Putt's conger transported to gain accurate weight
The past weekend's saltwater angling activity was high, as competitors sought big fish for the scales at two prestige annual events.
The weighing team at the 33rd National Small Boat Angling Championships fished in Salcombe waters were dealt a surprise and a problem by Kingsbridge angler Simon Putt, who arrived with a conger of a size much against expectation from shallow water.
It crashed the scales with pounds to spare and to gain an accurate weight it was necessary to transport the eel to the Torbay Festival scales at Paignton, where it made 46lb 15½oz.
On the second day he added a blonde ray of 21lb 1oz to his catch, and the two allowable fish would ultimately gain him third place in the Championship. The first prize of £500 was won by lady competitor Toni Bolsworth, of Shaldon, whose trigger fish of 4lb 10oz matched with a cuckoo wrasse of 1lb 2oz provided an unbeatable 244.17% of specimen.
Danny Dagger, also of Shaldon, was runner-up with a 227.35% score made with a trigger fish of 3lb 11oz and a ballan wrasse of 5lb 10½oz, for which he received a Lowrance hand-held GPS and VHF radio.
Putt, a member of Kingsbridge SAC, took third place and had the pick of the prize table which with the first prize was worth in excess of £2,000.
There were some good weights in the nominated species categories, with that for the pollack going to Raymond Miller, of Plymouth, for a fish of 5lb 5oz, and the heaviest ray was a blonde of 24lb 5oz by Halwell's Trevor Millman.
The award for the best species not listed went to Modbury's Phil Pepperell, for a bull huss of 11lb 3oz.
The first team-of-two prize went to Toni Bolsworth and Danny Dagger for a trigger fish of 4lb 2oz and 3lb 11oz.
Almost 150 fish were registered over the first two days of the 44th Borough of Torbay Sea Angling Festival, now convincingly led by a superb black bream from wreck of 5lb 15oz 4dram caught by Brixham SAC entrant Doug Mosedale.
At least 20 black bream of size were recorded, the second best a fish of 5lb 0oz 12drm by Peter Blower.
The easy tide assured many sizeable congers would be caught, and the heaviest of six weighing better than 51lb was an eel of 64lb 4oz by Rob Marshall. Simon Hughes pushed close with a fish of 62lb, and the third best of 59lb 7oz fell to Wayne Pontin.
The best specimen in the inshore boat category was a thornback ray of 14lb 13oz by Chris Martin and the best from shore a Teign flounder of 2lb 13oz 13drm by Roger Barge.
Tim Bird brought in the best blonde ray, an excellent fish of 27lb 5oz, and the heaviest ling at 26lb 9oz was to the credit of Adam Campodonic.
Torquay angler Mark Lowey brought a big bass of 11lb 0oz 2drm, taken at a Lyme Bay, wreck, to the Torquay Harbour weigh station. The contest continues until 7pm on Sunday.