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South coast sea fishing
By David Elliott



During a south coast sea fishing trip, Andy Matthews from Fareham who is one of my regular anglers, caught his personal best Conger of 103lb.

It was caught on an offshore wreck and it fell for a Mackerel flapper with a size 8.0 hook, 30lb-class rod with 30lb braided line. (Line has been sent away for a light line record)

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Andy had a job to get the Conger off the bottom as it took so much line. After approximately half an hour it took several dives back, but the biggest dive was when it hit the surface. As I got my Conger net over the side it dived approximately 60 to 70 foot down. This time it came up and laid on the surface and it was netted and brought over the side. Andy's face looked a picture during this south coast sea fishing experience, almost as if he had won the lottery! (As he has been fishing for Congers for 24 years!)

That was a sight to see - a big Eel swimming slowly away as do the majority of all Ocean Warrior's Eels that are caught with each south coast sea fishing voyage.

The eel was weighed with certified scales in front of nine anglers, then photographed and then put back in the net and released unharmed. Unfortunately, this Conger will not qualify for a trophy with the Conger club, as it was not brought in and weighed ashore, due to rules confirming that they do need to be weighed ashore in order to qualify.

Also, Andy's Dad, Don Matthews who has also been south coast sea fishing out of Newhaven for 33 years, had a 60lb Conger as well as Andy catching another Conger of 58lb. Andy and Don are two of the most dedicated Conger fishermen I know.

I must add that it makes me sad as a skipper to see big Congers in magazines that are being killed in the name of sport. As I talk and hear from other professional skippers around the country, they too are trying to protect the species by putting them back, as it is in the anglers best interest to put these big specimens back to ensure stocks remain and to hopefully see bigger world records in years to come.

Also on this south coast sea fishing trip, they produced a dozen good-sized Cod, Andy's son Chris Matthews had a Cod of 15lb on his first day out fishing on a boat. Kelly Rogers also had a 22lb Cod (the biggest of the day) which was his personal best.
To book your south coast sea fishing experience, please call me.

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