SEVERAL contingents of south Essex anglers have just returned from raids on northern Norwegian waters where despite being hampered at times by high winds they landed a mountain of fish.

The biggest fish fell to Southend Angling Centre proprietor Rory Coase who boated a tremendous 64lb halibut while fishing out from Skjervoy.

The enormous flatfish fell to a coalfish livebait fished in relatively shallow water.

Coase was sharing a self-drive boat with his friend Stewart Ward, from Hullbridge. Between them they boated a number of other halibut and numerous cod. On one day Ward netted 46 cod to a best of 25lb using shad and sidewinder lures.

Bradwell charter skipper John Rawle was fishing out from the same port. In one period of less than two hours he landed five cod of more than 20lb each.

Another group of 20 local anglers had travelled further north to the remote area of Sandland Brygge where they found fish equally abundant.

Rochford postman Bob Grady led the way at Sandland Brygge where he tempted a cracking 52lb halibut on a mackerel flapper bait.

This fish came from a mark north of Loppa Island on one of the occasions when lighter winds allowed the anglers to take their self-drive boats beyond the shelter of the fjords.

Grady was sharing a boat with Gary Lloyd and Mick Toomer who both boated halibut to more than 25lb.

Between them the trio caught 28 halibut and innumerable cod, with Lloyd taking one halibut on a light spinning rod after it followed his lure to the surface.

While the visiting anglers at Sandland Brygge concentrated on the boat fishing, a few short shore forays revealed enormous potential.

Trip organiser Gary Turner landed the biggest shore halibut beaching a fish of 28lb, while Basildon angler Toomer spent an afternoon fishing from the rocks where he landed plaice to nearly 4lb and dabs to almost 2lb.