This picture shows the biggest ever shore-caught cod, weighing 66lb 8oz.
Sea fishing fanatic Tom Ascott made angling history when he won a battle against the odds by hauling it up through the deep, icy waters of Saltstraumen in Norway.
The venue boasts the world’s strongest tidal current, with water moving at up to
25 knots…and the cod used this to its advantage when it stripped more than 200m of line from the Dorset angler’s reel not once, but twice during the 30-minute fight.
This shore-caught specimen is almost 20lb heavier than any other cod ever landed.
The mighty fish took a piece of herring on a size 10/0 hook to a 150lb trace, fished 100m down.
“This cod was so big it didn’t look real, and I could have fitted my head inside its mouth,” said Tom.
“As soon as it stripped my reel on its first run and I felt the braid grating through the snags I thought I was going to lose this fish, but Lady Luck was definitely on my side.
“It absolutely destroyed me. I was just praying that it wasn’t going to go on another run because I don’t think my back could have taken any more.
“The fact that I’ve caught the biggest cod from the shore hasn’t begun to sink in yet.”
Tom was fishing with Guided Fishing Norway. It’s no stranger to huge fish, as it holds the world shore-caught ling record with a fish of 59lb 8oz taken by British angler
Phil Hambrook last year.
Unfortunately Tom’s fish will not be recognised as an official world record. The International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) does not differentiate between boat and shore caught specimens – but he is claiming a line class world record for the species and a European shore-caught record.
Guided Fishing Norway boss John Strange was absolutely blown away by the capture.
“To say that the ground we fish over is extreme would be a huge understatement. That, coupled with the strongest current in the world, meant that Tom’s feat was nothing short of incredible,” he said.
“There were many times when the fish could have been lost because of steep underwater ledges and snags, but despite it spooling him twice everything went right. This catch was meant to be.”
The fish measured more than 4ft 9ins long, with a girth of 2ft 11ins.
The biggest-ever cod caught from a boat on rod and line tipped the scales at 103lb, and was again caught from Norway.
“It would have been some feat to have caught this fish from a boat, let alone from the shore,” John said.
“I’ve seen some big cod in my time, but this thing was immense, and the longer we looked at it, the bigger it seemed to get.
“A big thanks must go to Tom’s friend Stu Andrews, who jumped down an 8ft wall to haul the huge fish from the water.”
– To find out more about Guided Fishing Norway, visit John Strange’s Facebook page.