Historically the Avon has produced some huge fish, the biggest I,ve heard of, a 58lb, netted at Mudeford in the 60,s, an angler caught a brace of 47lbers, a week apart back in the 50,s I believe, no repeat capture as both were killed . These must have been that rare 5SW class fish? There was a 38lb hen fish caught a few years back(early 2000,s), so not all males.
I think the really intriguing thing about these monsters is how they just evade capture, I have had a few encounters with outsized fish especially on a lower Test fishery, all on one beat, they were all very fresh in, clearly visible, and all just had a very brief snap at a prawn then shut up shop for the rest of the season, caught loads of "lesser " fish, but those biggies just behave very differently, one in particular 2 seasons ago, just looked wrong in the river, every time it swam around the small pool, it looked like a dolphin in comparison to other fish present (grilse to 2SW), never hooked, and just disappeared at spawning time.
The largest Atlantic salmon ever recorded in the UK was “illegally” netted just a few miles from where I live. 103lb Im sure From the River Forth in the early 1900s
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