Waterlooville angler Ian Hills netted an impressive 11lb 8oz thornback ray at Pagham.
Hills and his friends thought they would try their luck over the weekend, targeting the big bream that have started to turn up in large numbers.
Fishing a three-hook paternoster rig at distance, Hills and his buddies were straight into their target species, with fish to 2lb landed along with the ever-present dogfish and a couple of small bass.
Then, out of the blue, Hills’ rod was dragged from his rest and after a short battle he landed a thornback ray that had taken a liking to his small ragworm and squid bait.
The specimen ‘thornie’ weighed in at 11lb 8oz and was quickly photographed and released by the trio to fight another day.
Elsewhere across the sea angling scene, things are really picking up now summer is arriving.
There have been lots of reports from the shoreline of some excellent sport with all manner of species being landed.
A great number of area specimens have been netted, with species such as smoothhounds into double figures, big bass of up to 9lb, bucket loads of mackerel and some massive bream.
And that’s without the hoards of dogfish and small plaice that have invaded our shores in the last few weeks.
n Hambledon’s David Blackman, left, was the best of the nine to 12-year-olds at the latest MBK Leisures Junior Open Match.
Twenty-six young anglers fished the event at Coloured Ponds, Rake – and Blackman, with 22lb 8oz, held off the threat of Petersfield pair Joey Griffiths (21-12-0) and Jessica Gomm (10-2-0) to take the honours.
In the under-nines category, Jessica Carter (13-0-0) came first, with Liss duo Ben French-Lynch (9-14-0) and Henry Bragg (7-2-0) second and third respectively.
Mikey Cornwell (6-14-0) and Jonathon Higgs (6-14-0) were joint-first in the 13 to 16-year-olds group, followed by Ben Renshaw (6-4-0) in third.
While in the 17 to 19-year-olds group, Alex King’s magnificent haul of 25-8-0 saw him take victory ahead of Liphook’s Toby Smith (19-14-0) and Matt Barnett (15-12-0).
The next match is on Friday, again at MBK’s Coloured Ponds, Rake. The draw is at 5pm, with fishing from 5.45pm through to 8.15pm.
Call 07885 754365 for more information.