The big seven has been conquered by the shark fanatic himself Andy Griffith
As we all know Andy holds the IGFA Grand slam world record achievement for three sharks in one day in eight hours leaving and returning to the same port all over
100lb in weight and in Welsh waters.
The short fin mako 194.4lb
The porbegle 119.7lb
The blue shark 120. 4lb
All were achieved with help of skipper Andrew Alsop on board white water charters .
Andy has had much bigger shark's even the huge monster six gill shark around the 1000lb
mark., Tuna fish,, skate, huge congers
Huge selection of monster fish from the British Isles most of us can only dream about.
There was only one goal left for Andy and that was the missing link from British water's..The Thresher shark.
But what a red letter trip he had when he boarded a friend's private boat down south., not only did he have a thresher shark he
had 5 of them. Up to the 200lb mark.
Sizes were.,200+, 160, 150, 40 & 30lb estimated.
I caught up with Andy a few days ago on the phone where he sent me an email in his own words of the trip.
When I consider the above I am reminded that it is actually an amazing CV for someone who enjoys angling as a hobby, no sponsorship
and I don’t actually go fishing that much with work and family life but when I do go I apply myself fully and continue to work at it until I get my results.
To achieve all of the above also requires dedicated skippers who are outstanding at putting
me on the target species – without them none of this would be achievable. Special thanks to Andrew Alsop of ‘White Water’, Ronnie Campbell of ‘Laura Dawn’, Luke Aston of ‘Clare Dragoon’ and for the final part of the
Big Four the private skipper on his private boat who has asked not to be named – you know who you are and I am so grateful to you for helping me make history.
In 2013 when I had the good fortune to achieve the IGFA Shark Grand Slam I was obviously
ecstatic. A World Record is one thing but a World First is in another league. Not being one to sit on my laurels I knew that the ultimate, in terms of shark angling, was to go after the BIG FOUR (Porbeagle, Blue, Shortfin Mako and Thresher). This
was something that no one had ever achieved before and clearly for good reason as it is extremely difficult!
Last year I was approached by a private boat owner who had been successful targeting and catching Thresher Sharks around the Isle of Wight.
He was aware of my success and simply wanted to help me achieve my ultimate dream in the summer of this year. We chatted about bringing the trip together and dates were chosen with perfect tides. The settled weather of July continued and as the dates moved
closer I headed south to sail from Portsmouth. Whilst we had never met before face to face I knew instantly when we did that we would be able to work together and couldn’t wait to get to sea. Collecting bait fish proved difficult so we headed to the
chosen mark with frozen baits and lots of chum to attract these elusive predators to my baits. In no time at all two shark lines were suitably positioned and then we sat back and waited. Lots of fishy stories were shared but we both remained alert as Thresher
sharks are renowned for their speed, power and airborne antics. Often described as the Bull of the sea I was soon to go up against this iconic shark. At about 10:45 the skipper decided to put a third bait out and positioned it directly under the boat,
placed the bent butt rod in its’ holder, set the drag and sat back down. Just before 11am the rod bent over and the line pulled off at an alarming rate – I must admit it made me jump and the skipper turned to me and said ‘there is your
Thresher!!’ Due to the power of these sharks I was fully prepared, wearing a kidney
style fighting harness and a butt pad on drop straps. I picked up the rod, attached the harness clips, hit strike on the reel and wound down. The reaction of the Thresher was amazing; by me applying more drag pressure it actually increased the speed
of its run. The skipper by now had the engine running in order that we could chase down the shark if required. A tough battle ensued with the Threshers tail at times thrashing the sea into foam but within 30 minutes I had the shark to the side of the boat
and the skipper held the wire leader with a gloved hand and announced that it was officially a caught fish and History was made instantly. We both agreed she looked a good 200lb plus Thresher so a very respectable catch. We took video and photographic
evidence as quickly as we were able and carefully removed the hook – to see her swim away strong was a delight and a handshake secured our deed – it was job done on my first attempt by 1130am. Five years and two days since the Shark Grand Slam
I had done it and once again I wish to thank the private skipper who helped me.
We continued fishing and I was able to catch and release two more Threshers at about 160lb and 30lb – it was simply amazing, not one but three!! These are lifetime
fish and not common at all.
There are no records showing any angler catching three Threshers in a day so another first.
The weather was still good and with two days to go we went early again the next day and I caught another small Thresher of
about 40lb. This was turning out to be a trip of a lifetime. Day three arrived and this proved to be so thrilling. Thresher sharks are renowned for jumping and so far the sharks that I had caught hadn’t completely breached but this was soon to change.
As lunchtime approached the middle float dived away and the reel sang out. I clipped on and the battle commenced. As the shark raced towards the boat I reeled as fast as I could to maintain a tight line, the skipper manouvrered the boat and as the line moved
up through the water column I knew what was next – all 150lb of her exploded into the bright sunshine going completely airborne, crashed back into the sea and jumped again – it was stunning to watch. Soon alongside the boat and subsequently safely
released she gave us both the show we had wished for. An amazing three days catching and releasing the mighty Thresher.
Back in 2013 it was put to me that Threshers fight harder than Makos, my reply was that I hoped to compare the two in my lifetime,
well in answer to that question I can safely say the Thresher is definitely the harder of the two!!
So what next I hear you say, same as I always say “just go fishing, enjoy it – you never know what might turn up next”.
Andrew Alsop with Andy Griffith with his grand slam IGFA award
Big Sea Fish List – ALL Catch & Release
Great Britain: 1. Porbeagle Shark 235lb measured (plus estimated over 500lb) 2. Blue Shark 167lb measured 3. Shortfin Mako 194lb measured 4. Common
Skate 196lb measured 5. Bluefin Tuna estimated 300lb GB & 450lb British Isles 6. Thresher Shark estimated at 200lb (3 in a day & 5 in total across 3 days) smaller Threshers estimated at 160lb, 150lb, 40lb and 30lb.
British Isles: 7. SixGill Shark estimated 600, 1150 & 1400lb (2 Granders in a day)
Records Achieved to date:
IGFA Shark Grand Slam, World Record – World First
6 Sea Species over 100lb’s in weight within Great Britain - First Angler
to achieve this
7 Sea Species over 100lb’s in weight within the British Isles – First Angler to achieve this
2 Grander Six Gill Sharks in a day within the British Isles – First Angler to achieve this
First Angler to catch
the BIG FOUR (Blue, Porbeagle, Shortfin Mako & Thresher)
No records exist within the SACGB (Shark Angling Club of Great Britain) or elsewhere of any angler achieving this - so another first!
No records exist of any angler catching 3 Thresher
Sharks in a day – so another first!
Well all I can say is beat that lads what an amazing achievement he has had in his fishing career and he's met some amazing friends along the way..