JERSEY angler Steve Mullins has staked a claim for VisitGuernsey’s £10,000 prize in the Islands of Guernsey Angling Challenge for catching a record fish.
He caught a 50-14-13 tope while fishing in the Open Alderney Angling Festival; a specimen that easily beat the current Guernsey Bailiwick record of 48-0-0. The tope also gave him £2000 from the festival for breaking the record and £150 for being top fish in its category.
The festival clearly illustrated the superb fishing being experienced in the Bailiwick.
The tope fishing in Alderney was phenomenal. It was a shore-only competition and yet thirty were caught during the weeklong event, nearly all being between 30-0-0 and 50-0-0. Other top fish in their category were conger of 41-8-0, plaice 3-7-0, bass 13-5-8, grey mullet 5-12-0, black bream 3-7-12, ballan wrasse 6-13-0, Couch’s sea bream 1-10-6 and garfish 1-6-4.Guernsey’s Mark Le Page is another angler submitting a claim for a big cash prize. He caught a near Bailiwick shore-caught record lesser spotted dogfish of 2-13-11 and is in line for a £1000 award for catching the doggie during the second leg of the West Coast Sea Angling Club’s Specimen Fish Hunt. Anglers fishing in the Guernsey shore-based Fish Hunt caught a whole string of specimen fish including, black bream 3-9-12, red mullet 1-14-7, Couch’s sea bream 1-11-6, trigger fish 2-1-8, bass 7-10-9, ballan wrasse of 7-3-2 and 6-4-1, golden grey mullet 1-11-1, conger of 25-14-0 and grey mullet 4-5-0.
However the biggest telling point of the last month was the capture, on rod and line of a ballan wrasse in excess of 10lb! It was caught at Cobo Bay on Guernsey‘s west coast by nine-year-old angler Daniel De Kock.
Daniel and his family had recently arrived from South Africa and had no idea of what the fish was, or its importance.
Before it could be formally identified the family had the fish for dinner! Its identity could only be confirmed by photos of the rockie.
It was only weighed on domestic scales, which indicated the weight as 10-3-10, a fish that would have easily beaten the Guernsey Bailiwick record, the Channel Islands record and even the British record which stands at 9-1-0. When the scales were checked it became clear that they were not accurate enough or of sufficient standard for record claim purposes. Consequently it was agreed that there would be No point in perusing a claim and sadly the fish and its young captor will never get the recognition they deserve.
As indicated the fishing on shore marks is excellent at present, and it’s a similar story from anglers who do manage to get afloat during lulls in persistent strong winds. Catches of black bream afloat are superb. Two anglers hooked 105 plus two Couch’s sea bream on an inshore mark in a short four-hour session. Turbot and brill are being caught by both private and angling charter boats on offshore bank marks, as well as a pollack up to 9-0-0 on reef marks.
On shore anglers are having great fun on float gear with garish which are present in almost plague proportions, with catches in excess of 40 being reported. Black bream are abundant on many different shore venues along with red mullet, grey mullet, bass, and a few late triggerfish.