George is on the Ball

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Anglers - Kathleen Harrison, from Milton, with her 1lb nine-and-a-half-ounce catch. She was another one of the winners in the Southsea children's sea angling competition

THIS YEAR IN 1979: Young anglers fall victims of the weather

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Paulsgrove specimen hunter George Ball is celebrating after a two-hour trip to west Dorset paid off in style.

Ball headed to Abbotsbury to fish for cod on the famous Chesil Beach.

But he got a little more than he had bargained for on his very first cast.

Rather than a cod, which are being landed in large numbers on Chesil Beach at the moment, he reeled in a personal-best plaice.

The massive flat fish took a liking to his fresh welsh black lug, fished at distance.

And although it was not his main target on the trip, the 5lb beauty was a very welcome surprise.

Ball’s efforts further added to the proof that our beaches have come alive with all manner of fish in the past few weeks.

And members of Drayton Angling Club have been taking advantage, with nine different species recorded in their recent match at the Sea Life Centre.

Smoothhound, dogfish, bass, sole and gurnard were just a few of the fish landed by the members on the night.

Drayton are holding their annual open beach competition – incorporating the Angling Trust Champion of Champions – on Saturday, October 13.

The match will fish the beaches of Stokes Bay and Lee-on-the-Solent and is a catch-and-release event.

There will be pools for the longest fish as well as section payouts.

Fishing times are 5.30pm until 10.30pm.

Book-in will take place at the Gosport & District AC, Life Boat Lane, Stokes Bay. Entry is £15 with pools on the day. To pre-book a peg, call Allan’s Marine (023) 9267 1833 or turn up on the day.

n Mark Argyle is all smiles after netting a personal best.

His top bass tipped the scales at 11lb 12.25oz during a recent boat trip.

Fishing on a series of sand banks off Selsey Bill, Argyle landed six bass using live mackerel bait on a long flowing trace.

But there was no doubt which was the pick of the bunch.