30 YEARS AGO TODAY Sweating on the pike record
Somerset angler Carl Garratt was enduring an anxious wait while his scales, used to weigh a potential record breaker, were being checked and verified. The 29-yearold furniture polisher from Evercreech caught the huge specimen, which weighed 44 lb 8 oz, from famous Welsh wonder water Llandegfedd, where he float-drifted his bait alongside a bar.
“It fought hard and deep for 20 minutes. I was stunned. I knew it was very big when I hooked it, but thought maybe it was foul-hooked. There were some anxious moments when I could feel it knocking across the bottom and, at times, my rod was bent to the butt,” Carl told the Mail.
Carl finally netted his prize using a Conoflex rod, 15 lb line and a herring deadbait on a size 6 semi-barbless hook, presented 5 ft off bottom in 30 ft of water.
Record sole shocker
Talking of record breakers, on page 7 of this week’s Mail, Alan Helps, of Babbacombe SAA, was beaming from ear to ear as he held aloft a new British record sole of 4 lb 2 oz 8 dr. The super sole had been caught from a mark in Torbay, beating the then current boatcaught record set off the Isle of Wight by 6 oz 4 dr. Alan’s specimen was identified at Plymouth’s Marine Biological Association Lab by Dr Roger Swimfen.
Teenager’s mighty mirrors
Fresh-faced Junior Mail man Richard Howard reported on a story of keen carp angler Barry Harrowing, 14, who fished for five days without a bite, but then had a fine brace of mirror carp in a frantic early morning feeding spell. The Middlesex teenager smashed his carp PB twice in five minutes, with mirrors of 30 lb 2 oz and 25 lb 6 oz.
Both came from a hole in the weed, baited with tiger nuts and topped up each day in the hope that fish would move in and mop them up, and his critically balanced tiger nut hook bait on a bolt rig to 11 lb line and size 6 hook.