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Fisherman lands King of the Stingers

3:00pm Saturday 23rd June 2012  

A RECORD-BREAKING fisherman has landed what is thought to be the largest stingray ever caught in the UK.

Tony Talbot, who runs Tony’s Fresh Fish stall with his partner Kerry in Point Clear Bay, caught the 72lbs 7oz beast at Bench Head, two miles off Mersea.

The previous record for a boat-caught stingray in the UK was 72lb 2oz, in the river Blackwater.

The biggest rod-caught stingray off the Essex coast is 67lbs.

Tony, 46, said: “There’s no real economical value in stingray so they are only really caught for sport.

“If an angler had caught it, it would have been a dream for them - it was even exciting for me to see it.

“I don’t know what the position is for records for commercial vessels and the catch being officially verified.

“Some anglers on the beach had a balance which only went up to 20lbs, so I used my scales, which are accurate as we sell to the public.”

He added: “I always get asked by kids what my biggest catch has been and people are always interested.

“Not long after I caught it, I had phone calls from anglers asking whether it was true.”

The stingray was released back into the Colne estuary within 15 minutes after being weighed and photographed.