Miss Ballantine’s Salmon

It was dusk on the River Tay on October 7th, 1922, just near the village of Caputh, when Miss Georgina Ballantine felt a tug on her fishing line. A two-hour battle commenced before a monster salmon was finally landed, weighing 29 kilograms (64lbs) – the heaviest British rod-caught salmon and a record which is unlikely to be beaten as salmon sizes have decreased over the years.

Georgina Ballantine was 32 when she battled with the epic fish and was already celebrated for her work as a nurse in France during World War I. She then worked at hospitals up and down the country. She already had arthritis in her hands when she caught the salmon, and in later years her legs were amputated. She was much loved in her village and people rallied round to take care of her, even putting a special light on the top of her cottage – if she was in trouble, she could call for help that way.

The prize catch was brought to Perth, where the hunting, shooting and fishing agent, P.D.Malloch’s who created a striking cast of the enormous fish. The salmon itself was gifted to Perth Royal Infirmary and eaten by the staff and patients.