Rare Jack gets anglers jumping

A RARE catch by an angler off Lundy is being put down to global warming. The Jack, a member of the tuna family, is more normally encountered in the warm waters of the Caribbean. But Neil MacDonald, landlord of the Royal Exchange public house in Torringto

A RARE catch by an angler off Lundy is being put down to global warming.

The Jack, a member of the tuna family, is more normally encountered in the warm waters of the Caribbean.

But Neil MacDonald, landlord of the Royal Exchange public house in Torrington, caught his while leading a fishing trip off Lundy for a group of friends and pub regulars aboard Clive Pearson's boat Jessica Hettie.

As they went round to the west coast of the island, the skipper told the anglers of a fish he had caught the previous week, which he couldn't recognise. Shortly afterwards, Neil hooked and landed a hard fighting near- 2lbs fish on baited feathers, which Clive recognised as the same species.


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On board this time was Keith Armishaw, who works in River Reads bookshop in Torrington, a leading angling bookshop.

He recognised the fish as a type of Jack, a fish he had caught earlier in the year in Florida.

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The Jacks are a family of fish which are highly regarded there as sport fish.

The National Marine Aquarium at Plymouth could not identify the exact species as one hasn't been caught in British waters before, but Sea Angler Magazine believe it to be a species of Amberjack, said Keith.

Photographs have been sent to the Natural History Museum for definitive identification.

The British Rod caught committee have sent papers out to enable a claim for a British record to be submitted once the species has been finally identified

Neil said "It is perhaps one of the few benefits of global warming that such species of sportfish are arriving off the North Devon coast. Sportfish such as these would bring a welcome boost to the local economy."

* Next day Clive caught another of the same species, bringing the possibility that there could be a colony that has become established there, probably arriving via the Gulf Stream.

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