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Herring may be a record catch

PUBLISHED: 11:01 29 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:27 03 July 2010

A WELL-known local sea angler, who decided to keep a giant herring he caught for the family barbecue rather than chop it up to use it as bait while fishing in competition on the south coast, is now claiming a new British rod caught record for the species.

A WELL-known local sea angler, who decided to keep a giant herring he caught for the family barbecue rather than chop it up to use it as bait while fishing in competition on the south coast, is now claiming a new British rod caught record for the species.

Mark Colman's 1lb 7oz beauty was reeled in during the Dover two-day sea fishing festival, writes Roy Webster.

The present herring record is held by Brett Barden, whose 1lb 1oz fish was caught from a boat off Bexhill on Sea.

But if the claim by Sportsman's club member Colman is accepted as a new British record - there appear no reasons why it should be since it was weighed and witnessed by the festival officials - it could go on to be classed as a world record too.

Speaking about his amazing catch, the 43-year-old motor engineer from the Bird Estate, Bradwell, who is also known among friends by his second name of Freddie, said he almost cut up the herring for use as bait as soon as he caught it from Dover's Admiralty Pier but at the last moment decided to keep in intact and save it for the family.

“I was reeling in when this herring snatched the lug and ragworm cocktail bait on the size 3.0 hook. It leapt out of the water a few times before I lifted it out and I tossed it on to the pier behind me where it lay in the sun for two or three hours. I suspect it must have become dehydrated and may well have weighed at least 1lb 8oz when it was unhooked,” declared the grandson of one of Yarmouth's best-known sea anglers, the late Fred Williams whose catches of thornback ray became legendary in the 1950s.

Herring did not feature on local beaches last week when the quarry were small codling, whiting and flat fish.

The Gorleston Tackle lead was won by Tony Thomas with 6lb 8oz and the Potter Heigham club winner on the south beach was Barry Gant with 11lb.

Match results. Gorleston Tackle league: T Thomas 6lb 8oz, J Carter 6lb 2oz, M Gooch 5lb 3oz. Potter Heigham Sea Anglers: B Gant 11lb, R Bell 5lb 3oz, J Ellis 4lb 9oz. Huntsmen (Burgh Castle): J Parnell 26lb, M Jenkins 23lb 12oz, M Bunn 19lb 8oz. Martham (Melton Ponds): P Harwood 31lb, C Chaplin 29lb 8oz, P Beck 29lb

Martham Angling Club members are mourning the loss of one of their most valued stalwarts, secretary Kevin Poole, who died aged 57.

Club chairman Ian Bradford said all his members were grief-stricken and sent their condolences to his family.”

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