WHEN Dan Richards paddled off in his kayak from Sandgate Beach near Folkestone the last thing he expected was to return a UK record holder.
Well that’s exactly what happened to the 38-year-old from Kent when he landed this superb 29lb 10oz cod and smashed his previous best by more than 20lb.
Kayak fishing is a method many anglers dare not attempt and the fact that Richards paddled a staggering two miles off-shore where he landed the giant fish in nearly 80ft of water made it even more impressive.
Fishing with two rods, Richards tempted the beast – the biggest caught from a kayak in this country - using a Pennel rig. This was held tight to the bottom with a 12oz lead and a 60lb hooklink with a size 7/0 hook baited with cuttle fish stuffed with lugworm.
“When I first struck into the fish I just thought I had snagged the bottom, because when fishing at that depth it is often hard to tell,” he told Angling Times. “But then it started stripping line off my reel and that’s when I knew it was a big fish. It was like reeling a sack of spuds up through the depths but never in my wildest dreams did I expect it to be that big,” he said.
He then had to haul his catch aboard his tiny boat and with no room aboard for the giant fish, the keen sea angler had to continue fishing with his catch lying between his legs before paddling back to shore.
“I tried putting it on the back of the boat but with all my gear it was impossible so I packed up one of the rods and carried on fishing with the other. I would have been happy to come in with a fish like that but I had to stay out longer as my friend had caught nothing and had travelled a long way to get here. Everyone has been congratulating me but it is yet to sink in” he added.