Barnstaple angler Ian Lewis catches dream 541lb blue marlin in Mauritius
IAN LEWIS caught the fish of his dreams while on holiday in the Black River region of Mauritius.
The Barnstaple angler was fishing the deep blue water of the Indian Ocean.
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Two years before, fishing the same water, he had hooked a huge fish estimated at more than 650lb but, after an 80-minute battle, the mighty fish shook the hook free.
On his return this year, Lewis decided to make amends and set to sea on the same big-game boat.
A cyclone caused the skipper to cancel the trip and a second sortie drew a blank.
The offer of a third attempt was taken up but, after nine hours at sea, another blank loomed.
Due back into port at 3pm, they were running a little late and began packing away the gear.
Suddenly, the reel sang its rasping call as something seized Lewis's bright pink lure.
Two and a half hours later, a huge blue marlin weighing 541lb was boated after being hauled from a depth of 400 metres where it had unfortunately died.
Dave Brook won the latest heat of the North Devon League for Combe Martin Sea Angling Club, landing a fine specimen bull huss of 13lb 5¾oz.
Runner-up for Barnstaple Rod 'n' Reelers was Steve Luxton with a conger of 18lb 12oz, while club-mate Steve Baker was third with a conger of 16lb ½oz.
Luxton and Baker's catches took first and second place in Rod 'n' Reelers' monthly rover.
A party of six anglers, fishing from John Barbeary's boat Blue Fin, caught more than 100 spurdog off Ilfracombe. Guy Spriggs had the largest at 14lb 8oz.
They also caught numerous congers, huss, blonde ray and a couple of dogfish.
Tony Slade landed a conger of 14lb to win Appledore Shipbuilders' monthly rover.
Dick Talbot took the top two spots in the Bideford club's midweek rover with dogfish of 1lb 12½oz and 1lb 12oz. Mike Grayson was third with a dogfish of 1lb 11¼oz.
At South Molton Angling Club's annual meeting, secretary Ian Biding reported on a difficult year of fishing because of bad weather.
Despite this, good numbers of wild brown trout were caught.
Patrick Barr resigned after several years' service as chairman. Mike Evans was elected as his replacement.
Eddie Rands, who organises the club's sea-fishing activities, won most of the trophies with catches including a tope of 38lb.
Duncan Michie has retired after seven years as chairman of the Devon branch of the Salmon and Trout Association. Steven Phelps will take over his duties.
Visit sta-devon.org.uk to find out more about the branch.
Anglers have enjoyed some bumper sport on the River Exe where the Environment Agency has taken the unprecedented move of allowing fishing on certain sections of the river following the escape of thousands of rainbow trout during winter floods.
Fish have also escaped into several of North Devon's rivers where they pose a potential threat to native fish and fauna.
Nigel Bird landed three of the six carp caught at Furzebray this weekend, all weighing about 18lb.
Tomorrow: Triple Hook Club presentation night.