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Fishing: Gary knows way to the king-sized ray; In association with Shakespeare SINCE 1897.

Byline: By JOHN INGHAM

LOOKING for hot tips on how to catch king-sized undulate rays? Go to Weymouth, on the Dorset coast, and hail a taxi. If it is driven by the angler in our photograph, you're in luck.

Gary Mackenzie is the name and prickly undulates are his speciality. He bagged a whopper of 17lb 8oz last autumn on a trip to the Shambles Bank with Weymouth's ace charter skipper, Colin Penny.

That won a top Shakespeare prize in the People Sport competition with a fine score of 82.2 per cent against the British offshore record of 21lb 4oz 8dms, set off nearby Swanage 20 years ago.

Now Gary has scored again with a 16lb 4oz undulate, caught from Penny's Flamer III over a mark to the east of Weymouth.

These slow-growing members of the skate and shark family get their name from undulations on the leading edge of the body 'disk'. Unlike some rays they are harmless to humans. "Several rays and conger eels were caught by others in the group," said skipper Penny, who took our photograph.

Gary, 39, baited with a mixture of mackerel and squid, mounted on a Pennel rig. His score of 76.3 percentage points wins a powerful Ugly Stik uptide boat rod, teamed with a Pflueger President fixedspool reel in a pounds 140 prize package.

UNDULATE rays are not uncommon around south coast Channel marks. Elsewhere around the UK coast you may not see one for years but they can be viewed up close, plus well over 100 other marine species, in Brighton Sea Life Centre.

Housed in a Victorian building on the seafront, this is the oldest operating aquarium in the world. High-tech displays allow all - round viewing, including a walk-through underwater tunnel with sharks swimming overhead.

The newest attraction is a journey into the depths in a Submarine Adventure that travels along the seabed.

Earlier this year the aquarium, which opens at 10am daily, celebrated the birth of 10 undulate rays that hatched from eggs. This underwater zoo makes a great Easter treat for angling youngsters!

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WHOPPER: Gary's prize catch
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Apr 8, 2007
Words:353
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