Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland British Record Atlantic Salmon.

Salmon Fishing Scotland British Record Atlantic Salmon.

Ness monster is ultimate fishy tale
FRANK URQUHART (furquhart@scotsman.com)

THE massive salmon landed briefly on the banks of the River Ness at the weekend was, by any measure, a "monster" of the deep.

And yesterday Britain's angling world was a hotbed of speculation that the UK's historic rod catch record, set by the young daughter of a Scottish ghillie 85 years ago, might finally be smashed.
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Georgina Ballantyne made headlines around the world in 1922 when she landed a gargantuan salmon, weighing in at an incredible 64lb, on the Glendelvine stretch of the River Tay.

Her catch set the record for both the largest salmon ever caught in the British Isles, as well as the heaviest freshwater fish landed by an angler in British waters.

It was a record which no angling expert believed could be broken in modern times - until rumours began circulating on angling websites about the River Ness monster which had been hooked and then released on the Highland river on Saturday.

The first weblog, posted on Saturday night, revealed: "There has just been a huge cock salmon caught on Dochfour beat of the River Ness this afternoon.

"It was returned unharmed to the river. I've been told it has been photographed and measured accurately at56in long and 50in around the girth. This fish seemingly measures two inches longer then the current British record salmon of 64lb, and Ness fish are as deep as Tay fish, so we could at this stage be looking at a new record."

Another angler wrote: "Congratulations to the man or woman who caught the monster - a fish of a lifetime - one we all strive for in our dreams."

As the speculation grew and the possible weight of the monster catch fluctuated from 40lb to a possible 112lb The Scotsman managed to track down the ghillie who had helped to net the massive King of Fish.

And Grant Sutherland admitted that the angling party had no way of confirming the actual weight of the monster catch as the only set of scales they had on the river bank could only weigh up to 30lb.

He said: "I was there when it was caught and we are currently waiting an expert's option on the weight of it. The man who caught it is an experienced angler and his reaction was one of shock. It took about 45 minutes to land.

"But the chap who caught the fish doesn't want to say anything until we have been given a weight. At the moment it is all getting blown out of proportion, to be honest."

Mr Sutherland, who has been ghillie on the Dochfour beat for 20 years, continued: "I have never come across a fish like that before. We couldn't weigh the salmon because we didn't have scales big enough.

All I can say is that the measured length was 56in. It was the biggest fish I've ever seen - by a mile."

The angling party have sent pictures of the giant salmon to the government's Freshwater Laboratory at Faskally, near Pitlochry, in Perthshire, in the hope that marine experts may be able to assess the weight of the fish.

But last night any lingering hopes that a new record could be set were completely dashed by the body responsible for sanctioning angling records in the British Isles.

David Rowe, the secretary of the British Record Fish Committee, said: "Unfortunately, photographic evidence will not be enough to set a record.

"Three criteria have to be met to set a record. One is witness to capture which I guess is fine. The second is identification which we can do from photographs and that will be OK.

"But the other is that it has to be weighed on land on scales that can be certified and so it would fall down on that count. So it can't stand as a record."


Anonymous said...

Don't give these numpties any more oxygen of publicity. Have angler numbers been dropping on this particular beat? Looking at the picture on your blog it looks a fair sized "kipper", really good they returned it. Maybe it's progeny will in years to come indeed beat Jessie's record.


Anonymous said...

If that fish is 120 lbs. that guy must have a hell of a long arm.

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