AN ANGLER was robbed of £1,000 after a seal bit a chunk out of his catch as he was reeling it in on Sunday.
Matthew Breen, from Selby, is a regular on Paul Kilpatrick’s Sea Otter 2 and on the final day of the summer boat angling festival, he hooked a huge ling.
Although the fish would not have been heavy enough to land the £5,000 top prize, it would have put Matthew in second place overall, netting him £1,000.
Paul said: “Matt got his fish but the seal had already taken out its stomach and guts. The fish would have been at least 3lb heavier. It still weighed over 15lb, which won the last day’s prize, but it could have been so different.
“Poor Matt wasn’t very happy with the seal and now he’s taken a disliking to them, I wonder why.”
Matt had hooked the fish and realised how big it was when he began winding it in.
His rod was bouncing around as the fish struggled, then suddenly it shot off at speed.
“I thought, no not a seal, and I was right,” added Paul. “I told all the lads to wind up as quick as possible so I could set the boat off towards the seal and told Matthew to keep good tension on his line. Seals have to come up for air and can tire quite easily but it was cat and mouse for about 15 minutes.”
When the seal finally gave up the fish it had taken a chunk out of the body, potentially costing Matt £1,000.
This is not the first time seals have influenced the results of angling festivals and Paul said that in the past he has seen them steal fish that would have actually won the competition if they had not been taken.