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What a catch!

Robert McMillan with his record breaking turbot.

A LOCAL fisheries enforcement officer broke a Scottish sea angling record when he hauled up a 30lb turbot from the waters north of Muckle Flugga, last Sunday.

Robert McMillan, who lives in Lunna, was out with friends on board the Cullivoe-based Oberon, skippered by John Keggie, when, on his last drift of the day, he hooked the giant fish.

The previous Scottish record was broken twice in 24 hours in March this year when Eddie Christie captured a turbot weighing 26lb 1oz while out on the same sea fishing vessel.

Mr McMillan said Eddie Christie was the first to offer his congratulations when informed his short-lived record had been broken.

Taking up the tale of how he managed to catch the 13.5 kilo flatfish, McMillan said they had some “excellent sport” around 6 miles north of Muckle Flugga lighthouse in the morning, before moving to a shell-sand bank that had produced more than 200 double-figure turbot last year alone.

“Right away on the first drift, a double-figure turbot was caught,” he said. “That was to be the first of 12 big turbot caught during the afternoon.

“Late into the afternoon, the skipper announced that we would have one last drift on the mark as it would be a 90-minute steam back to port.

“A couple of minutes into the drift, I felt a small tug on my line, then another, before a really good bite. I struck and hooked into the fish and immediately line started streaming off my reel. I knew I was into a good fish.

“I was using mackerel strip for bait on a 6/0 Gamakatsu circle hook on a flowing trace with a 5in rattling silver spoon and a 5in Lumi Muppet.

“The fish put up a really good fight continuing to strip line from my reel before finally breaking the surface some 20 minutes after the first bite was detected.

“Crewman Kenny Graham was ready with the net, securing the giant fish first time, and as he swung her aboard, I knew the current Scottish record held by Eddie Christie from Glasgow could be in jeopardy.”

Sea angling in the area has been described as “unforgettable” and “at the edge” with water depths of up to 400ft and plenty of large fish.

General Election - 12 December 2019