The meaning of “unaided”
We have processed a couple of membership applications and trophy declarations already this year which is very encouraging as it confirms that interest in the sport of shark angling is continuing to grow from where it left off last year.
A couple of the claims have been verifiable by video so we were able to watch the angler playing the shark. On one of the videos we noted that the angler passed the rod to the skipper while he put on a harness. The skipper did no more than hold the rod and therefore did not assist the angler to play the shark so this was acceptable.
The General Rules of the Club state, “…..in accordance with the angling rules of the club having been caught unaided (except for the skipper or a colleague assisting at the end of the fight by taking hold of the leader) with rod and line by fair play”
This means, that in our example if the skipper had taken a couple of turns of the reel whilst the angler was donning the harness the claim would have failed as the skipper would have assisted in playing the shark.
The exception to this is where the rod needs to be passed around fixed gantries when the skipper can assist.
Unaided therefore means the angler must set the hook and play the fish all the way until the leader can be held by the skipper or a colleague