SUNDERLAND Council has confirmed that work to repair the lighthouse on Roker Pier will start on July 29 and, weather permitting, will take 14 weeks to complete.
During this time, the end of the pier (and for some time during this period the bunker area of the pier end) will be closed to the public. The rest of the pier will be open as usual, weather permitting of course.
There have been no signs of mackerel from the piers yet, but I think a few more days of settled weather will see them start to show. There are, however, plenty of coalfish on Roker Pier which have been taking all kinds of bait both by anglers bottom fishing and float fishing down the pier wall.
A few small pollock have shown, but better ones should arrive at around the same time as the mackerel. Last week, a few small turbot were caught along with the usual flounders, dabs and plaice.
The Wear has fished well for flounders along with coalfish and codling. The best areas have been the White Wall and Southwick Promenade, with crab now the top bait.
South Shields Pier has produced some nice plaice up to 2lb, coalfish to 2lb and codling to 4lb. Crab is the top bait for coalfish and codling, with ragworm well worth a try for plaice.
A couple of weeks ago, Russ Balmer took an excellent 2lb 8oz plaice from Hendon Prom on mackerel and squid bait.
A species that seems to be heading our way now is smoothhounds. These fish are now being caught in big numbers on the Humberside coast but are heading north again with reports of small pup hounds coming from Hartlepool.
Travelling anglers have enjoyed good sport with smoothhounds and tope coming from Auchenlaire on the west coast of Scotland. The Mull of Galloway is producing mackerel, pollock to 6lb and dogfish. Boat anglers have reported tope starting to move into Luce Bay.
Local boat anglers found an upturn in sport over the weekend with bags of up to 20 codling in the 2lb-4lb range, with most fish being caught between a mile and a mile and a half off shore. Baited daylites and hokkais have taken most of the fish.
The Sapphire fished 10 miles out over the wrecks on Saturday and took ling to 6lb and pollock to 5lb. On Sunday, they fished the white stones off Hendon and took 50 codling up to 5lb on crab, rag and mussel baits.
Last Tuesday’s Ryhope sweepstake had 15 fishing with everyone weighing in. The fishing was really good with flounders, coalfish and cod being caught.
Top rod was Wayne Harriman with a 1lb 3½oz flounder. There was a three-way tie for second place (1lb 1oz), with Chris Hossack and Steve Rackshaw taking flounders and Davey Moulds a codling.
The first Whitley Bay Open Summer match at Beadnell had a great turnout in good conditions and a better than expected result as 31 anglers fished and 14 weighed in.
Garry Appleton triumphed with three fish (8lb 1oz), runner-up Dave Crudace had two fish (6lb 1oz) while Craig Ogilvie took third with three fish (5lb 9oz). The heaviest fish was Paul Buddles’ 3lb 10oz codling.
The weekend before last saw 15 anglers compete in Sunderland SAC’s match with seven weighing in. Alan Ramsey won with a plaice (1lb 10oz), while Danny Antliffe (bass) and Callum Carr (flounder) were joint runners-up on 1lb 7oz.
The Blenny Hill Open, fished at the White Wall on Friday, saw Joe Greaves take top spot with 12 fish (314cm) ahead of Jim Dobie (12 fish, 299cm) and Rita Clark (12 fish, 294cm). The longest fish was caught by Dave Stoker (36cm).
Competitions this Sunday include Sunderland SAC’s heaviest fish competition (1-5pm), Seaham SAC will fish for the Fallowfield Trophy (12-5pm) and the Ryhope Summer League competition continues at the Copthorne Hotel (1-5pm).
Ryhope SAC’s sweepstake on Tuesday is at Southwick Prom (7-10pm). Entry is £5 and £1 for someone to watch the cars.