Nicholls is best of British

Keith Nicholls with his prized catch
Keith Nicholls with his prized catch
jpns-12-08-17 retro 2017 anglers

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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Keith Nicholls has British fishing officials frantically searching through their record books.

The Portsmouth angler is on the brink of making history after landing a potential new British record for an undulate ray.

Fishing on the Solent with Portsmouth charter skipper Andy Snow, Nicholls landed the ray which weighed in at a whopping 22lb 12oz.

That smashes the previous best which was recorded back in 1987 – 21lb 40z – leaving Nicholls waiting desperately to hear if he’s set a new British best.

His mammoth catch represented an exciting couple of trips for Snow.

One crew battled with some hefty species, including cod, bass and smoothhounds, while also boating 15 blonde rays with an average weight of 20lb.

One ray, meanwhile, was also well over the 30lb bracket.

But things got even better on Nicholls’ adventure.

With the weather a little bit unsettled, Snow decided to try one of his inshore ray marks off Bembridge.

There, crew members used light-line tactics to subdue these flat members of the shark family.

And within minutes of dropping anchor, they were straight into fish, with a succession of thornbacks and small-eyed rays coming to the net.

Nicholls’ rod then bent double and, after a short battle, he landed the biggest catch of his life.

n There are still places left for this weekend’s open beach match at Stokes Bay, Gosport.

The match, with a catch-and-release format, starts at 5.30pm and is expected to continue until 10.30pm.

Booking in is from 3.30pm at the Gosport & District AC clubhouse.

For further information or to book a peg, call Allan’s Marine on (023) 9267 1833.