SACGB Celebrate an Exceptional Year
2017 is a year which skippers and anglers will long remember for many lost days at sea due to bad weather. The weather on the 21st October, when the Shark Angling Club of Great Britain held its Annual Dinner and Trophy Presentation was no exception with winds exceeding 50mph buffeting the port of Looe.
However, as every shark angler knows if you can’t fish for shark the next best option is to talk about fishing for shark and that’s exactly what those attending the event did, and lots of it.
The evening reflected a tremendously successful Sharking year.
The Mitchell-Hedges trophy for the best shark of the season went to Chris Bett for a Thresher from Danny Vokins Midnight Rambler.
The Mickey Wonnall trophy (runner up to the Mitchell Hedges) and the Norman Lorraine trophy (best Blue Shark of the season) went to Dave Stone for a Blue from Robin Chapmans Bite Adventures.
The Sammy Porbeagle trophy for the best Porbeagle of the season went to John Crotty for a Porbeagle from Andy Trueloves Atlantic Blue.
There was no claim for the Sercombe Oliver Mako Trophy but the club are hopeful this will happen this season
The Alan Caunter trophy for the best shark caught during the season by a lady member went to Angela Spearing for a Blue from Pete Davis’s Force Ten
The SACGB have 37 angler’s perpetual trophies plus a cup for the best fish of each month. All the trophy winners can be seen on the SACGB website www.sharkanglingclubofgreatbritain.org.uk
The club also recognised the IGFA achievements of two of its members. A Griffith was formally presented with his IGFA Shark Grand Slam for catching and releasing a Mako, Blue and a Porbeagle in one day and Chris Bett was presented with his IGFA Shark Royal Slam for the catch and release of nine shark species. Both were presented with SACGB Certificates of Recognition.
The British Measured and Released Line Class awards were launched this year by the club and five have been awarded so far including the one presented on the night to Alex McKay for the 20lbs line class.
The club had hoped to be able to present the 62 year old Mitchell-Hedges Special Award for the first Blue Shark of over 250lbs to be formally recorded but due to illness this was unable to go ahead. There are plans in place to do this on the 3rd December in Looe and further details are available from the secretary.
Club Chairman, Bob Woodman says, “it’s unfortunate we were unable to present the Mitchell-Hedges Special Award tonight, but we are looking forward to doing this later in the year. There have been many big Blues and other species of shark caught over the years since the challenge was made but the unfortunate necessity to have to weigh sharks for a British Record claim has meant the sharking community have acted responsibly and chosen conservation over British Record status and returned all sharks alive. The introduction of the British Measured & Released Record by the SACGB earlier this year has provided the platform for the sport to enable big fish to be recognised and encourage competition between anglers and skippers alike. It also underpins the SACGB policy of conservation and enabled the club to recognise John Dines estimated 256.5lbs Blue Shark as a new record. The sharking community should be proud of their actions in releasing so many fish and resisting the temptation to seek glory through the demise of such magnificent fish. It doesn’t end there though”, explains Bob, “our first President believed in pushing boundaries and rewarding success. I have no doubt he would want us to continue in this manner, so we have laid down another challenge. The first SACGB member who catches and releases a Blue Shark which can be verified at an estimated weight of 350lbs, within British waters will receive a SACGB personal trophy. The skipper of the boat will also receive a SACGB personal trophy. With the increased focus and attention being given to sharking in recent years we don’t believe we will have to wait as long to make these awards”