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The conger eel - the beast of the seas

The myth of the conger eel has excited the deep sea angler for decades, not just on Lyme Regis boat trips but on any boat trip taken around the British Isles. The reason is simple. Apart from the shark, the conger is the biggest fish any angler has a good chance of  catching. The abundance of wrecks that lie around this country form the perfect lair for a conger to live happily with other congers. Here there is plenty of food and shelter.

Giant conger eelI have caught many, many congers over the years on my Lyme Regis boat trips or rather my anglers have. The biggest I have ever had to land weighed a very impressive 72lbs. It took twenty minutes for the angler to bring the fish up to the surface from the wreck where it had probably ruled the roost for many years.

When any conger is brought on board a boat everyone has to be very careful as an angry conger can be a very dangerous beast and should be dispatched quickly before someone gets badly bitten. We do catch a conger eel from time to time on our Lyme Regis boat trips on the morning deep sea fishing trip from Lyme Regis harbour but usually they manage to bite through the line as we are more geared up for bream, pollack, whiting, dog fish and bull huss. We need a few more ' fierce' fish as the reputation of the conger means many anglers will always fancy their chances of catching the beast of the seas.

For many years The Angling Times offered a reward of £1000 for the first conger eel that weighed over 100lbs and in 1976 Robin Potter landed a huge conger weighing 109lbs. 6oz.! Have a look at the British Conger Club website for lots of photos of the monsters that have been caught since. The record conger at the moment was caught by Vic Evans on his boat Sea Spray from Brixham in Devon weighing a mighty 133lbs!

Published on 23/10/2012.

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