, so consequently there're always concerns about rupturing internal organs, but you'll notice it came in via the transom door - almost down to sea level. She did swim away strongly after release.
 

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Thanks Biffo. Probably not much more than 10 - 15 minutes, and it was the only Blue that day though that completed a circle of the boat. The tackle's a bit brutal though - it's a 'Stateside 50lb trolling rod matched to that FinNor loaded with 30lb Ande Tournament. Although I was a bit more cautious that time I do, after the first run, tend to forget pre-sets and push the lever drag up. If the line 'sings' then there's too much pressure!

It was only the second fish the crew had brought into the boat that season. Sharks don't have a rib cage, so consequently there're always concerns about rupturing internal organs, but you'll notice it came in via the transom door - almost down to sea level. She did swim away strongly after release.
well done mate yes no all about how important it is to treat these beautiful creatures with respect but when you get a fish of this size (fish of a lifetime. )you need to measure it I no simon very well and no that he would hate to see any harm done to the fish and yes every shark I've seen put back has gone off like a torpedo bar one I caught when I was 12 years old 24 year's ago when things were a little different then it was my first shark it went 107lb I didn't have no choice as to if I could put it back but things have changed now if we all do are part hopefully my son his son and so on will all get to see these amazing fish.you mentioned that little tip about tieing the bait to the circle hook what a great tip how often do you see the bait slide up the line and funny enough we had our rubbing leader cut just as the shark ran ping it was gone there is no way it was raped up it only just picked the bait up so I agree with Kevin on that one and only time will tell if he's right anyway PanamaJack tight lines congratulations on a cracking fish hope to speak soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Forgot to mention as well that we use non-offset circle hooks with the barbs crushed down. All of our fish were hooked in the scissors of the jaw.
 

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Slightly off topic, I am originally from the North East and someone caught a 200lb porbeagle 18 miles off the coast up there a few days ago, never heard of that up there before
 
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Slightly off topic, I am originally from the North East and someone caught a 200lb porbeagle 18 miles off the coast up there a few days ago, never heard of that up there before
lot of porgies in the north sea mate,especially since the danish long liners stopped. seen quite a few reports of porgies on the whitby forum last few years.
cheers rab
 

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Thanks for the report Dave, look forward to seeing you guys again some time.
I think getting your kit back in so quick after the .... shall we say..... mishap?... was the only cure! She was a lump for sure, no sagging in the belly rather she was like a bowling ball!
The bait moving up the line was an observation several years back, we saw a second shark hit it and part the trace near the boat. Having tried allsorts of gizmos and ideas we settled on the simplest - a short piece of garden wire! We've not had a single trace part on us since, each other the other boats that are now trying it are saying the same too. Funny how the simplest ideas are often the best.
See you all next time
kev.
 
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