February 1968 Newsletter Highlights
The headquarters address was The Jolly Sailor, West Looe and the secretary was Hamish Rogerson.
Hamish opened the newsletter with, “lang may yer lum reek and blessin’s blaw ye blin” – which when delivered in the resonant accent of his compatriots, could be taken to mean, “Tight Lines for 1968”.
The economy was not where Hamish felt it should be as he says, “what can we talk about to take you mind off your devalued quid”
His solution to that was to start by talking about Peter Maddock who at the time lived in Looe and who won the Leslie Andrews Light Tackle Trophy in 1967 with a 117lbs Blue on 29lbs line.
The pictures below are of Peter, who Hamish pointed put, “liked to do things the hard way where fish are concerned”. They show Peter, “sharking for dear life from an 8 foot fibreglass dingy” which Hamish suspected was as unstable as it looked.
Peter Maddock playing (left) and gaffing (right) a small Blue shark from his 8 ft dinghy. Most of the time, he says, he is towed by the shark and when it stops for a breather his line becomes vertical. On one occasion he had five largish sharks round the dinghy after the rubby-dubby bag
Peter was successful at this method of fishing as he had caught and gaffed six sharks from it in one day, the heaviest being 75lbs. He wasn’t entirely on his own as Bill Cowan, skipper of the Westward would take him out to sea and cast him adrift whilst remaining near enough to help if needed.
Hamish mused that, “one of these days he will get stuck into a great Mako and disappear at a rate of knots over the horizon”.
Good as Peter was, Hamish suggested that George Tuppers single-handed catch in September 1967 would take some beating. George caught the 155lb Blue on 80lbs line on a 20 foot boat and after a fight of 1.5 hours he gaffed it and brought it aboard. This had won George the Barbican Trophy.
Hamish mentions the Exmouth members who had a tremendous season. George Dymond had caught six sharks all over 100lbs ranging from 104 through to 112 and 127lbs. George won the SACGB Trophy for his efforts. A D Chown came a close second with Blues of 106, 124 and 129lbs.
It had been noted that anglers who fished for sharks early in the season were more likely to catch bigger fish. The reason given was that practically every Blue which had been weighed during late June to mid-July was a “Mum” in an advanced stage of pregnancy. Female sharks give birth to 40 or so young so that accounted for their extra weight.
Can Food be an Aphrodisiac
Hamish hurrys to explain the unusual title …. He had seen an article in the Daily Telegrapgh which we went on to quote, “It seems (and indeed is) logical that erotic cookery be designed for bachelors and those of Iceland in their search for a restorative (boredom sets in without difficulty in Iceland) have found one. They allow large hunks of shark meat to rot in barrels left open to the four winds. The climate not being favourable to corruption, they have to wait for two to three years before cutting the results into little half inch cubes. These they spear with cocktail sticks to the delight and improvement of the islands males”
Well now, as anyone who has weighed in a shark anywhere along the South Coast knows, it only takes a warm sunny afternoon to transform its flesh into the kind of prime condition which would surely fill an Eskimo with ecstatic anticipation. It being my stern duty as your Hon. Sec. to further the interests of the Club, it occurs to me that Iceland’s productivity in this respect is not what it might be and that the Club could produce, at a handsome profit and in no time at all, sufficient “restorative” not only to fulfil all Iceland’s needs but also to create in our own green and pleasant land and island race of super-virile males.
SACGB Team for New Zealand
The SACGB had entered a team in the New Zealand International Big Game Fishing Contest. The team comprised four members of the club. Three were from England and one from New Zealand
They were: Mr S G Miller, Mr Harry Dutfield and Mr Barrie Heath all from England and Mr P J Wright, a New Zealand member.
Mr S G Miller (known as Dusty) fished regularly from Looe and for a short time held the British Record for Mako shark with one of 435lbs. He had also fished extensively in Florida, USA and off the coast of India.
Harry Dutfield joined the club in 1953 and normally did his shark fishing off Falmouth. He was known to many members as the donor of the Dutfield Axminster Tapestries. He hunted big game fish all over the World and maintained the finest sport to be had anywhere was in Fiji. His best fish up to then was a 350lbs Black Marlin caught off the Club de Pesca in Panama in 1966. He was a member of the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club, New Zealand.
Barrie Heath fished off Salcombe, Devon and was a member of the SACGB and the Salcombe Shark Angling Club. His record up to then was a 350lbs Mako caught off Salcombe in 1967. He was also a member of the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club as well as a respected deep-sea yachtsman.
P J Wright joined the club in 1958 when he qualified at Falmouth. He was an experienced International Contest Angler and in the previous year, at the NZ Big Game Fishing Contest he hah caught a 468lbs Big-eyed Thresher which took 4 hours and 10 minutes to boat, using 130lbs line (P J Wright won the T N Foster Trophy that year). He described that contest like this: ,”the largest fish taken was a Tiger Shark weighing 787lbs, followed by a Big-eyed Thresher of 696lbs. There were some great battles at Mayor. One poor fellow hooked a big fish about 8.15am and lost it in the darkness after a fight of over 12 hours, and another chap fought a Tiger for half the day before it smashed his tackle”
This was the first time Great Britain had entered this competition. The team paid their own expenses and were to be fishing in the Bay of Islands aboard the Albacora.
The pictures below are the four members on the team. The one on the left is Mr P J Wright, the New Zealand SACGB member who caught a 468lbs Thresher in the previous years event. The other picture, left to right are, Mr Barrie Heath, Mr S G Miller (Captain) and Mr W H Dutfield.
The pictures below are left to right, Mr Harry Dutfield with a 232lbs Black Marlin he caught the year before in Fiji. The one in the middle is “Dusty” Miller with is 435lbs Mako caught off Looe in 1964, which at the time was a British Record. The one on the right is Barrie Heath with his 350lbs Mako caught the year before off Salcombe
AGM and the Spring Holiday
Taking advantage of the devaluing pound Hamish attempted to encourage people to come to Looe for the AGM and then have a go at catching some early sharks. He tried to incentivise by saying if there was around 50 people the club would arrange a Buffet Supper on the Saturday Evening at the Hannafore Point Hotel.