AT last there are signs that spring is on the way and anglers can put the last month of bad weather behind them and hope for some settled weather and sunshine.
There have been a lot of undersized coalfish coming from the Glass Centre Prom, this is usually a good sign that spring is on the way and there have been rumours that crab are starting to peel on the west coast.
There have been one or two plaice starting to show on South Shields Pier as well as at Tynemouth Pier, with the best one around 2½lb, which is a good size for this time of year. These fish are just returning from spawning and are often on the thin side.
Flounders are still being taken from the Wear, mostly from Southwick.
For anglers willing to travel, flounders have started to show at Port Carlisle. This is a very popular area with anglers and, as the crab start to show, can give up bags of 20-plus fish in a session.
Anglers travelling to the Mull of Galloway on Scotland’s west coast have found it hard going, with only a few pollock being taken.
Roker Pier continues to be closed due to damage caused by the rough seas. Council staff have confirmed that repairs will be done as soon as there is a spell of settled weather to allow access for the workmen. The pier will re-open once repairs are complete.
A few boats managed to put to sea on Saturday, but found out that the fish have not moved onto the wrecks yet, with the best fish caught being a 5lb ling taken 12 miles out to sea.
Last Tuesday, by popular demand, Ryhope SAC squeezed another sweepstake in.
Eighteen anglers took part but only one managed to weigh in a 15oz flatfish, which was returned safely to the water. Chris Hossack was the lucky angler and took all three prizes.
In a match at Timber Beach on Saturday, with eight anglers competing, Garth Gardener finished on top with five flounders for 178cm.
Seaham SAC had a turnout of 30 anglers for the Geordie’s Open on Sunday and found the fishing to be poor.
Mick Davison was top rod with a 1.11lb flounder. Runner-up Geordie Hope also caught a flounder for 1.04lb, while a coalfish of 0.79lb secured third place for Lee Burton.
Burton also had the optional heaviest bag with two fish for 1.23lb. Burton’s luck continued with the pairs event which he won with Jim Dobie, again with two fish for 1.23lb.
This Sunday, Seaham SAC compete for the Wilkinson Cup (2-7pm). Sunderland SAC also have their competition (3-7pm), while there will also be a sweepstake competition at the River Tyne Business Park (4-8pm). Entry is £10 with 100 per cent payout. This is a pegged, measure and release competition with all fish to count. Registration is at the venue. No white worm and no crab. More details from Ken McCoy on 07773 646895.
For travelling anglers, there is the NWSAL Open on Sunday (10am-2pm), fishing Workington Jetty to Grasslot Pier. Entry is £20 (juniors £5). Pre-registration at Armstrong Angling, Finkle, Workington or on the day at Union Jack Club, Senhouse Street, Workington. Prizes paid out on the three heaviest bags and the heaviest fish.