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You Are Codding

A Memory of Berwick-upon-Tweed

A memory and what a memory it was! There were eleven of us lads who had booked a fishing trip on one of the boats that went out from the harbour in Berwick. It was early in the day when we went out for a five hour trip; we went out as far as five miles where the skipper, having a fish finder radar, began to pick up a large shoal of fish. Of course we all got baited up on our hooks and laid a small bet on who was going to catch the first fish. It wasn't me, but nevertheless I wasn't the last one - no sooner had we all put our hooks in the sea our rods began to twitch and off we went again reeling in the Cod. Some of them were small but the majority were quite large. There was one of the lads who did not catch a thing; I'm afraid he never put his line into the water he was suffering from sea sickness and spent most of the time leaning over the gunnels of the boat. As for us, we caught about thirty some cod and flat fish and also other fish of which I have no Idea on what they were. I got a cod on the end of my line that seemed to weigh heavy and when I finally got it up onto the deck it was so big and fat that I had the skipper weigh it. It weighed in at sixteen pounds and was the biggest one caught up to press, and feeling so chuffed about my catch I thought that no one else would beat my weight. Less than ten minutes later the lad next to me went and brought in a Cod which weighed in at eighteen pounds. Having caught more than thirty cod each and a few flat fish in less than two hours we simply decided that any more fish we caught we'd throw them back into the sea. The rear of the van was laden with fish and of course there was the smell of fish wafting in our noses. We decided to take the majority of fish to a hostel; but when they were put on the work top in the kitchen, the Cook, on knowing that the fish had to be gutted, turned a funny colour and said in no way could she gut a fish! All ninety Cod and five flat fish were given to me to do. I'm not an expert but after the first three fish it became a doddle; but no thanks - I stank from head to toe with the smell of entrails and took two washes to get the stench out. If you fancy a good day out Berwick is the place for catching fish.

A memory shared by Roland Mitchell , on Mar 22nd, 2012.

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