Quest for 10 UK species over 100 lb

Simon Davidson, seen with a rudd, is now seeking 100 lb giants (Image credit: Angler's Mail)

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Simon has his work cut out, as only two are achievable in freshwater, leaving eight really tough sea targets. 

Having caught big rudd, crucian carp and chub this summer, Simon then landed a big porbeagle shark, estimated at 140 lb, while aboard Broadside Boat Charter, off Dale, in Pembrokeshire, Wales, using freelined mackerel.

Kettering, Northamptonshire-based Simon, 38, said: “I only started this summer. I caught a big catfish and it bottomed out my scales. It wasn’t 100 lb, but it did get me thinking about a UK 100 lb catfish.

“While looking at venues for big catfish, I read about a 100 lb sturgeon being caught. I then read an article about a guy travelling around the world to catch 100 lb fish. I think he was going for 100 species of over that weight.

“I then started looking at how many species in the UK can get to 100 lb-plus. I have set my target on ten. It’s almost impossible. After the first five species, it’s going to get very, very difficult, but that’s the challenge.

“I had a big porbeagle in July. It was around 140 lb. We measured it to work out the weight. I have had several smaller shark.

“I am doing two days in search of a 100 lb-plus blue shark next week. I think I can get to five species within a year. A 100 lb porbeagle is not an easy one to get, and I have already achieved that.

“I am booked up for two days at the end of January for common skate, with every chance of a monster.

“I will try to catch a 100 lb sturgeon this autumn. Hopefully, by the end of January I will have four 100 lb-plus species under my belt.

Simon Davidson with his big porbeagle shark, before it was released

Simon Davidson with his big porbeagle shark, before it was released (Image credit: Angler's Mail)

“After that, the species get much harder. There’s also sixgill shark, thresher shark, blue fin tuna and conger eel, which are extremely rare at 100 lb, and some of those others also really hard.

“Then there is mako shark, and white skate are possible, but those are really rare, too. There are also very rare catches of sunfish and opah of over 100 lb.

“Stingray go over that, but haven’t been caught in the UK over that weight, so it is certainly going to be an ultra-hard challenge, and one that could take a lifetime.”

Top sea fishing expert Mike Thrussell thinks that this is one of the hardest fishing challenges ever set.

Mike told us: “Some of the sea targets are really tricky, not impossible, but very hard. This certainly isn’t a challenge that you can complete in a couple of years.

“If you dedicate yourself to it for a long time, it might just be completed. It would be amazing if he did it.”

Angler's Mail

Running from 1964 until 2020, Angler's Mail was the UK's leading weekly magazine devoted to coarse fishing, telling readers everything they needed to know about which fish to catch, where to catch them, and what kit they needed to do it. Now, loads of the magazine's expert advice can be found on, as a helpful resource for angling newcomers and experts alike.