The biggest skate fish ever caught in the world has been snared off Britain – an 8ft whopper weighing 300lb.
Angler Hamish Currie, 59, spent 65 minutes hauling in the giant 8ft 3in beast which has a ‘wingspan’ of 7ft.
Caught off the coast of Portrush, Northern Ireland, it’s the largest ever giant common skate recorded in the world and one of the biggest fish ever caught in UK waters.
The previous record for the biggest Giant Common Skate was logged in 2014 when a 208lbs and 7ft 3in long fish was caught off the coast of the Isle of Skye.
Hamish hauled in the “once in a lifetime” female skate at the end of June this year and has spoken about it to mark the end of the UK’s big game fish and shark season.
Charter skipper Hamish from Portstewart, said: “My legs were shaking.
”It was mind blowing to see it on the deck. I knew straight away that it was the biggest one ever.
“It’s definitely a peak in my career. It’s the best moment so far for me.
“I’ve never seen anything of that size before and I’m very proud of it.
“It put up one hell of a fight and I was shattered. The rod was bent right over the side of the boat.
“It took me an hour and five minutes to reel it in. I managed to get it to the surface three times but it was just so powerful.”
After Hamish wrestled the beast onto his boat, Predator, it was tagged for conservation purposes and released back into the ocean within four minutes.
It was caught using a 80lb braided line, with a 6lb bull huss as bait.
Hamish has been fishing Irish waters for more than 20 years and was famously involved in a historic tug of war with a giant 450lb shark off the coast of Islay, in 2012.
He holds a special licence – issued by the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland – that allows him to fish specifically for giant common skate.
Hamish has caught hundreds and tags them at the request of the Northern Irish authorities.
Hamish has recently moved to the area from Saltcoats, Ayrshire, Scotland, and said the waters off the Irish coast are “under estimated”.
He says its his aim to put the Irish seas “on the map” for big game fish.
Hamish said: “I do all of the tagging for free. It’s for conservation and protection purposes and I release all of my catches.
“I am very proud of myself because I went out to catch a big fish. I got the timing perfect.
“I want to put Port Rush on the map. It’s an under estimated place but it’s open to the Atlantic.
“It’s a rich ocean. The big fish are there to be caught. You’ve just got to catch them.”
The weight was calculated using a wingspan by length conversion chart, but was so big it went off the end of the graph.
The biggest ever catch in UK waters is believed to be a 505lb blue fin tuna landed by Andrew Alsop, off the coast of Neyland, near Pembrokeshire in 2017.