Back in the 70s we used to go to Scarboro with an old boy called Charlie White and when he was young he used to row those little boats for the well-orf! He used to tell us stories that would make your teeth itch and they talk about health and safety in that film. His main client (if that's the right word) was Tom Laughton, brother of actor Charles, and if they caught a big tuna, he always rewarded the lads doing the rowing.
It really was big business back in those days, but the demise of the herring shoals in the north sea put paid to it, the tuna were never outfished by rod and line anglers. Scarboro was the centre though, with a few from Whitby and the poorer people went out in cobbles from Brid, day fishing. The Angling Times once published a picture (I'll see if it's on the web) of a row of monster tuna laid out across Scarboro quay.
I don't know about sea fish but the biggest fish caught in freshwater on rod and line was of course the sturgeon at 388lb on a little Welsh river the Towey in 1933 by a salesman sneaking time off from work. I have an account of it in "The fisherman's bedside book".
"25th Sept 1933, on the White Mill stretch of the river Towey, Camarthenshire, Mr A.L. Allen was fishing for sea-trout when he hooked and landed a Royal Sturgeon of 388lb. It was 9ft 2ins long and had a girth of 59ins. "
I met him once. He told me he'd foul hooked it whilst spinning
So if the Sturgeon was foul hooked does anyone want to have a crack at what Britains biggest (fairly) rod caught freshwater fish would be ? …an imported Wels …Followed by a home grown Carp… followed by GW ballantines 64 pound Salmon? …Wasn’t there also 74 pound Blue Carp down Kent way a few years back ?
I think it was covered in another thread about the biggest freshwater fish in the world were some people would class Sturgeon as not a true freshwater fish...its a tricky one...
How about out and out UK freshwater fish ? I still think an imported Wels could be the biggest ...they have gone 100 pund plus in the UK ...as for biggest home grown well as I mentioned you had the record Salmon at 64 pound but I guess we could also say that is like a Sturgeon and moves between fresh and salt water.
I think there is some waters in the south east that hold some unusual species that could be considered but the biggest out and out rod caught home grown UK freshwater fish I can think of would prob be the Mirror Carp 2 tone now !