Jackson’s shock as baby thresher shark hooks on
Wednesday 18th July 2007, 12:00AM BST.
ALDERNEY angler Blake Jackson had a huge shock when he went fishing for sandeels and caught a thresher shark. He was out on the Alderney South Bank when he decided to catch some sandeels for bait.
He had a set of feathers, which used a pirk for the weight. This tackle was dropped over the side in 80ft of water and was almost immediately seized by something that was obviously much heavier than a sandeel. Jackson was amazed to discover that a tiny thresher shark had taken the pirk and subsequently got tangled in the string of feathers.
An English charter boat was nearby and the four-feet-long fish was placed on a set of their scales. It weighed 9-8-0 and after photos were taken, it was safely returned alive. It swam away strongly, hopefully none the worse for its short period of capture. This really was a baby of the species, one that had been born very recently.
In the Unesco book, ‘The Fishes of the North Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean’ it states that the thresher shark’s size at birth is about 120cm or 47.25in., which was almost exactly the length of Jackson’s catch.
Thresher sharks are comparatively rare in our waters. There is no Bailiwick record for the species, although there is a Channel Island record, a 158-0-0 fish caught off Jersey in 1961. The national best is a 323-0-0 specimen caught off Portsmouth in 1982. In more tropical seas, specimens up to 1,000-0-0 have been recorded.
TONY OZARD has smashed the boat-caught records for tub gurnard. He legered a sandeel bait at Godine to tempt the 7-11-7 specimen. It easily beats the existing Bailiwick record, a 6-13-9 fish caught by Philip Hartley at Godine in August 1996.
Ozard’s catch also bettered the Channel Island record, a 7-8-3 fish caught off Jersey in 2006.
There was no chance that he would challenge the British record for that is held by a 11-7-4 fish caught off Wallasey 55 years ago, in 1952.
The new potential record gurnard has become an entry in the July Fish of the Month competition.
BLACK bream dominated the shore catches in Sark’s Water Carnival open competition.
The winner was Phil Mason who caught 10 of them and two pollack for a total weight of 26-5-0.
Second was Roger Knight who had a weight of 6-14-0. His all-bream catch included a 3-1-0 fish which gave him the award for the best specimen of the day.
Third was Glyn Williams who landed one black bream and two ballan wrasse for 4-5-0.
Liz Dene won the women’s prize with 2-9-0: her catch included a 0-15-0 red mullet, which gave her the top mullet prize. Apparently she landed 10 grey mullet, which were all under the competition’s size limits.
Jason Brehaut won the junior prize with just 0-3-0.
The top boat award went to the three anglers out with Kevin Law. Hugh Donnelly and James and Patrick Coolridge boated a total weight of 126-14-0. The catch was all pollack, except for one bass.
Second prize went to Peter Stistead who had 24-0-0 of mackerel, while Bobby Dewe was third with 14-10-0 of pollack.
Although the organisers were disappointed that only 25 anglers supported the competition, they were delighted that £491.50 was raised for the Professor Saint Medical Fund.
ANDREW MARQUIS and his colleagues must be congratulated and thanked for their clean-up of St Peter Port Breakwater. However, it should have never got to the stage where their sterling efforts were required, for all anglers should have cleared their own rubbish at the end of their fishing sessions.
The breakwater is probably the most popular shore fishing spot in the island, one which consistently produces good catches. In fact, between 1966 and 2006, 41 Bailiwick shore records covering 19 species were caught there, four of which were also British records.
Do we want to lose the right to fish this spot? No, of course we don’t, but it may be lost to angling unless anglers accept their responsibilities.
All who fish there must clear up their mess before they leave and help and encourage others to do the same.
The future of angling on the pier is in the anglers’ hands. Ignore the problem and there is every possibility the Harbour Authority will close this popular facility permanently.
NO FEWER than 25 bass were caught by Guernsey Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society members during June.
Shore catches accounted for 14 of the total. Gavin Arnold topped the catch list, landing three for an aggregate of 20-0-0, his biggest specimen, an 8-14-0 fish, giving him the Mick’s Fishing Supplies award for the heaviest shore-caught bass.
Dean Tulie also had three, for a total weight of 13-8-2, while Brian Montgomery had two for 8-12-14.
Members with a single fish were Karl Le Prevost, 3-15-0, Tom Brock, 3-2-0, Simon Russell, 6-10-2, John Dunne, 5-9-0, Scott Rowe, 6-4-13 and Paul Clark, 5-3-14.
In spite of all the catches, Karl Le Prevost has retained top spot on the shore championship list with 15 bass for 92-0-0, well ahead of second placed Paul Clark who has eight bass for 47-9-14.
As a result of the fourth leg of the pairs competition, Russell and Montgomery have taken over the lead: they have seven bass for 32-10-8, just 0-11-6 ahead of the previous leaders, Tulie and Le Prevost.
The members weighed in 11 boat-caught fish.
The best bass was the 11-5-14 caught by Steve Le Cloarec in the BBC Festival.
Paul Clark had the best total catch of the month, boating three fish for 17-8-2. Rob Jennings also had three for a weight of 12-7-0 while Chris Bourgaize had two for 8-8-0.
The boat catches were completed by Scott Rowe, 3-11-0, and Josh Renouf, 3-10-0.
Clark’s catch was sufficient to take him to top spot in the boat championship, where he took over the lead previously held by Rob Jennings.
Club members are busy at the moment making the final arrangements for the GBASS Open Bass Festival.
It will become the longest-ever open bass competition to be held locally for it will run for four days from Thursday 30 August to Monday 3 September.
It will have a guaranteed prize fund of £3,250 and a £5,000 bonus prize for any bass that beats the current Bailiwick shore record. The winner of each section will receive £500 plus a rod.
This year all registrations and weigh-ins will take place at the Boatworks+ premises.