Gateshead's Michael Bell in line for a record

Michael Bell of Gateshead reeled in a whopping 66lb 10oz tope whilst fishing at Point West, Isle of Man

Michael Bell with his 66lb 10oz tope
Michael Bell with his 66lb 10oz tope

Could another British record be on its way to the North East?

Michael Bell of Gateshead, fishing at Point West, Isle of Man during a week’s shore tope fishing with fellow Seaton Sluice member Scott Davison, was enjoying the sun when the line screamed off his reel. Having previously taken tope to 20lb, Bell knew instantly that this was something special.

After making run after run the fish was eventually brought to the shore where Isle of Man expert Mark Quirk tailed the tope.

After carefully weighing the fish, taking a few photos, the fish was released unharmed and a claim for a new British record of 66lb 10oz was on its way – the highlight of a fantastic week with Davidson taking 13 tope to 40lb, Bell taking eleven.

The Northumberland rocks marks seem to be picking up. Johnny Hepton took a cod of 8lb 2oz on his first cast and followed this up with codling of 3lb 3oz and 4lb 2oz.

Peter Smith fished Boulmer taking two for 7lb 15oz, the best 4lb 1oz in Blyth’s match. Roker pier has produced some good plaice. Alan Ramsay took one of 2lb 9oz to win Sunderland’s match.

Ken Robinson took six plaice and a codling for 10lb 7oz in Tynemouth’s retired members match, Brian Clennell one of 2.06lb in his winning bag of 7.13lb in Longbenton’s match from the pier.

As well as plaice from South Shields pier a few turbot have been taken, Darren Browne taking one of 2lb 7oz. Some good flounder have been taken from the Wear – Paul Hossack taking one of 2lb 3oz to win Ryhope’s sweepstake, David Graves taking seven for 7lb 5oz to win Alberta’s match.

Light line enthusiasts Walter Turnbull and Paul Conroy fished Eyemouth on Turnbull’s Charlotte, taking around 40 fish with the best two pollock of 10lb and 7.5lb.

Russell Hudson had a good day out on JFK taking ten fish the best a ling of 18.5lb. Other trips have accounted for 70-80 fish with cod and ling into double figures.

After a year off, Amble boat Serenity (Grahame 07930314030) is back, taking 30 cod to 7lb from the hard ground, Warlord also taking decent catches, the best fish a ling going 16.5lb. Sunderland boat Sapphire has taken decent catches of ling, cod and pollock Peter Smith taking a cod of 15lb, Ian Dixon a ling of 15lb 2oz. At Hartlepool all is well, anglers on lone Shark taking cod and ling to 12lb.

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