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Teenager Catches 194 Pounds Skate on First-ever Fishing Trip

A 14-year-old schoolboy, Kyle Jeffery, landed two massive skate fish during his first-ever fishing trip, which weighed nearly three times his own weight.

Teenager Catches 194lb Skatefish on First-ever Fishing Trip

Jeffery, who weighs 120lb (8.5st) and is just over 6ft (72in) in height, caught a 194lb (13.8st) female skate fish on his first trip and a 130lb (9.2st) male on his second trip the following day.

The official UK record for a skate fish is 227lb, caught off the Isle of Mull. The female skate measured 83in long while the male measured 77in, both taller than Jeffery. The teenager, from Oban, had done freshwater, sea, and fly fishing before but was keen to try his hand at skate fishing after watching videos of others catching the elusive fish.

Leigh Taylor, skipper of the Laura Dawn II charter boat, which plies the waters of the west coast searching for skate fish, said Jeffery had been eager to join a trip. The charters are so popular that they are booked up for the rest of the year. However, when a party with a spare space agreed to let Jeffery join them, he jumped at the opportunity.

Jeffery said, “I was only expecting to get a 100lb fish, not a 194lb one. It took me around the boat a couple of times. Leigh had to take it to the front of the vessel as there is only a foot or two to walk there. He took it round then gave the rod back to me. When the tide came in, it must have weighed more like 250lb [with the weight of the water]. A couple of guys on the boat helped by holding it while I got a bit of a rest, so that I wasn’t breaking my arm.”

The young fisherman battled with the 194lb skate fish for 75 minutes before finally reeling it in. Once caught, Leigh helped Jeffery to land the fish without causing any harm. All skate fish are put back into the water alive after being weighed and recorded.

Despite being exhausted after catching the 194lb skate fish, Jeffery was delighted to go out fishing again the following day. 

Skipper Leigh said, “He did well and is a fast learner.” Jeffery plans to go on more fishing trips later this year. Leigh added, “We have bookings for 2024 already.”

What is Skatefish?

Skatefish, also known as rays, are a type of fish that belong to the family Rajidae. They have flattened bodies, large pectoral fins that are often referred to as "wings," and a long tail that may or may not have a stinging spine.

Skatefish are typically found in coastal waters and can range in size from small, hand-sized species to larger species that can grow up to six feet in length. They are bottom-dwelling fish and feed primarily on crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish.

Some species of skatefish are commercially harvested for their meat, which is commonly used in dishes like fish and chips or as a substitute for scallops. However, many species of skatefish are also threatened due to overfishing and habitat destruction. As a result, some conservation efforts have been put in place to protect these species and their habitats.

Skatefish are commonly found in coastal waters around the world, including the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They are particularly abundant in the temperate waters of the North Atlantic and the North Pacific, where they inhabit both shallow and deep waters.

Skatefish are also found in the Southern Hemisphere, including around the coasts of South America, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

In general, skatefish are bottom-dwelling fish that prefer sandy or muddy substrates, but some species can also be found in rocky areas or around coral reefs.