THE awful weather at the weekend was a blessing in disguise for anglers.
When the bad weather hits at this time of year, it usually kills off any chance of shore fishing, but last weekend it actually brought codling in to feed.
Seaham SAC cancelled their club competition on Sunday, but, on Monday, when the weather eased, there were codling up to 4lb on the Chemical Beach and the same on Roker Pier, with Terry Chapman taking a codling of 4lb from the Neck End.
As well as the Chemical Beach and Roker Pier, Marsden, South Shields Pier and the mouth of the Tyne have all produced codling up to 4lb, tempted by fresh crab which proved to be the best bait by far.
With numbers of peeler crab starting to show on the west coast, there will be plenty of crab to go around.
The end of South Shields Pier has produced bags of up to six codling up to 3lb, while The Post area has seen some good sized coalfish, with bags of up to 10 taken in a session.
Again crab has been the bait of choice for the coalfish.
The Walkway, at the mouth of the Tyne, has also produced codling up to 3lb and coalfish up to 1½lb.
Further up the Tyne, Hebburn Marina, St Peter’s Basin and the Copthorne Hotel have all seen lots of undersized codling but mixed in there have been fish up to 3lb.
When the weather permitted, boat anglers have found cod, ling and pollock.
The Loneshark, fishing out of Hartlepool, took good catches of fish, with cod up to 10lb and ling up to 12lb caught.
Anyone wanting a trip out can contact Dennis on 07900 300476.
Local charter boat Sapphire was out on Monday and started to fish on the inshore wrecks but found that the water was too coloured, so moved out to the wrecks four miles out to sea in search of clear water.
They found fish and took 20 codling in the 4lb to 5lb bracket.
Hokkais baited with squid and frozen mackerel gave the best results.
Onboard that day was nine-year-old Luke Gateshill, from South Shields, who took codling to 4lb.
For travelling anglers, there are now fish showing on the west coast, with the ever-popular Silloth Prom producing thornback ray, dogfish, dabs and flounders.
The west coast of Scotland has also seen thornback rays along with smooth hounds and tope, so if you are travelling you can expect the popular marks to busy.
Twenty-two anglers fished the Wednesday night competition at the Glass Centre and, although sport got off to a slow start, the coalfish arrived as the light faded.
Zone One was won by Andy Rutherford with 15 fish for 316cm. Second place went to Steve Rackstraw with 280cm.
Zone Two’s winner was Ian Bellfield with 16 fish for 343cm.
Gareth Gardiner secured second place with 14 fish for 306cm.
The longest fish was Dave Mould’s 31cm eelpout (blenny).
This Sunday, Seaham SAC will fish last Sunday’s rescheduled club competition (4-9pm).
Ryhope SAC’s midweek competitions start again from Tuesday at Claxheugh (7-10pm).
Entry is £5. Registration and peg draw will be at the venue.
These are heaviest fish competitions fished on a weigh and release basis. Anglers may win more than one prize.
The Wednesday night match will take place next week. Entry is £10 (£8 for longest length and £2 for the longest fish) with 100 per cent payout. Registration and peg draw at the venue. For more details of where the competition will be held call Andy on 0191 5654183.
This year’s Rutherford’s Cono-flex sweepstake matches start at the Glass Centre on June 7 (3-7pm). Entry is £10 with 100 per cent payout. Registration and peg draw at the venue.