All posts by Jules Anthony

Fishing for votes: Election special

Not sure who to vote for at the next election? Tired of hearing about the economy and all the immigration? Same here.

But before you decide to forget about it all and go fishing with that new fly fishing reel you’ve been planning to buy, listen up. Fishing could actually be the clincher when it comes to where you place your vote.

In the world of 2015 fishing policies, sustainability is the hot topic. It’s common knowledge that fish stocks are shrinking whilst the demand for fish is increasing, so it’s essential that vulnerable areas are protected. The flip side is that there is a fishing industry and livelihoods to safeguard too. But which side of the argument do these parties fall on?

Conservative – An eye on sustainability, but the economy key

Conservative Party Logo

Image source: Conservative Party
Economy most important.

The Conservative Party state they pushed for radical reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy, thus reversing the insane practice implemented by Brussels of throwing back perfectly edible fish into the sea.

There is now a legally binding agreement in place, which promotes fishing at sustainable levels. Supported by setting up the UK’s first Marine Protected Zones, protecting 9000 square kilometres. 10% of UK seas are protected and a quarter of all inshore waters.

There isn’t much information on the party’s website about their future plans regarding fishing policies, so we can only speculate.

What we do definitely know is that the Conservative’s priority is expanding the economy, right? Handicapping fishermen too much with no-go fishing zones would damage the economy, so we’re guessing the blues won’t play the green card too hard and expand that 10% too much.

Liberal Democrats – Rebuild fish stocks whilst decentralizing control to local fishing communities

Liberal Democrats Logo

Image source: Lib Dems
Rebuild fish stocks

“Secured a huge majority in the European Parliament in favour of ambitious reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy to end wasteful discards, made it a legal obligation to rebuild fish stocks, and decentralised to local communities day-to-day management of fisheries.”

With the above statement, The Liberal Democrats believe they (not the Conservatives) were the driving force behind the changes to the Common Fisheries Policy and they helped to create a greener, more energy efficient EU. Was it Liberal or Conservatives — who knows? But both parties are claiming the accolades.

We checked the Lib Dem’s manifesto and whilst their track record might be good, they don’t have a lot to say about future fishing policies.

Green Party – Protect the fish at all costs

Green Party Logo

Image source: Green Party
Keen to protect fish.

The Green Party’s stance on fishing is simple: all marine activities will have to function sustainably within environmental limits. It’s a sustainable long-term vision weighted in favour of sustaining the environment rather than the fishing industry.

This principle would reverse the current presumption in favour of fishing so fishing rights and catch limits would be altered to protect fish stocks.

There is a a wealth of information regarding fishing policies and the party is very transparent about its stance.

UKIP – More fishing for UK boats and little on sustainability

UKIP  Logo

Image source: UKIP
All for territorial waters.

Not afraid to shake things up for better or worse UKIP will leave the Common Fisheries Policy completely and reinstate British territorial waters. UKIP has proposed UK-controlled fishing zones to replace involvement in the EU Common Fisheries Policy.

Therefore foreign trawlers would have to apply and purchase fishing permits to fish British waters when fish stocks have returned to sustainable levels. In a recent interview, Nigel Farage said, “As a result of membership of the Common Fisheries Policy, we are now allowed to catch less than 20% of the fish that swim in British waters. The other 80% we have given away to the rest of Europe.”

Nigel Farage was also a member of the European Parliament Fisheries Committee, but he turned up to just one out of 42 meetings, so a close inspection of UKIP’s dismal voting record in the European Parliament on fish and Nigel Farage’s appalling attendance on the Fisheries Committee makes a mockery of UKIP’s claim to be standing up for fishermen.

SNP – Is it too late to be Scottish?

SNP Logo

Image source: SNP
A big priority!

And now over the border in Scotland.

Former first Minister, Alex Salmond, stated that fishing will be a national priority in an independent Scotland and they will negotiate Scottish priorities in EU without compromise to safeguard the £550 million it contributes to the Scot’s thriving (£14 billion) food and drink industry.

Now where’s that kilt…

Labour – Murky waters

Labour Party Logo

Image source: Labour
A bit vague…

The Labour Party’s 2015 manifesto is big, bold and bright and very clear on all the big issues.

We’ve downloaded it, but they don’t have a lot to say beyond: “We want to create a world-leading Food, Farm and Fisheries sector that creates better paid jobs and apprenticeships across the rural economy.” Sounds promising, but we’d love to know more.

Moon landing: How to catch more fish

Full moon above sea

Get in tune with the moon.

With super moons, solar eclipses and all kinds of astrological events happening in the news lately, we’ve jumped on the moon bandwagon to explore how fishing by using the phases of the moon can help land you a bigger catch.

But is there any sense to it? We did a bit of digging and discovered, to our delight, there is a sound theory behind fishing by the moon! So have a read of our quick guide then grab your favourite fishing rod, a moon phase calendar and the determination to get out of bed when the rest of the UK is fast asleep. Just think of that potential catch…

Here’s the low down on how to make the most of the moon.

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What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner it’s likely that friends and relatives will be scratching their heads about what to buy you this year.

So in order to avoid the unwanted reindeer sweater or the cheap toiletries that you’ll never use, why not drop a few hints about what you’d really like for Christmas this year.

That’s where we come in, so please allow us to assist with a few gift ideas that anglers everywhere will appreciate.

Upgraded fishing clothing

Fly fisherman fishing for trout in river.

Image source: Goodluz
Put a new pair of waders on your wish-list.

Keeping warm and dry is obviously high up on the list of priorities when out for a long period of time fishing. So how are you fixed for waders, an all-weather jacket or even a Thermo Skin bib and brace, which traps your own body heat? Somebody is probably gagging to buy you a dodgy sweater, but some actually useful fishing clothing would be a way better alternative.

A trip of a lifetime

Boats at Pranang cave beach Railay Krabi in Thailand

Image source: Im Perfect Lazybones
A fishing escape to Thailand? Yes please!

You’ll need wealthy friends if you’re expecting to find air tickets to some dream fishing location in your tackle box on Christmas Day. Cat Island Lodge on the shores of Trout Lake in Ontario, or bass fishing in Florida are just a couple of the more exotic locations for fishing holidays. Or what about catching big carp in Thailand? Closer to home how about a weekend of sea fishing on Chesil Beach in Dorset? There’s a wide variety of fish that swim these waters depending on the weather and sea conditions, so an enjoyable challenge.

Secret fishing location

Multiple fishermen silhouette at sunset.

Image source: viczast
A shared secret spot is fishing gold dust.

This one is free, but potentially priceless in the right hands. Only catch is that it could be hard for somebody to share information about their closely guarded fishing spot. But it’s a nice gesture from one angler to another and a wonderful gift that will keep on giving.

Bivvy

Birds eye view of a fisherman with a rubber dinghy and bivvy in Serbia.

Image source: ollirg
Time for a bivvy upgrade?

The Great British bivvy is the angler’s castle. No matter how far away you are from civilisation, your bivvy has your back and will serve you well through day and night. Invest in quality and you’ll be well prepared for a range of weather conditions whatever the elements throw at you. Is it time for an upgrade?

Flies

Handmade flies used for fly fishing

Image source: KML
You can never have enough of these!

If a younger member of the family asks you what you’d like for Christmas this year, be sure to explain what you mean by ‘flies’ or else trouble is on the menu for Christmas dinner. But the fun of choosing which fishing flies to buy you would be an activity that would be enjoyed by the youngsters. There’s an idea.

Fishing tokens

Different coloured squares with fish cut out.

Image source: Blan-k
Affordable and super useful!

Fishing tokens are a wonderful idea for a Christmas gift and most affordable too. Many regional rivers and trusts offer token and passport schemes which usually invest the money back into the upkeep and protection of the river and fish stocks. Simply exchange a token or two and you’re free to fish.

Invent your own fish

Recent news has revealed the discovery of a new fish species — arapaima leptosoma — which is native to the Amazon in Brazil.

The fish is the first entirely new species of the huge arapaima family discovered since 1847, for which only a single species was believed to have existed for the last 166 years.

Arapaimas can grow up to 3 metres long and weigh as much as 200 kilos, so the new species didn’t exactly slip through the net. It only highlights the focus and dedication required to raise fish conservation efforts. The new discovery prompted us to wonder what else is out there in the big blue. Here’s some unlikely efforts we dreamed up (feel free to contribute your own ideas).

Hoover fish (humus nimia satietas)

Plastic underwater

A fish that cleans the ocean? Yes please!
Source: Electrolux

Two of the biggest threats to sea life are overfishing and pollution, so imagine a huge bottom feeder that digested massive amounts of rubbish and pollution clogging up our seas and rivers.

Nearly as big as a blue whale, the hoover fish would provide much needed assistance to a dirty problem.

Golden-gilled ghost carp  (M. Spiritu carpere)

Gold nugget

Fame and riches for whoever hooks this carp
Source: UnJournalism

Very much the fish of choice for many anglers, carps can be challenging to hook and are highly prized. But we all need a holy grail in our lives and there needs to be something out there that provides a fearsome challenge for our carp fishing rod.

Say hello to the golden-gilled carp — a 60kilo carp species incredibly hard to find and a fish that provides huge fame for the fisherman that hooks it.

Mouse marlin (mus marlin)

marlin

The problem with marlin? Too elusive.
Source: Paradise Outfitters

Fast, strong and elusive, select species of marlin are considered to provide the pinnacle of offshore sport fishing. Big blue marlins put up one hell of a fight and have inspired many sport fishermen, but like lots of other species, black and blue marlins are in decline.

Threatened primarily by commercial fishing, it’d be brilliant if there were a breed of marlin renowned for its exceptionally fast breeding (and growing) rates. So fast that is has been nicknamed the mouse marlin.

Sea chicken (quis maris)

chicken

A few gills here, a fin there, we can see it!
Source: Wikimedia

Humanity’s appetite for tuna is incredible and it’s mainstream appeal along with its meaty texture has resulted in it being nicknamed the chicken of the sea. Yet it’s a matter of time before demand outgrows supply, which is likely to result in tuna being an unaffordable luxury for poorer families.

If only there was an alternative like the tasty and abundant sea chicken (a fish incredibly similar to a chicken, but still a fish).

Pearl Catcher (margaritam aucupe)

pearls

A fish with a bonus
Source: AAA Pearls

Not to be mistaken for the commensal pearl fish, which is known to live inside clams and starfish, the pearl catcher is a speedy little fish renowned for its snatch and run routine on the mollusc community.

Unable to properly digest the pearls it steals, the pearl catcher keeps its booty in its stomach until it is caught by a lucky fisherman. Now there’s a nice thought.

Furry fishing gear

Fishing has been around for a very long time and of course in centuries past fishermen didn’t have all of today’s fantastic gear to feed their families.

Not such a big deal when they could rely on animals to assist. Here are a few of the fisherman’s best friends.

Cormorants

cormorant

Cormorant fishing has been around since 960 AD
Source: Animals and Society

For thousands of years fishermen in China have used trained cormorants to catch fish. The fisherman ties a snare around the bottom of the bird’s boat, which stops larger fish being swallowed, but the cormorant still gets a feed as smaller fishes slip through the snare. It’s a dying art, but one that has created some stunningly beautiful  images.

Otters

otter

Training these guys to fish is now illegal
Source: One More Generation

First developed in China and adopted by India and parts of Europe, otters were once used as a highly efficient means of catching fish. If otters were trained when they were young pups, they would become highly obedient and could be used to catch fish for well over a decade.

The otter would be kept on a long cord attached to it collar and be able to catch fish at a rapid rate. It was common in Sweden for a whole family to be supported by the fishing skills of one otter. The practice of training otters is now illegal due to poachers using them to steal salmon.

Dolphins

dolphins

Dolphins can act like sheepdogs for fishermen
Source: Wild Scotland

The Human Planet, BBC’s stunning nature series first highlighted the cooperation between fishermen and wild dolphins of Laguna in Brazil. The dolphins perform a role similar to a sheepdog in herding the shoals of mullet towards shallow water where the fishermen can cast their nets.

Remarkably the dolphins jump out of the water as a means of signalling to the fishermen the exact moment to cast nets and catch as many mullet as possible. The dolphins finish off any escapees.

Rodents

squirrel

We’re not a fan of this technique
Source: Pet Karia

Many of you may have heard of the Mongolian swimming mouse, which is the phrase given to a huge bundle of feathers used by fishermen to resemble a small rodent. This is due to bigger fish like the brown trout and taimen being partial to gulping down any small mammal that has the gall to swim overhead.

Taking this method to a darker extreme, fishermen have been known to attach a live squirrel to a hook and sweep it across the waterline to attract fish.

Dogs

Labrador-Retriever

Man’s best friend, especially when he catches dinner
Source: Next Day Pets

The retrieving instincts of dogs have performed a useful role for fishermen for centuries. Certain breeds like Labrador retrievers and Portuguese water dogs were once commonly used to retrieve fish from the water and assist in bringing the nets back to shore. If the water is shallow enough, dogs can also actually catch fish too as seen recently with flood waters spilling into suburban areas.

Orangutans

orangutan

Check out this impressive technique
Source: Primatology

Although not a replacement for your fishing gear (as anything they catch goes down their hatch), orangutans do deserve a mention for their tool-assisted methods of catching fish.

Studies have shown that our closest living relatives watch catfish before using sticks to poke at the fish causing them to jump out of the water where they are caught by the orangutan. Unfortunately we weren’t able to interview the catfish.

World’s most expensive fish dishes

The UK doesn’t have the best cuisine in the world, but we certainly have an appetite for foody show offs.

Meaning our numerous celebrity chefs are always pushing the boundaries (or being stupid) with food. Cue the most expensive ready meal — a fish pie costing £314.

It’s creator Charlie Bigham admitted the pie was pricey, but said (pun-intended) “It is only a drop in the ocean for customers accustomed to the finer things of life”. Which leads us onto exploring what else these people might be eating — time to take a dive into the opulent ocean of seafood.

Bluefin Tuna

blue fin tuna

Mysterious, rare and very expensive
Source: Ethical Nippon

Severely endangered, the rare and mysterious bluefin tuna is the holy grail of tuna fish. Its raw belly meat is highly prized for sushi and sashimi and its expensive too — very expensive.

One weighing 489lb recently sold for a record $1.76 million at a Tokyo auction, so that works out to $3599 per/lb. Shame it’s too large to be caught with your fishing gear else you’d become a big fish overnight.

Fish soup

The Buddha Jumps Over the Wall

Traditional ‘The Buddha Jumps Over the Wall’ soup
Source: Wikipedia Commons

There is nothing quite like tasty fish soup, but imagine how good it would taste if you’d paid £108 for a bowl. The Buddha Jumps Over the Wall is the name of the most expensive fish soup in the world and it can be purchased at Kai Mayfair in London.

It contains a wealth of ingredients including abalone, Japanese flower mushroom, sea cucumber and dried scallops. It also used to contain a shark’s fin (although this has been revised due to controversy). If you fancy trying it, you have to give 5 days notice.

Caviar

almas caviar

The definition of luxury from the sea
Source: La Dolce Vitae

When it comes to the finer things in life, caviar is never far away. And the most expensive variety of them all is the highly prized Almas caviar from Iran.

The Caviar House & Prunier in Piccadilly is the only place in the world that sells it. It comes in a tin made of 24-carat gold and costs around £16,000.

Oysters

oysters

A slightly more affordable tasty option for foodies
Source: Belly Pleasures

Not as expensive as other seafood, oysters are certainly the most decadent food from the sea and have always been considered a delicacy. Casanova allegedly ate 50 each day and Julius Caesar was rumoured to have invaded Britain in search of its oysters.

He should have headed to the Fal river estuary between Truro and Falmouth in Cornwall where some of the tastiest oysters in the world can be found. Today it’s a special area of conservation, so only boats powered by sail or oar are allowed. It’s also a public fishery, so if you have a licence you can try your luck hand-dredging for oysters.

Lobsters

lobster

Notoriously pricey seafood nosh
Source: Angela Paige

Along with caviar, lobster has for many years been welcome on the dinner tables of the wealthy. Lobster is also the key ingredient in the world’s most expensive frittata.

Served at Norma’s restaurant in New York, the Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata contains 1lb of lobster meat and 10 ounces of Sevruga caviar. It will set you back a cool $1000 if you mistake it for a fancy omelette (which it is).

Fish Curry

Samundari Khazana

At a cool £2K, this curry includes gold coated lobster
Source: Cooking and Food

Fish curry is arguably India’s finest export after tea, but how much would you pay for a really good fish curry? Well, the most expensive in the world can be found in London (again) at the Bombay Brasserie.

The Samundari Khazana — translated as ‘seafood treasure’ — contains Devon crab, white truffle, Beluga caviar and a Scottish lobster coated in gold! £2000 is how much it will cost you to see that lobster.

Heston’s Sound of the Sea

hestons sound of the sea

Intensify the taste with an iPod
Source: I Am Into This

Love him or hate him, Heston Blumenthal is certainly unique with his Willy Wonka approach to preparing food. So when he made his version of a fish pie it came served with an iPod. Hmm…

Yes the iPod provides the sound of crashing waves, which apparently intensifies the taste of the pie. Served in a wooden box, the pie appears to be covered in sand and seashells, but is of course completely edible.

Ingredients include tapioca, razor clams, crushed fried baby eels, cod liver oil and langoustine oil topped with abalone, shrimps and oysters and three kinds of edible seaweed. You’ll need the iPod back for when the waiter tells you how much you owe.

More about that ready meal

fish pie

“It is only a drop in the ocean for customers accustomed to the finer things of life” – pie creator
Source: Trend Hunter

So back to the £315 ready meal. Well, you can order it online and it gets delivered to your house in an aluminium case (handcuffed to a security guard).

Inside you’ll find the usual suspects: Cornish lobster, turbot poached in Dom Perignon, white alba truffles, Beluga caviar and select oysters. Even the salt used is of the highest quality and sourced from Slovenia, so it’s really not the usual fish supper. Though some of us would still opt for a freshly caught fish supper wrapped in newspaper over all of the above.

Noisy fish sex – deafening creatures of the deep

Male midshipman fish have been keeping scores of families awake in Southampton with their loud mating calls.

The loud droning from their swim bladder, which is used to attract females, can go on for hours and increases in volume when competing males join in.

After a bit of fishing about, we’ve discovered that there are actually some really loud sea creatures out. Some are able to generate noise in excess of 200 decibels. When you consider the average human conversation is around 60-70 decibels and a jet engine produces 140 decibels, you’ll agree 200+ decibels is loud. Fear not though, as most of the noisy stuff is too big (or small) for one of your fishing rods.

Water boatman — 105 decibels

water boatman

Don’t be misled by its mini stature
Source: Wild About Britain

This one isn’t the loudest, but at just 2mm long, the Micronecta Scholtzi still manages to produce around 105 decibels with its mating song, which means that it is the loudest animal on this planet in relation to its body size. Even though 99% of the sound is lost when transferring to water to air, it is still loud enough to be heard from the riverbank when the creature is at the bottom of the river.

Perhaps even more impressive is that the boatman creates his songs by rubbing his penis against his abdomen in a process called stridulation. Don’t try this at home.

Northern elephant seal – 125 decibels

Northern elephant seal

Not the prettiest, but certainly loud
Source: True Wildlife

Found in the cold aquatic environments of the north, the large proboscis of the adult males resembles an elephant trunk hence the name. A complex breathing apparatus consisting of multiple chambers for storing oxygen, and it’s also what the seal uses to blow its own trumpet (metaphorically of course).

During mating season the seals make very loud roaring noises with this wannabe trunk to woo females, and can peak at around 125 decibels. That’s loud when you consider how many trumpets will be blowing at the same time. Good job they prefer the Polar Regions.

Blue whale – 188 decibels

blue whale

Its groans are louder than a rock concert
Source: Photozworld

It may be the biggest mammal in the world, but this graceful 200-tonne beauty with a tongue as heavy as an elephant, isn’t quite the loudest. It’s not far off though, as the blue whale’s siren call can reach levels of around 188 decibels, which is still much louder than a jet engine or even a rock concert.

The blue whale also emits a low frequency series of pulses, groans and moans, which can travel great distances under the water. Scientists believe that other blue whales travelling at distances of up to 1000 miles can pick up these noises.

Pistol shrimp — 218 decibels

pistol shrimp 2

Tiny but very mighty
Source: Environmental Graffiti

Despite being only 2 cm long the aptly named pistol (or snapping) shrimp is able to generate a split-second sound, which at 218 decibels is louder than a gunshot. Recognized by owning one humungous, oversized claw, which resembles a boxing glove, the pistol shrimp uses this deadly weapon to stun its prey.

The claw snaps shut with enough force to fire a jet of water at up to 62 mph. This generates a low pressure cavitation bubble that bursts with a loud snap and stuns unsuspecting prey. Death by deafness — ouch.

Sperm whale — 230 decibels

sperm whale

The loudest of the sea
Source: The Animal Planet

So if you like to play Top Trumps, you’d want the sperm whale card to win the noisiest sea creature category. The sperm whales head has a structure called monkey lips, which it uses to blow air through and also produce loud, booming clicks.

These clicks or codas, which are unique to each whale, are used like sonar to find food and also to communicate with other sperm whales. It is estimated by biologist and whale researcher, Magnus Wahlberg of Aarhus University in Denmark, that these clicks can reach levels of 230 decibels underwater. Meaning the sperm whale is the loudest sea creature we could find with the net.

Prehistoric fish still swimming today

Scientists recently discovered a fossilized fish face at the bottom of a Chinese reservoir that’s believed to be 419 million years old. Making it the oldest known creature with a face (after Mick Jagger).

Rather impressive you’ll agree.

However it’s not quite as impressive as the prehistoric fish that are still around and having it large today. That’s right, the deadly meteor, or whatever it was, didn’t quite wipe out everything. So keep an eye out for this lot next time you’re out with your fishing gear.

Goblin Shark

goblin shark

Ridley Scott inspired nashers
Source: Environmental Graffiti

Anything named after a goblin is going to be a bit scary and the goblin shark doesn’t disappoint. Its translucent skin is a pinkish colour giving the shark a ghostly presence as it moves underwater.

Yet its weirdest feature is the set of teeth that are able to spring out of its mouth like some Ridley Scott sci-fi creation. The good news is that it swims at depths of over 4000 feet, so rarely comes into contact with human beings.

Hagfish

hagfish

The hagfish eats it’s victims inside out
Source: Helablog

There is something about the name, hagfish, that suggests this could be a fictional creature. And many wished this were the case when they learn of the gruesome feeding and defence mechanisms of this fish.

Also known as slime eels, hagfish produce large amounts of slime which turns into sticky goo when mixed with water and this can choke potential predators. When it comes to eating, hagfish attach themselves to their prey like a leech and gorge on their victims from the inside out. There’s 500 million years worth of bad manners for you.

Alligator gar

Alligator Gar

Now that’s a serious jaw!
Source: National Geographic Channel

Boasting a double-jawed arsenal of sharp teeth, thick-scaled armour and weighing in at up to 200 kilograms, the alligator gar hasn’t survived since the Cretaceous period because it looks pretty and barters well.

It’s a formidable predator and the largest freshwater fish in North America. Quite an achievement when you consider some of the big fish found around those parts.

Sturgeon

Sturgeon

A major source of caviar
Source: Wikimedia

The magnificent sturgeon is a survivor from the early Jurassic period, which is about 190 million years ago. With 25 known species (the biggest growing up to an incredible 6 metres) sturgeons are protected with bony plates called scutes, and bottom feed in both freshwater and at sea.

These fish pose no real danger except when they decide to leap out of the water and land on something, which usually gets crushed by their weight. Unfortunately for the sturgeon, it’s the main source for caviar, so it’s done well to survive alongside human beings for so long.

Coelacanth

Coelacanth

Coelacanth – nicknamed The Living Fossil
Source: The University of Chicago

Nicknamed the Living Fossil, as it was once considered extinct before popping up again in 1938, the coelacanth is perhaps the most famous of all living prehistoric fish. Its discovery in a fishing net in South Africa caused a worldwide sensation on par with finding a living dinosaur.

Growing up to 2 metres long, these large predators are found in deep, dark waters and feed on smaller fish, including sharks. They have very complex fin movements and almost appear to be running. No surprise then, that they’re considered by some to be the missing link between fish and amphibians.

Lancetfish

Lancetfish

A pesky nuisance to the fishing industry
Source: Fish Bio

With its abnormally large dorsal fin, which resembles a dinosaur sail, the lancetfish certainly looks prehistoric and its proper name – Alepisaurus Ferox – reinforces this as a fish with history.

Around since the Mesozoic era, this predator has a long streamlined body similar to a barracuda and six very sharp fang-like teeth. It is often caught by commercial fishermen by mistake and is regarded in this trade as being a nuisance.

Frilled Shark

frilled shark

Eats it’s prey like a snake
Source: It’s Nature

This one is a real beauty and one of the most primitive sharks alive being from the Cretaceous period, but is rarely seen in the wild due to dwelling in deep waters where it feeds on squid.

One of the most unusual looking creatures on the planet, the frilled shark has surely inspired many sea monster myths with its almost alien appearance. Its mouth has an incredible 25 rows of razor sharp hooked teeth (that’s 300 teeth in total) and it can extend its jaws to feed on prey almost half its size. It then digests them quite similar to how a snake does.

Frightening foreign fish in the UK

For all the gripes about the cold, wet weather here in the UK, at least the British don’t have to deal with the dangerous animals, insects and fish found in hotter climates.

Err … actually the fish part needs revising.

With recent news reports revealing the Amazon pacu fish (also known as the Ball Cutter for painfully literal reasons) has been discovered in European waters, we’ve cast the net to keep tabs on how close the frightening fish are getting to the UK.

Pacu fish

pacu fish

And the fish with the freakiest teeth award goes to…
Source: Animal Planet

We’ll start with the big news. Commonly found in the Amazon, the pacu fish, infamously nicknamed the Ball Cutter, has reportedly caused South American fishermen to bleed to death by biting off their testicles. Ouch.

The bad news is that there have been sightings this year in the River Seine in Paris and also the Øresund channel between Denmark and Sweden, which has prompted warnings for men to keep their trunks on if swimming. If that isn’t enough to freak you out, take a look at those strangely familiar teeth. Nothing a good fisherman with some quality fishing gear can’t handle.

Great white shark

great white shark

Perpetually frightening thanks to Spielberg
Source: Regal Diving

National newspapers have this year reported sightings of a great white shark, which was spotted by experienced fishermen off the coast of Cornwall. Now experienced fishermen should know their mackerels from their muscles, so surely they know a great white shark when they see one.

What we can be sure about is that the great white shark is feared by millions of people especially after Spielberg’s terrifying movie Jaws. With its razor-sharp teeth, stealth, speed and power, the great white is the ultimate marine killing machine. Let’s hope it keeps its distance.

Moray Eel

Moray eel

Sharp, bacteria coated teeth and a locking jaw – avoid at all costs
Source: National Aquarium

Found lurking mainly in dark crevices in sub-tropical and tropical seas, the moray eel’s razor-sharp teeth coupled with its strong, locking jaws will inflict severe injuries on humans if they get too close.

The bacteria which coats its teeth can also cause infection, so all things considered, moray eels are best avoided, which means don’t go poking fingers down dark holes when diving abroad.

Oh by the way — a 4ft-long moray was caught in the UK in 2009, so they do occasionally stray.

Weever Fish

weever fish

Now you see it, now you don’t
Source: Sup Boarder

This small fish isn’t so frightening to look at and is becoming quite common in UK waters. However it will give you a nasty shock if you happen to stand on it, which is much easier to achieve than you might think.

This well camouflaged fish has sharp venomous spines spaced along its dorsal fins, which stick up out of the sand and can spear unsuspecting bathers and surfers. The venom injected into the soles of feet is a nerve poison, which generally causes excruciating pain in the victim.

Stingray

stingray

Peaceful by nature, deadly if cornered
Source: Buried Adventures

The common stingray is found in UK waters and is a fairly placid and beautiful relation to the shark. Its first line of defence is to flee; however, if the stingray is cornered, then it has a brutal alternative to escaping.

Concealed in the stingray’s tail is a long serrated, venomous stinger, which carries a protein-based venom. This weapon can cause fatal injuries especially if it snaps off inside its victim. In 2006, the shock death of wildlife expert, Steve Irwin warned the world about the dangers of stingrays.

Snakehead fish

snakehead fish

If a snake and a fish mated…
Source: Like Fishing

The snakehead fish is commonly found in warmer seas, but in 2008 an angler hooked one of these in an East Midland’s river, which came as quite a shock to wildlife experts, who suggest it was abandoned by somebody.

The snakehead fish originated over 50 million years ago and has evolved with all the raw brutality needed to survive crueler times. It owns a large mouth lined with sharp teeth and will devour just about anything in or around water. It breathes atmospheric air too, so it can survive on land long enough for it to crawl from pond to pool wreaking havoc on the native species.

Tiger Fish

tiger fish

Just as ferocious as the name implies
Source: Fishing in Gambia

The tiger fish (or goliath fish as it also known) is as ferocious as it looks. It’s renowned for being a highly destructive predator able to take on prey much bigger than itself and boasts all the nasty tools required for a proper job.

Exceptionally strong, fast and well armoured, the tiger fish owns powerful jaw muscles and those frightening teeth mesh together just like a piranhas for maximum mess factor. The good news is that it’s only found in freshwater in Africa. We just thought we’d throw it in the pool to show you how lucky you are living in the UK.

World Wide in Waders

Exploring new countries and cultures is great for the soul, expands the mind and broadens your horizons.

There are some truly stunning fishing spots to find around the world. So pack your suitcase and set off in search of the planet’s most exotic fish and beautiful spots.

It’s time to get World Wide in Waders and put the fly(ing) in fly fishing.

Labrador, Canada

Canadian lake

Wish you were here?
Source: Wikipedia

So it’s named after a chubby dog, but nobody cares about that once they’ve gone fishing there. Few destinations in the world can rival the rivers, lakes and ponds of eastern Canada for fishing.

Set against the stunning landscapes of this Canadian wilderness, you’ll be fishing for wild Atlantic salmon, trophy-winning trout, northern pike and much more. And if that wasn’t enough to pack up your waders right away — it’s common to catch fish up to 8lbs in weight.

Just keep an eye out for bears.

The Amazon Basin, Brazil

fly fishing on the Amazon

Wild and wonderful – fly fishing on the Amazon
Source: Matt Ireland

Yes, the Amazon.

Quite an adventurous location this one, so only thrill seekers need apply. This is the largest freshwater system, and the largest rainforest in the world – so you’re well and truly in the wild here.

The fishing REALLY needs to be worth it then, eh?

What this unique area offers is unique types of fish. There’s plenty of Peacock Bass waiting for you to come and have a go with your fly-fishing skills.

For more of a challenge, try to keep up with the speedy matrichana, or brave the white water rapids to fish for a pacu.

Just watch out for the ‘over-friendly’ piranha.

The Alta, Norway

The mighty Alta

The mighty Alta
Source: Wikipedia

Norway is the home of the mighty fjords, mightier Vikings and The Alta.

The Alta is an awe-inspiring location far inside the Arctic Circle, so expect it to feel quite fresh.

Not that you’ll be taking much notice of the weather, as the salmon in this area are seriously big and there are lots and lots of them.

In fact fish have been caught in Norway that far exceed the British record of 64lbs for a rod-caught fish. Every August and September the area boasts some of the best salmon runs in the world — time to bring out the waders.

Cuba

Fly fishing Cuban style

Fly fishing Cuban style
Source: Where wise men fish

Cuba is high up on the list of holiday destinations for many people.

In this unique and vibrant place, you’ll find 1950s cars, big cigars and friendly people (when you’re not out fly-fishing).

Yes indeed — saltwater fly-fishing in and around Cuba is pretty remarkable for bonefish and the migratory tarpon. The pristine and wader-friendly inshore flats also benefit from a well-enforced protection policy. So fish populations are abundant and won’t shy away from having a go at your fly.

New Zealand

Clear waters in New Zealand

Clear waters in New Zealand
Source: Poronui Hunting

The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy awakened the world to New Zealand.

Both North and South islands boast crystal clear waters, which are teeming with brown trout and rainbow trout.

It can be quite a challenge to land a fish in these waters, as the water is just so clean and clear. This allows the fish to spot any danger well in advance, your casting has got to be perfect if you are to stand any chance.

Home sweet home

Good old British weather

Good old British weather
Source: Inshore Fishing Adventures

When you return home from your worldwide wading expedition, the best way to relax is by visiting your favourite fishing spot — oh, how you have missed it!

From Cornwall’s rocky coastline to the lochs of Scotland, we do all right in the UK for fishing spots too.