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Strange-looking rare fish caught by angler off Lyme Bay coast

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 17, 2012

  • Angler Tony Russell netted this Atlantic bonito while fishing off the Dorset coast

  • Tony Russell and the Atlantic bonito

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Angler Tony Russell got the surprise of his fishing life when he landed a rare fish along the Westcountry coast.

The 70-year-old fisherman rod-caught an Atlantic bonito while casting his line near Lyme Bay.

Tony, from Bristol, was fishing for bass five miles off the Dorset town when the strange-looking fish was hooked.

"As soon as he struck he went off like a bullet to at least 100 meters from the boat," said Tony. "I thought I had a massive bass at first, he never stopped fighting for 20 minutes. I wasn't completely sure what species the fish was but I got it confirmed when I got back to Lyme Regis."

Veteran Lyme Regis boatman Harry May said that he had never known of anyone catching an Atlantic bonito in and around Lyme Regis waters...or anywhere else nearby. James Wright, assistant curator at the Plymouth-based National Marine Aquarium, confirmed the species of the fish, as many thought it may have been a bluefin tuna. He added that the catch of the day would make many sea anglers envious.

As for the fish itself, it was sold to a Lyme Regis fish restaurant.

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