For the cod of the Bristol Channel, today it would have been a wise choice to opt for a bit of a lie-in, perhaps pull up the duvet, read the piscine Sunday papers and not surface for a while.
Cardiff Bay Yacht Club’s famous Annual Open Cod Competition always attracts a huge number of entries – at least 400 anglers fishing from well over 100 boats .
Off Penarth Pier before dawn a D-Day-like armada of fishing boats was assembling as a misty , grudging, grey dawn broke ; every vessel packed with anglers determined to land the largest cod of the day.
Exactly at eight o’clock (well nearer ten past actually) the traditional ship’s hooter sounded, throttles were opened – and the massed fleet was off and running in what always looks like Penarth’s waterborne Grand National .
Whoops of excitement could be heard coming over the water from four hundred fishermen as the boats gathered speed – most of them headed up channel to the North East
For the skippers the annual contest is not just a matter of speed – to get to the best fishing grounds first – it’s also a matter of know-how…and know-where.
The winner of the first prize of £1,000 + Garmin Equipment was Mr A. McIntyre on board Benjoma Too (skipper Paul Crossman) who caught a massive 16lb. 5oz cod.