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Lyme Regis fisherman lands monster skate
A FISHERMAN from Lyme Regis was towed nearly a mile out to sea as he battled with a monster fish.
But it was all worth it as Ryan Turner, 22, managed to drag the huge fish up to the surface, becoming only the 10th person to catch a 100lb-plus fish in a kayak.
Mr Turner, an aeronautical engineer, made the 1,000-mile round trip to Oban in Scotland to go extreme fishing with seven other fishermen earlier this month with the common skate, a rare breed that can only be found off the west coast of Scotland, firmly in his sights.
Mr Turner had been fishing off his 15-foot ocean kayak for eight days without having much luck, until he managed to snare his prize catch on the last session of his trip.
Mr Turner said: “I’ve always wanted to catch bigger and bigger fish, and that’s why I got into extreme fishing in the first place. I never thought I’d catch that big a fish as I hadn’t really caught much in the week.
“It was on the last day and the last cast off and I was feeling quite downhearted, and I couldn’t believe I’d caught it.
“It still hasn’t sunk in that I’m only the tenth person to have caught one that big.”
For his equipment, Ryan had to use a 50lb class rod, a hook the size of a hand and a whole octopus as bait to catch the fish.
The fish was estimated to have weighed between 120lb and 140lb, and was 2m long and 1.5m wide.
He had to battle with the fish as it towed him a mile out to sea, just to get it to the surface and he has broke the Lyme Regis Sea Angling Club record for the biggest inshore fishing catch.
Mr Turner added: “After I hooked it, because they’re like a big ray they just dig in and hold the bottom of the bed. I spent about five or 10 minutes just trying to get it off the bottom.
“They live about 450 feet deep and I had to reel it up from that and it took me about half an hour to get it to the surface.
“When I got it to the surface I had to use my feet to lift it up above water because my arms were absolutely aching.
“The hardest part was realising I had to paddle a mile back to shore.”