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Trophy Room for Mike Thrussell

Specie: tope
Weight: in excess of 80lbs

Here’s a tope I caught aboard my own dinghy which an accurate mathematical formula suggested weighed in excess of 80lbs and was certainly a Welsh record and maybe even a UK record qualifier. We’ll never know as I returned the fish unharmed a split second after this photo was taken. This fish was so heavy I could lift it only for a second or two and my legs were shaking uncontrollably with the weight. The size of the girth in relation to the body length was absolutely staggering. It was some scrap on just 15lb line!
Weight: 180lbs
Location: off Westport in Clew Bay

If you ever need to find out what reserves of strength you’ve got, then get yourself on a common skate trip. This "magic carpet" took 20 minutes to lever off the seabed, and another 20 minutes to get to the boat. It weighed a minimum of 180lbs and was taken from a mark off Westport in Clew Bay, Co Mayo. A high percentage of big skate have already been caught before, but this one was a “fresh” fish and went back with a Central Fisheries Board tag in it to hopefully provide us with more information about these amazing fish to help us protect them further.
Specie: porbeagle shark
Weight: 205lb
Location: caught in Welsh

Records will always be beaten, but they can never take a “first” off you. This 205lb porbeagle shark I caught on 28lb line way back in 1989 was the very first fish of any species over 200lbs caught in Welsh waters on rod and line. Commercial fishing pressure has drastically reduced stocks over the last decade, but I’ve seen sharks I estimate to be well over 350lbs in Welsh waters recently and I’d like to think that a 400lber is out there somewhere. My entire current shark fishing is now tag and release.
Specie: common carp
Weight: 12lb 8oz
Location: Worcester

I’ve been sea fishing for over 40 years now, but I’d never ever been coarse fishing until September 1999. At the invite of a friend I spent three days coarse fishing in the Worcester area and bagged this 12lb 8oz common carp, plus five others to 8lbs from Arrow Valley Lake, Redditch. It was taken on 6lb line, a method feeder rig and three maggots for bait. Not big by carp standards, but apparently it’s a big fish for Arrow Valley.
Specie: barbel
Weight: 9lb 2oz
Location: River Wye near Hereford

That same three-day coarse fishing trip was originally aimed at barbel, but the first two days saw the Severn and Theme rivers up over their banks due to prolonged torrential rain. A switch on the last day to the River Wye near Hereford, running four feet above normal, the colour of cocoa and looking more like the Ganges, produced a catch of six barbel including this 9lb 2oz fish. The total bag was estimated at 50lb plus and included chub to 2.5lbs and dace caught on a feeder and maggot bait.
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