THE national media have been in a summer feeding frenzy after British rod-caught blue shark record was smashed by an astonishing 42 lb with this 256 lb beast.
The huge blue shark was part of a 77 shark haul from Robin ‘Chippy’ Chapman’s Penzance, Cornwall, charter boat Bite Adventures.
Angler’s Mail was first with the news, with straight-up reporting…
Skipper Chippy, whose boat is backed by tackle brand Fin-Nor, said: “I had a regular party down for a few days fishing for sharks as they do every year. They are a competent group of anglers who always do well.
“On Saturday, they had a great day, catching 44 sharks, with a good head of big fish. We had a huge male blue, of 129 lb, and a good female at 144 lb.
“The following day they were straight back out early – John Dines was set in his mind that he wanted a ‘big ‘un’ and kept to the same method as the day before.”
Blue shark went off like a steam train!
Chippy continued: “The third fish that day fell to the trap John set. As soon as he hooked up we knew it was big. It went off like an absolute steam train!
“After 40 minutes of hard battling with this giant, we finally got the first sighting.
“We saw the fish from the bow as it circled the boat once before going off on another surging run straight back to the ocean’s depths.
“I told John to remember what he saw because if he lost it nobody would believe him!
“The fish repeated this five or six times but luckily the 400 lb 49-strand wire and 10/0 hook held fast.”
“When the fish was finally beaten and ready to come aboard, there were cheers from around the boat. What a fish!” Chippy exclaimed.
Tabloid coverage… and record ratification
The blue was measured as a new British record at 256 lb but it was so big the skipper reckons it was likely to be nearer 300 lb.
The giant obliterated the previous record of 214 lb, set way back in 1959.
It was measured and photographed then released back unharmed.
Captor John Dines was expected to claim the catch and release record for blue shark from the Shark Angling Club of Great Britain.
Upon hearing the news, secretary John McMaster told Angler’s Mail: “We are expecting a claim in the next few week’s which involves a statement, photos and I understand in this case video.
“Our next committee meeting which will consider the claim is due at the end of August after which the information will be released.
“If it is confirmed as genuine it is certainly a fantastic fish,” he added.
Meanwhile, as word spread – and record ratification hung in the balance – the skipper and co were deluged with interest from the non-angling media, many getting a bit carried away during the ‘summer silly season’.
Some coverage clearly overstepped the mark, and included this ‘killer shark’ front cover (below) by the Daily Mirror.
Several reports in the non-angling press appeared to express concern that the fish was returned…
But a happy ending was soon announced, as Chippy revealed good news…
Chippy said via his Facebook page: “Yesterday we found out that John Dines now holds the catch and release British record for his blue shark. Massive congratulations bud.
“Also a massive thanks to the Shark Club of Great Britain for moving with the times and getting it recognised that catch and release is the way forward in protecting our fishery for many generations to come.
“Well done guys, not just from me but all the guys who fish on Bite Adventures and all the charter fleet across great Britain.”
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