The Shark Angling Club of Great Britain held their Annual Shark Festival in Looe in the second week of July this year. The SACGB was formed in Looe in 1953 and is the only angling club in Europe to focus entirely on shark angling and very possibly well beyond that.
"Rok Max are pleased to sponsor this event – a lot of our customers participate and it’s good to see the popularity of shark fishing grow year on year." - Allan Shephard, Director.
The shark fishing event took place over three days and this year there were 45 anglers and 11 boats competing. Because of the increasing number of anglers wishing to participate in the festival, the Looe fleet was joined by Chris Gill, skipper of Aquila from Mevagissey and Lewis Hodder, skipper of Pegasus from Lyme Regis
All sharks were measured and released. Those sharks which were large enough were tagged and details of the size, sex and general health of the shark passed to the SACGB’s research partner, The National Marine Fisheries Service Apex Predators Cooperative Shark Tagging Programme who are affiliated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration organisation in the USA.
The conditions over each of the three days were difficult. It was very warm with little wind so rubby pools and columns were replaced the more desirable rubby trail.
By the end of day one, the anglers had caught and released 18 Blue sharks, the biggest being taken by John Shaw, a fish of 98lbs.
Day two was cooler and from the land at least it looked like there may be a little more breeze. This was confirmed by the returning anglers who managed a total of 37 sharks. The lead passed to Richard Young with a nice shark of 116 points (130lbs est) which took almost 90 minutes to bring to the boat.
The Day 3 weather returned to that humid heat we have endured in the UK for a couple of months now and flat calm seas. This reflected in the days tally which was 16 sharks bringing the event total for the three days to 71.
Richard Young held his first place. Martin Shipp took the runner up position with a shark of 108 points (112lbs est) followed closely by Steve Costick with a shark of 107.5 points (83lbs est).
The prize for most sharks caught & released went to Bob Woodman with 7 sharks. Bob also took the most points prize with 603.5 points. The top team were Nigel Birch & Richard Day with a point score of 491.
Skippers prizes went to Phil Curtis of the Typhoon for the largest shark (116 points – 130lbs est) and Dan Margetts of the Sowenna for the most sharks with 14.