An imitation seagull has accounted for the capture of a record-breaking haul of huge sharks.
Fly fishing fanatic Allan Shephard and three of his friends did battle with no less than 29 blues to over 120lb while fishing their unconventional bait during a trip out of Milford Haven on the Welsh coast aboard Andrew Alsop’s White Water II.
The group worked the predators up into a frenzy by expertly working their array of home-made flies, that ranged from imitation bait fish such as mackerel, all the way through to a life size seagull that accounted for one of the largest fish.
The catch is the biggest ever of fly-caught sharks taken during a day and the party, completed by Berkshire-based rod Duncan Goldsmith, Toby Coe from Devon and Wiltshire’s Martyn Wright, admitted that they were left exhausted after the manic session.
“Catching shark like this is incredible. You couldn’t be more in touch with the fish because the centre pin reels have no gearing to help aid the fight,” said Allan, brands and marketing manager for Farlows Sportfish Group. “We don’t use harnesses, plus the 70lb core line that we use has very little stretch - to say it’s a hell of a battle is an understatement.
“The sharks take seagulls off the top and that’s exactly why we used this fly as it imitates a bird bobbing around on the surface. It’s amazing to see the fish coming up for it.”
Andrew Alsop is the most successful shark skipper in the UK and usually targets the predators with fish baits attached to floats made from empty soft drink bottles.
“Having never personally targeted blue sharks with flies, I jumped at the chance to try my hand at it,” he said. “It’s been a long time since I fished for sharks myself, but how could I refuse after seeing these boys do battle on fly gear all day.
“I was amazed at how sensitive these fish can be as we could actually feel them mouthing the fly and checking it out before they properly took the bait. When that happened we just had to hold on for dear life!” he added.