A Ballymena angling enthusiast is once again celebrating an incredible catch, this time Thomas White has caught the world’s fastest fish.
The Lantara man is just home from a fishing trip off the coast of Costa Rica where he landed more than 40 Indo-Pacific sailfish over an eight-day period before releasing them back into the wild.
This comes just less than a year after catching an enormous Giant freshwater stingray while on a fishing holiday in Thailand.
He said: “This is the largest of the two subspecies of sailfish with adult fish weighing anywhere between 150 and 220 lbs with a top speed of 70 mph this pelagic missile leaves all other fish behind.
“There is nothing that swims that can compete with the explosive speed of an adult sailfish.”
Thomas explained that from December to February the Pacific coast of Central America has earned a reputation as a bill fish hot spot.
He said that for tropical water fishing, the best conditions are usually around a full moon.
Thomas added: “This is recognised as one of the best places in the world to catch the Indo-Pacific sailfish which can grow to more than twice the size of their Atlantic cousins.
“As anybody who has fished tropical waters will already know, when they say perfect conditions they are usually talking about fishing around the time of a full moon.
“I fished for eight days in total and to give myself the best chance, I fished the four days before and the four days after the full moon.
“I was hopeful that this might enable me to hook one or two sailfish, but things panned out much better than I could ever have imagined on seven of my days I averaged between three and seven sailfish a day, but on the day after the full moon I hooked and landed an incredible 17 sailfish.”
Thomas explained that the fish is released back into the water following the customary photograph.
“Once hooked, sails put up an awesome fight which can last anything from 15 minutes to over half an hour,” he said.
“They are given a chance to recover in the water for a few minutes before they are brought into the boat for 10 or 15 seconds for a quick photo before being carefully put back into the water.”
“With one hand holding the bill and the other holding the pectoral fin, they are towed along for a few minutes to help let water pass through their gills and re-oxygenate their blood.”