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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 October 2007, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Record-breaking hope for big fish
Gordon Mackenzie and common skate. Picture by Gillies Mackenzie
Gordon Mackenzie and the skate. Picture by Gillies Mackenzie
An angler believes he has smashed his British record for the biggest common skate caught from shore.

Gordon Mackenzie, from Stornoway, has held the record since 1994 with a 169lb (76kg) fish from Breasclete on Lewis.

Measurements of the one he landed from West Loch Tarbert on Harris this week would make it 183lb (83kg), according to a weights chart.

Mr Mackenzie released the female fish back into the sea. Photographer Gillies Mackenzie helped to bring it ashore.

He said Gordon Mackenzie was following up stories told by commercial fishermen and scallop divers of "very large" common skate in West Loch Tarbert.

Some have been caught by accident by anglers trying to hook other fish, but Gillies Mackenzie said their line snapped before they could land them.

The duo spent a night in driving rain and wind trying to catch one.

The photographer said: "At around 2.30am his reel started screaming.

"He had hooked into a very large fish and after a very hard 30 minute struggle with the fish, it was brought to the waters edge."

According to their measurements, it had a wingspan of 65in (165cm) and was 83in (210cm) long.

Last week, an angler from the Aberdeen area caught a large salmon on a Highland's river.

Three criteria

However, it did not enter the record books because its weight could not be verified by the British Fish Record Committee (BFRC).

Anglers had hoped that the male, or cock salmon, hooked on the River Ness, near Inverness, would break the 64lbs (29kg) record set 85 years ago.

However, the BFRC said the catch did not meet all its three criteria.

It had been estimated the salmon was 50in (127cm) long and had a girth of 40in (101cm).

'Monster' fish record bid refused
16 Oct 07 |  Highlands and Islands
'Monster' salmon caught on river
15 Oct 07 |  Highlands and Islands

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