U.K. angler claims to have landed world’s largest skate

A U.K. angler has landed what he claims to be world’s largest skate, an 8-foot long behemoth that left him crying in pain after a 65-minute struggle.
Hamish Currie, who was fishing off Portrush in Northern Ireland, told the Belfast Telegraph that the giant common skate measured 8 feet, 3 inches long, and 7 feet wide.
Hamish Currie poses with 8-foot-long giant common skate. Photo: Hamish Currie/Predator Charters
“As soon as I got it off the bottom of the seabed I knew this was the real deal,” Currie said, explaining that enormous skate darted back to the bottom several times after he had reeled it to the surface. “[I was] crying. I was in the pain locker, as they call it. I was tired, but so was the fish.”
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Currie, 59, told told the Daily Record that his legs were shaking after the fight and added, “It was mind blowing to see it on the deck. I knew straight away that it was the biggest one ever.”
Giant common skate being measured before its release. Photo: Hamish Currie/Predator Charters
Currie, who runs Predator Charters, caught the skate in June but waited until the end of the shark-fishing season before revealing the catch details.
He estimated the skate’s weight to be 300 pounds, based on a width-and-length measurement formula. That would smash a world record that has stood for 50 years.
The International Game Fish Assn. lists as the all-tackle world record a 214-pound skate caught off Orkney, U.K., in 1968.
The problem for Currie is that he tagged and released his massive fish, rather than killing and weighing it for record consideration.
“I didn’t kill it and I’m not going to kill a fish for a record, I’m not prepared to do that,” Currie said. “They will likely give it the world catch-and-release record, because it’s measured on a mat in the picture.”
Currie, who holds a special license to fish specifically for common skate, used a 6-pound bull huss, a type of catshark, for bait. He caught the fish on 80-pound-test braided line.
–Images are courtesy of Hamish Currie/Predator Charters