Ex-miner (80) lands large ling

George Cope, an 80-year-old former miner, with the 16lb ling he caught on only his second angling trip
George Cope, an 80-year-old former miner, with the 16lb ling he caught on only his second angling trip
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An 80-year-old former miner landed a 16lb ling on only his second ever fishing trip – on the same day he won £17 on the Irish lottery.

George Cope’s day began when he was hit by a seagull’s message from the sky and when his wife told him it was a lucky omen, he bought a lottery ticket, which netted him an instant payout.

Then he boarded Dominic Wilson’s charter boat Predator II and caught the fish.

Unfortunately for George, who lives in Atherstone, Warwickshire, it was not part of the Whitby summer angling festival.

If it had been, he would have gone into second place in the festival and been in with a chance of winning £2,000 in prize money.

Dominic said: “He will be my oldest ever customer... 35 years down the pit and a highly acclaimed orchid grower.

“He needs a stick to stand up and also had a pacemaker fitted, but his determination to go fishing shone through.

“He booked on my boat for a 2pm - 8pm offshore trip and caught the fish – his biggest ever – on blue and white muppet with mackerel bait.

“He said ‘you won’t believe this but I was crossing the swing bridge and a seagull pooped on me.

“My wife said I should do the lottery and I won £17 and now this fish’.

“George also caught whiting, small codling and more than 20 mackerel – he thoroughly enjoyed his afternoon and evening.”

The ling was weighed onboard and witnessed by Paul Hicks, head chef at the Harbour View Restaurant in Whitby.