Whitby man catches fish the ‘size of a gorilla’

Daniel holding the skate's head in his hands
Picture by Whitby Sea Anglers

Daniel holding the skate's head in his hands Picture by Whitby Sea Anglers

A Whitby angler has smashed the record for the biggest fish ever caught from British shores - a whopping skate weighing more than a gorilla.

Daniel Bennett, 26, who works at Whitby Sea Anglers on Church Street, snared the fish last Thursdsay with a rod and line off the Isle of Skye after a two-hour battle to bring it ashore.

Daniel said: “The key to catching the fish was having a lot of patience. My back is absolutely killing me now though.

“We’ve never caught anything on that scale before, and we guessed it weighed about 150lb. But it was 208lbs. I can’t believe it.”

Those anglers have become “local celebrities” on Skye but Daniel - who works in a fishing supplies shop - says his girlfriend, Philippa, is not quite as impressed.

Daniel said: “My partner is not really that interested, but she’s proud of me nonetheless. I think people outside the angling world find it harder to see how much of a feat this is.”

At 208lbs, the fish weighs more than a female gorilla, a heavyweight boxer or a road legal moped.

A spokesperson for the British Record Fish Committee confirmed it is the largest fish recorded as being caught on its current record list.

Nick Simmonds, secretary of the committee, said: “There is not a larger fish recorded as being caught on our current record list.

“Once we receive pictures from Dan we will pass them on to our scientist who will check the images and hopefully confirm the unofficial record.”

However, Mr Simmonds said the fish can not be confirmed as an official record as it was not weighed at the scene.

He added: “It will be seriously considered for the Notable Fish List, which was created for situations like this where the fish can not be weighed.

“This list is historically important, at least in the angling world.”

The skate is a rare protected fish species that looks similar to a stingray and was caught by Daniel during a trip to the Isle of Skye.

Daniel said: “West Scotland is known for skate fishing, but not Skye. We were the first ones to catch one there for at least 30 or 40 years.”

The skate measured a whopping 88.25in long by 66.75in wide, but hasn’t supplied Daniel with a feast of fish - as he tossed it back into the sea.

Daniel dwarfed by his catch

Daniel’s skate was over 7 feet long and 5.5 feet wide.

It measured 88.25in by 66.75in.

Things which weigh the same as the massive fish:

Fully-stocked fridge - 215lbs

Sir Steve Redgrave in his prime - 220lbs

Female Eastern Lowland gorilla - 200lbs

Vespa moped - 197lbs

Heavyweight boxer - over 200lbs

The largest fish caught from British shores before it was a 159lb skate which was reeled in on the Isle of Lewis in 1994.




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