Eric smashes cod record

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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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Eric Binding has delivered proof that cod fishing on the south coast is booming.

Over the past few years the hunt for the popular fish has been slowly improving.

But this year it looks to have hit the heights of the early 1990s when jumbo cod were the norm.

And there is no better example than the one landed by Binding.

In a week when, not one, but five 30lb-plus cod have been reported in the Nab area, the Fountain Lake Angling Club member reeled in the pick of the bunch.

Binding broke his club’s long-standing record by a whopping 3lb 12oz as he boated a monster 37lb 8oz cod.

The stunning fish was caught using a large double squid bait on an 8/0 pennel rig.

Binding was fishing in 90ft of water, while using 2lb of lead to hold bottom on a mark well south of the Nab Tower.

But the massive cod did not give up without a fight.

The brute took a good 15 minutes to bring to the boat in the strong current.

Rob Hickin was also out on the trip and reckons it is the biggest cod he has seen in the area.

The skipper of Sea-Juicer said: ‘I honestly thought it was over 40lb when I netted it.

‘You could see what a massive fish it was!

‘It is the biggest cod I have seen this end of the Isle of Wight.’

The crew also had three other cod to 15lb, four specimen bullhuss to around 12lb and about a dozen congers to 40lb.

Along with plenty of good-size whiting, it made for a cracking day overall. 

Elsewhere, the ISAC hosted the final round of the Solent League at Hayling Island on Saturday.

Danny Mogridge from Fareham won the individual competition as 43 entrants turned up.

A total of 54 pegs were placed in two zones from Millers car park to the lifeboat station.

Mogridge triumphed from peg 44 in zone B in front of the book-in car park at Eastoke Corner after landing a single bass of 4lb 2.5oz.

It was his third ISAC match win and saw him claim the top prize of £135.

Runner-up was zone A winner Nick Haytor, who landed a single dogfish of 1lb 9oz from peg 13.

Portsmouth angler John Rogers was third from peg 34 in zone B.

He landed a dogfish and rockling for a total of 1lb 10.5oz.

In the overall league standings, Rob Marshall took four points to seal the championship.

Having led the title race since the third round, he took his tally to 34 points and 33lb 12.5oz to make certain of the south’s most prestigious crown.

Darren Stevens secured second overall, claiming seven points in round 12.

The final podium place went to Dave Lane.

The first match of the new term will be fished at Weston Shore, Woolston, Southampton on Saturday, January 12 (from 8.30am).

Book-in is at the main car park in Weston Parade from 6am.

On the lakes, Ian Dixon cruised to glory in the MBK Leisures Open at Pump Station last Thursday.

The next match is tomorrow at Coloured Ponds, Rake.