Cap­tor tar­gets por­bea­gle on flavoured bait­fish pat­tern

Angling Times (UK) - - FRONT PAGE - MARK PECK Se­nior re­porter

AMONSTER por­bea­gle has been caught from Bri­tish wa­ters by an an­gler us­ing fly-fish­ing tackle.

The shark, es­ti­mated to weigh 380lb and thought to be the largest ever taken on a fly, was claimed by Wilt­shire an­gler Tim West­cott who bat­tled with the fish for over an hour while aboard Jerry Rogers’ Fast Cats char­ter boat out of Corn­wall.

Tim claimed the porgie while pur­pose­fully tar­get­ing the species. It’s the lat­est in a twoyear cam­paign that has seen him land nu­mer­ous other spec­i­mens, in­clud­ing a blue shark of 151lb... also on the fly.

The 54-year-old used a Bloke Shark Mas­ter 7ft rod with 400lb trace and 250lb leader with 70lb fly line, end­ing in a hand-sized bait­fish im­i­ta­tion fly coated with Fish-Dy­namix’s Mack­erel Wand flavour­ing.

He said: “The take came just 10 min­utes into the ses­sion. Jerry knew it was a big fish but I thought he was muck­ing around as for a few min­utes I still had plenty of line on the reel. Then all hell broke loose and it took me most of the re­main­ing time to re­cover all that line.

“Af­ter pulling it to the side of the boat my eyes came out of my head when I saw the sheer size of it, but our main ob­jec­tive was to re­lease it as quickly and as safely as we could.”

Tim be­gan his fish­ing ca­reer tar­get­ing tiny perch and roach on a lo­cal pond be­fore mov­ing to fly fish­ing for pike and carp on es­tate lakes and the Bris­tol Avon.

He was fur­ther in­spired by An­gling Times colum­nist Dom Gar­nett’s ‘Fly for Coarse’ cam­paign and made the lifechang­ing de­ci­sion to tar­get

more sub­stan­tial quarry: “To say that I’ve had to beef up my gear to be able to deal with these in­cred­i­bly pow­er­ful preda­tors is an un­der­state­ment,” he con­tin­ued. “Play­ing those huge fish on light fly tackle is an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, and is to­tally ad­dic­tive.

“To see these sharks take the bait and then feel their sheer power as they take off is like noth­ing else – it’s a bit dif­fer­ent to catch­ing trout and sal­mon, I can tell you.”

“My eyes came out of my head when I saw the sheer size of it”

The gi­ant fly that ac­counted for the shark.

Tim’s por­bea­gle comes along­side the boat.

Tim has also caught blue sharks to 151lb.

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