An angler may have reeled in a new record after catching a “freak” of a fish weighing 64lb.
After a 40-minute battle of wills, Patrick Rogan caught the giant halibut off Hartlepool.
Patrick, a senior construction manager from the town, was fishing with his brothers Sean and Craig on their family boat when he made the incredible catch.
He has since called a number of tackle shops, and believes it is the biggest fish which has ever been recorded as caught off Hartlepool.
Patrick, 34, said: “While drifting back over the productive area, I felt like I had hooked the bottom. It wasn’t until the line began to start stripping from my reel that I realised I’d hooked something other than our targeted species. For 20 minutes, I struggled to gain any line back on my reel, when eventually I got the fish to begin to tire.
“I’d managed to pull it from the 160ft bottom below to around 60ft from the boat, when the fish decided it wanted to return back to the bottom, which led to another 20-minute battle which felt like it lasted two hours.
When the fish finally surfaced, we were all in shock at the sheer size.Patrick Rogan
“When the fish finally surfaced, we were all in shock at the sheer size.
“The rest of the party had already stopped fishing, and were on hand to assist with the gaffing.
“Thankfully, we gaffed the fish and got it aboard at the first attempt.”
Keen angler Patrick has travelled as far away as Norway for his passion, but no catch has left him as satisfied. The family had been landing lots of small cod, mackerel and ling before the monster catch.
He added: “I’ve contacted as many people as I can to see if this is some sort of record, and it seems to be in the North East.
“It’s certainly the biggest thing I’ve caught around these parts, so I think it was just a freak. The fish went berserk, and halibut are renowned for their fight. I knew it was special when everyone started to help me, and we were all shocked with how big it was. It has gone down a sensation on the internet.”
Steve Dixon, who runs North East Tackle, in Hartlepool, said: “It probably is a record for Hartlepool.
“There have never really been halibut caught around here. There have been a couple caught down at Whitby – I heard about one weighing more than 70lbs last year – but not in Hartlepool.
“I’ve heard of a couple of smaller ones in Hartlepool, but certainly not to the size of the one caught by Mr Rogan.”