In the early 1930's someone discovered that huge Tunny fish lived in the North Sea. They were not easy to capture and so big game anglers turned this into a sport. This was a useful sideline for the local fishermen who took visitors out on trips.
The first big fish to be caught in British waters was a 650 LB Tunny landed by Mr Henry Mitchell in 1930. In 1930 a 735 LB tunny was captured off Scarborough by a Mr Fred Taylor. The biggest at that time was a 758 LB tunny caught by a Mr Zane Grey.
In August 1932 a Mr Harold Hardy, of Cloughton Hall, struggled with the worlds largest fish. According to a Mr G Heneage he was
"within an ace of hauling it aboard when, in its dying struggle the fish snapped the line and escaped".
It was a thrilling fight witnessed by Alec Penman, the skipper of the Dick Whittington. Onlookers described it as the biggest fish they had ever seen at around 16 feet long. It certainly put up a fight as the struggle lasted for 7 hours 10 minutes.
Four visitors were aboard the Dick Whittington. They were thrilled as they watched th momentus struggle. They later described it as the greatest fight they had ever seen in their lives.
The Dick Whittington was a trawler. This was unusual boat to use for the sport fishermen. It was an early season experiment. That same day five other big fish were spotted by skipper Penham. He whistled to the Johannesburg, skippered by William Normandale, and informed them. These big game anglers put off in a small boat and hooked a big tunny.
One famous face was Major Rowley who was a keen big game hunter. He had several tussles with big fish in the 1931 season. He lived on his boat in the summer of 1931. He enjoyed the sport but failed to catch a big fish.
By 1934 word had spread and the most influential and richest visited. Baron Henri de Rothschild visited in his 1000 ton yacht "Eros". He had Edwin Mann, 5 Church street, on board throughout his stay. When the hunting begins this local trawler skipper would show the Baron the fishing grounds. The yacht anchored 2 miles off shore. It was a beautiful yacht freshly painted in white with a yellow funnel. It had harpoons on board capable of striking a porpoise. They also had on board two powerful motor boats capable of 50 miles an hour. The baron promised his first catch to the Harbour Master Captain Andrews.
Another visitor in 1934 was a Grecian Prince who chartered a drifter for the season. There was also the usual collection of military men - Colonel Peel and Colonel Stapleton-Cotton.
- Scarborough Evening News. 12th August 1932.
- Scarborough Mercury, 3rd August,1934