THE CONGER EEL & THE BRITISH
The Conger Eel |
described by the photojournalist Mike Millman as "magnificent, mean and moody".
The description is perfect and many commentator's have tried to better it
without success. The conger eel is a fish of legends,
the haunter of dark wrecks and reefs, whose bite is terrible to see, a severer
of fingers and of thick monofilament and wire traces. And
surely few other fish come to the gaff, spinning and lashing the water, mouth
snapping and exerting such tremendous pressure against the tackle. It features
in the stories of many anglers as the monster fish, "the one that got away". It
is the female of the species which grows to such large sizes whilst the male
rarely exceeds any more than 25lbs in weight.
(Picture courtesy Mike Millman)
This unique picture has to
be one of the rarest available in terms of CONGER EEL
photographic history. It shows two 100lb Conger Eels being weighed
simultaneously, a first in the UK.
The eel on the right in the picture was
caught on the
"MISTRESS" and weighed 101lbs 8ozs and the
one on the left, which was a new world record at the time was caught by Trevor Kerrison
and weighed in at 111lbs 4oz.
200lb plus Conger Eel captured when trawling by the vessel
(Picture courtesy Western Morning News)
There is no doubt that these fish
exist in much larger weights than the current rod caught record. Many fish have
been landed commercially in south west UK ports with weights well in excess of
My late friend Alan Levick who lived in Cornwall reported that in
1984/85 the fishing vessel
skippered by "Perko" caught a Conger Eel of 220lbs gutted weight, off the Manacles Reef, just
after the Royal Navy had blown up a nearby wreck. Now that's some fish !
And yet again I can report in 2001 that the above named vessel trawled up another monster which weighed in
at just over 200lbs. This time the skipper was John Brenton.