North Devon Angler who Fished for England

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North Devon based Jon Patten Kindly sent this report on his recent trip fishing for England in the World Big Game Championships in South Africa.

The English Big Game fishing Team recently fished the World Big Game Championships in Sodwana Bay South Africa. They secured a marlin early in the competition where 28 of the best teams from around the world were competing. This catapulted the team straight into the  lead position over the 4 days of competing. However a couple hours prior to the end of the competition the Spanish team pushed the English team into silver medal position.  All 7 team members were overjoyed to have gained a silver medal for their country. The next championships will be held in Senegal in approximately 14 -months time where we will be doing battle yet again in the world championships.

Jon treks North for giant Skate

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Globe trotting North Devon angler Jon Patten made the long trek to Western Scotland to target the huge common skate that dwell in the deep-waters. Jon was fishing aboard top Charter boat ‘Size Matters” skippered by Kevin Mckie and sponsored by Shimano. The team are working on a feature for Sea Angler Magazine due for publication later this year. The fish Jon is playing in the picture was brought to the boat and was estimated at 202lb and was subdued using 20lb class tackle and was hooked in 500ft of water.

Image courtesy of Ashley Clarke

It is fascinating and rather sad to note that huge giant skate like this were once tempted from the waters off Lynmouth. Over fishing wiped these magnificent fish out in our area. The populations in Scotland and Ireland are now protected and angling is strictly catch and release with the fish photographed after measuring before disappearing back into the mysterious depths. The anglers fishing for these magnificent fish bring a huge benefit to the local economy and help with important research into the species. The fish have no commercial value as a food fish and are very slow growing.