Boat Record Porbeagle

Whitby regular, Matt Breen from York had a trip to remember when he landed a pb 280lb+ Porbeagle shark. Mistress Charters skipper Rich Cope tells the story of the how the new boat record was beaten.

I’ve got to be honest and say that the day didn’t start well! Matt’s friends had let him down, he'd forgotten the maize and the pilchard oil and to top it off we had no hook baits and the mackerel were not playing ball. To say I was a little unconfident is an understatement.

Undeterred, and with just the two of us on board we pushed off to the wall, a good 2 and 1/2 hours steam for us. We stopped at a wreck on the way off to see if we could pick a few mackerels up, but instead we both ended up with a string or two of coalfish so we kept them for hookbaits to get us started.

We got the anchor in fairly prompt on arrival and dropped back on to a lovely ridge with plenty of fish showing. We managed about 20 mackerel as soon as we stopped enough to make a small chum up and a few live hook baits. We got pestered by a seal straight away, which stole our hookbaits and a couple of our whitefish too, but didn’t re-appear so seemed to have had his fill!

We fished through the tide, taking a few mackerel. I said to Matt, we should get a fresh chum set up for the tide easing and check the baits are still alive so we did.

We settled in again and waited, when with the last hour coming up Matt turned round and shouted all excited as there was a shark right under the boat. I managed to catch a glimpse of it as it swam past us. I immediately went to the closest rod and retrieved some of the line so the bait was only 20 feet under us. I began reeling in the bottom rods and got no more than 20 turns when the reel screamed at us with the first run stripping a good bit of line. As the run slowed, stopped and began again we hit it - fish on!

I was running round like a mad man, getting everything tidied away while Matt clung on to his rod. With everything put away ready I turned to Matt as he was being led round the boat, backwards and forwards time and again with the fish repeating runs of 40-50 yards at a time. Slowly the fish tired and we managed to get a glimpse or two of it, it was a beast! Certainly a lot bigger than the shark we had last month which was estimated around the 200lb mark.

Finally we got it alongside and under control, with a bit of a tussle we both managed to get it through the gate (just!) as it was a stocky fish indeed. As we were going for the lift to get it in I slipped and slid underneath its head! I had a glimpse of the film Jaws in my minds eye where Flint gets mauled, so was up pretty damn sharpish!

A couple a grunts later and she was onboard, we unhooked it quickly and took measurement before sliding her into position for a photo. We then slid her back through the gate and she slid away gracefully.

The shark measured 80 inches from nose to fork and 53 inches around the girth. Back home we plugged details into the formula where it came out 281lb although it felt a lot bigger when we were getting it onboard!

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