Angler lands enormous skate in ‘extremely rare’ catch from pier

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A U.K. angler on Wednesday logged an extraordinary catch of a giant skate from a pier.

Garry Mouzon, 34, a welder from Kirkwall, caught the estimated 121-pound common skate from the Hatston Pier.

He told The Orcadian that he had been hoping to catch a large skate for months. Two friends helped him get the fish onto the pier where it could be measured for an estimated weight before it was tossed back.

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“The one I caught was a male, and the females are usually bigger,” Mouzon said. “So I’ll be going back to look for the girlfriend next.”

The Orcadian’s story was shared by the conservation group Blue Planet Society, which tweeted: “An extremely rare catch from a pier. Almost wiped out by bottom trawling, common skates are considered one of the UK’s most endangered species.”

The common skate, a.k.a. blue skate, is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. Anglers now practice catch and release when targeting the species.

The International Game Fish Assn. lists as the world record a 214-pound skate caught off Orkney, U.K., in 1968.

–Image courtesy of Garry Mouzon