THIS IS the exclusive picture of a huge 235lb common skate that smashes the current British record out of sight.
It took Welsh specimen hunter David Griffiths an hour-and-a-half to haul the historic 7.5ft-long specimen up through over 500ft of water while he was on holiday in Scotland with his son William and a group of friends.
They were fishing aboard Ronnie Campbell’s Laura Dawn II a mile-and-a-half off the coast of Oban when the giant skate - which is 8lb heavier than the current British best caught back in 1986 off the Isle of Lewis in Scotland - took a squid and mackerel cocktail mounted on a size 10/0 Mustad hook.
“It took me over 30 minutes just to get the fish off the bottom, and when I saw the look on Ronnie’s face as it came up through the depths I knew it was a very special specimen indeed,” David told Angling Times.
After its dimensions were accurately measured on board and the estimated weight confirmed, the mighty specimen was safely returned unharmed. This means that the captor won’t be able to make an official record claim because, as things currently stand, all boat-caught fish are required to be killed and weighed on the shore in order to be eligible for entry into the history books.
“I’ve caught skate to 210lb before, but this magnificent creature completely dwarfed them and even though it would have been great to claim a record, there’s no way that any of us would do any harm to a fish like this which is probably 60-years-old.”
Skipper Ronnie has been fishing for giant skate for over 25 years and David’s is the biggest fish he’s ever brought aboard in that time.
“I’ve never seen a skate like it. With a length of 91 inches and a width of 71 inches, it works out at 235lb on our conversion chart, but I think if we weighed this fish on the shore it could have been at least 10lb bigger because it was so fat,” said Ronnie.
During their six-day holiday, the group of friends boated more than a dozen skate over the 100lb mark, with 12-year-old William landing them to an impressive 113lb.