Best cod sport for years say experts

THE unprecedented run of big cod has continued this week with two fish over the 40lb-barrier caught from along the south coast.

Experts have claimed the past 12-months have produced the best sport for the species in several decades, and Dominic Camilleri backed-up this bold statement when he landed a 40lb 12oz specimen from Shoreham, East Sussex.

The West Sussex-based rod started the day with a pb of 15lb but soon smashed that with a 25lb fish falling for his cuttlefish hookbait. Determined to up his best again, he rebaited the rig and it didn’t take long to achieve his goal.

“As soon as I hooked it I knew it was a big fish and it did its best to shed the hook. We couldn’t believe the size of it when it came to the surface and there was a huge sigh of relief when we finally got it on the boat,” said Dominic. “The fish surpassed all my expectations - it was a once in a lifetime session,” he added.

It was a similar story further east where, fishing off the coast of Dungeness, Kent, David Simes landed a 40lb 14oz specimen – the biggest from the region in over 20-years.

After boarding the private Nessun Dorma boat, he and his dad Richard headed two miles off shore and it wasn’t long before the huge cod found his bait.

A 30-minute fight followed but the real problems began once he got the fish to the surface. “We got it alongside the boat and when we went to net it we realised it was too big to fit in! We panicked to start with as we knew it was a monster and in the end we just had to lean over the side and lift it up by the gills,” explained David.

Local shops have also been inundated with reports of big fish in recent weeks and Seagull Fishing Tackle boss Tony Hills said: “There are so many whiting off the south coast for the cod to feast on and as a result they are getting bigger by the year. This winter has been the best in recent memory and I think the best is yet to come – I certainly wouldn’t rule a 50lb cod out.”