WORK has started on the lighthouse on Roker Pier and will be finished (weather permitting) by early November.
During this time, the end of the pier will be closed to the public, but the rest of the pier will remain open as usual.
The lighthouse will eventually be scaffolded and covered so that work can continue during bad weather.
This is important maintenance work and anglers will have to be patient while the work is carried out.
There are still plenty of mackerel on Roker Pier with daylights and spinners taking most of the fish. For those that like to take it easy, float fishing on the Barrier with sprat or sandeel will produce mackerel as well as coalfish and Pollock.
For anglers who prefer bait fishing, there will be dabs, flounders, plaice, coalfish and the odd codling.
The River Wear is giving up some good sized flounders with fish going up to 2lb. The best marks have been The Golden Lion, Claxheugh and the Business Park.
Crab tipped with mackerel or a big piece of mackerel have been the best baits.
South Shields Pier continues to give up good bags of mackerel from the First Gates to the Pier End. There have also been Pollock up to 5lb on float fished sandeel or rubber eel lures.
There have also been lots of dabs, flounders and some good plaice up o 2lb.
Codling are starting to show with bags of up to five fish going to 3lb taken on crab baits. There have been a few good turbot mostly taken on mackerel baits coming from The Blocks area with the best one at 3lb falling to the rod of John Stead.
Anglers travelling north to the Northumberland rock marks have taken some good sized codling with fish going to 8lb. Craster, Dunstanborough and Swine Dene are all worth a look.
The 66lb 10oz tope reported in last week’s column, looks likely to set a new British record for Seaton Sluice angler Michael Bell.
During a week-long fishing trip to the Isle of Man with fishing partner Scott Davison, they took 24 tope with Davison’s best going to 40lb – not a bad week!
Boat anglers continue to report good catches with charter boats out of the Tyne taking 60 to 80 fish a trip. Boats fishing between Blyth and Berwick have taken good numbers of codling between 2lb and 5lb.
Private boats fishing the Eyemouth and St Abbs area, close in shore, have been taking cod and pollock up to 10lb.
Locally, private boats have taken ling up to 12lb on fresh mackerel baits and cod up to 14lb on shad lures, with blue and white proving to be the most successful colour.
Local charter boat The Sapphire fishing the wrecks five to seven miles off shore has landed lots of mackerel, cod to 8lb, Pollock to 6lb and ling up to 14lb.
Twenty one anglers fished Ryhope SAC’s sweepstake last Tuesday, which proved to be very hard work on a big ebbing tide.
Eight managed to weigh in 14 fish and all fish were returned to the water.
First was Chris Hossack with a 13oz eel, followed closely by Wayne Harriman in second with a 12oz eel. Paul Smith took third place with a 10oz flounder and joint fourth were Andy Rutherford and Jim Dobie with 9oz flounders.
Seven out of 13 anglers weighed in fish at Friday night’s Blenny Hill Open. Jim Dobie was top rod with three fish for 86cm, narrowly beating Dean Furness into second place with three fish for 85cm.
Third place went to Jack Clark with two fish for 64cm, whilst Sharon Stanlick had the longest single fish at 39cm.
Despite horrible conditions on Sunday morning, 20 hard-core anglers turned out for the Whitley Bay Open summer match at Beadnell.
The weigh-in was better than could have been expected at the start, with 12 lads weighing in around 50lb of fish.
Boundaries were opened up given the conditions to allow people to seek a bit of shelter at the likes of Newton & Craster, but fish came from all over. Steve Williams was first with four fish – 9lb 1oz winning £100, followed by Chris Potts in second with three fish – 5lb 14oz winning £50.
Third-placed Keith Barthgate took fish – 4lb 15oz.
The heaviest single fish was Gary Wilson’s at 4lb 4oz winning him £50.
Sunderland SAC fish their heaviest single fish competition on Sunday (12 to 4pm). Sunday also sees Ryhope SAC fish their summer league competition (11 to 3pm) at the Copthorne Hotel in the River Tyne.
Ryhope SAC’s Tuesday night sweepstake (7 to 10pm) will take place at Southwick Prom where there will be someone to watch the cars.
Please let me know of any good catches either from boat or shore. Any good photos would also be appreciated.