KEEN anglers are hoping to reel in the opposition next month as the Sunderland hosts one of the biggest two-day angling events ever staged in the region.
Sunderland Sea Angling Festival takes place across the weekend of February 5 and 6 and will see fishing folk from across the UK competing for cash prizes.
Councillors have agreed to hand over £5,000 in funding for the festival, which will be held on public areas along the shoreline from South Shields pier to Ryhope Dene.
The city council originally organised the event along with local angling clubs and businesses in December, but it had to be postponed as bad weather battered the North East and led to the temporary closure of Roker Pier.
Now it is back and, if it proves a success, the £10 entry fee will be ploughed back into holding the event next year.
Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Thomas Martin and Portfolio Holder for Safer City and Culture, Coun Denny Wilson, will be helping to present the prizes.
Councillor Richard Bell, chair of the North Area Committee, which stumped up some of the funding, said: “We’re delighted that Sunderland is staging one of the biggest ever fishing competitions held in the region, and we hope anglers of all ages and abilities will be taking part.
“This is truly a community event and we hope lots of people and their families will come along to fish, or just enjoy a day out along our fantastic coastline.”
Sam Harris, angling broadcaster and one of the event organisers, added: “This is the first time we have ever held a competition as large as this in Sunderland and we’re hoping it could become a popular annual event and an important date on the angling calendar.”
Entries can be made on Saturday, February 5 between 9am and noon. More information is available from all local fishing tackle shops and the East Ender pub in Hendon.
People can also contact Rutherford’s Angling on 565 4183 or Sam Harris on 518 4561 for more details and entries.