Rare Shore Caught skate sets new club record

Combe Martin SAC member Kyle Bishop set a new club record when he caught a rare blue skate from the North Devon shoreline. The fish weighing 13lb 8oz beats the existing club record of 8lb 3oz caught in 2020 by Jamie Steward. Skate are a very rare catch from North Devon waters. These fish can grow to well over 200lb and were once common in the Bristol Channel with fish recorded from numerous North Devon ports in the Victorian era.

Kyle has also added specimen tope of 36lb 15oz and a spurdog of 10lb 5oz to his New Year tally following on from last season when he knotched up a very impressive list of specimen captures.

tope – 36lb 15oz

Scottish Skate Haul

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Combe Martin SAC Club member Kyle Bishop enjoyed a very succesful trip to Scotland. Below is the full account of his trip.

Last minute trip to Scotland weekend checked weather seen a break made fone call next day we was off , crazy 2 days fishing straight in to fish first cast of trip, lost my first skate then my light rod (primo synchro )had out for spurs went over landing pb female of 210lb followed by a pb male of 115lb on same rod , second day first cast 15lb spur followed by 159lb female then ended the trip with another nice male 112lb , had 7 runs landing 4 unreal fishing  and the lads got in to a few as well.

Rare skate from Bristol Channel shore mark.

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Jamie Steward fished an up Channel mark and hooked into a surprise fish in the shape of a rare skate. The skate believed to be a blue skate (Common skate) is a very rare catch from the South-West of England and sets a new club record for the Combe Martin SAC. The skate weighed 8lb 3oz which its not big in skate terms as these fish grow to over 200lb’s. I wrote about the huge skate that were once caught off Lynmouth and the North Devon in my book “I Caught A Glimpse”. coast it would be exciting if these fish could once again establish a population in our region. I have made enquiry’s to try and establish a definite identification of the skate and will update this story when I have further expert opinion.

The skate has a large chunk missing from its wing indication that it has been attacked at some point by a large predator.’possibly a seal or shark. This is of course one of sea anglings great attractions in that you never know what lurks pithing casting range.

Jamie was fishing with fellow club member Ali Laird who caught a 20lb 3oz specimen conger.

North Devon Anglers – Big Skate on Scottish Foray

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Combe Martin SAC members Mark Jones and Craig McCloughlin fished off Scotland’s West Coast and enjoyed success with some huge skate. Fishing on one and a half days ( second day was cut short due to bad weather) the four anglers boated five skate with Marks estimated at 193lb and Craig Mc Cloughlins 191lb. The other skate were between 136lb and 188lb.The fish were tempted using three whole mackerel sent to the Bottom in 500ft of water using 4lb of lead, 80lb b.s braided line and rod to match.

“These creatures totally ruin your back,arms,legs and joints. Never experience a fight like it!!!!”.

These awesome fish are all carefully returned and are now thriving in the deep waters off the Scottish Coast. It is sad to reflect that fish as big as these once swam in the waters of the Bristol Channel but were wiped out by overfishing.

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.