Norman weighs in with tope

HEXHAM angler Norman Tweddle may well have let a British record pass by as he sportingly returned a massive tope while fishing from Ian Burrett’s On Yer Marks in Luce Bay.

HEXHAM angler Norman Tweddle may well have let a British record pass by as he sportingly returned a massive tope while fishing from Ian Burrett’s On Yer Marks in Luce Bay.

As far as I am aware, the fish has to be weighed ashore which would have meant killing it – which no self-respecting boat angler would do.

The skipper has caught thousands of tope in his time, many up to the 80lb mark, and this was far bigger than any he has ever seen, measuring 75 inches, with a huge head, and girth of 33 inches which unusually went almost the length of the fish and took two people to lift it.

On the boat it weighed 104lb, and the tope measurement chart gave 103lb. However, the skipper reckoned the fish was not quite that big. The weather has certainly hit boat catches with boats taking up to 50 fish per trip, with the majority around 4-10lb, with a few better fish.

Jimmy Martin took a cod of 15-8-0 aboard Swordfish out of Sunderland, while Alan Weeret took a ling of 15-4-0 aboard Famous out of Hartlepool. The best fish aboard Sarah JFK was a ling of 16lb. Amble boats have been taking a mixture of cod, ling and Pollock with the best around 10lb. Shads, Jelly worms, and lead heads seem to be taking most fish.

A few decent cod and wrasse have come from the rock marks between Amble and St Abbs. Mal McIntyre took four cod for 12lb 7oz at Newton in Seaton Sluice’s match, Steven Clark taking the biggest fish, a wrasse of 3lb 9oz.

Barry Tweddle, fishing at Beadnell, took a cracking wrasse of 4lb 8oz. Ryhope travelled to Seahouses taking quite a few codling, Steve Rackstraw taking one of 4-4-0, Paul Riley one of 4lb and Stuie Bland one of 3-10-0.

There have been some cracking flounders in the Wear, many nearing 2lb and some well over, Paul Robinson winning Sunderland SAA’s KP Trophy with one of 2lb 6oz.

Parton and Crimdon beaches have given up good-sized dabs, flounders, plaice and the odd turbot, plus the odd bonus bass, with Steetly pier giving whiting after dark. And the settled weather has brought the mackerel back in good numbers.

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