THE weather played havoc with our sport last week – Roker Pier was mostly closed which sent anglers heading to the River Wear.
All was not lost as there was good sport to be found in the river with flounders up to 1½lb, and even the odd bass was taken.
The best areas for the flounders have been Southwick Prom and the Business Park, with the best bait being frozen runnydown tipped with mackerel.
Elsewhere, Seaham North Pier produced its first thornback ray of the year. Usually sandeel and squid baits are best for these fish, but, surprisingly, Shaun Golightly took his 4lb 13oz ray on frozen crab bait.
South Shields Pier has given up whiting along with codling up to 2½lb, as well as a few good sized coalfish. If the weather gets milder, we might see a lot more of these fish in our area.
The Tyne is still full of undersized codling, although there have been a few of size mixed in with them, with the best going to around 2½lb, taken on lug and rag bait.
The best areas have been The Walkway and Jarrow Riverside Park.
Sunderland boat anglers were unable to put to sea last week due to the weather, however that wasn’t the case for two young anglers who took some nice fish from further afield.
Ten-year-old Phil Ross, from the midlands, fished out of Whitby on the Sea Otter 2. Before the nine other seasoned anglers aboard had even landed a fish, Ross had three good sized cod in his bag.
Meanwhile, 13-year-old Nathan Fleming did himself proud when fishing out of the Tyne on the Sarah JFK. Again with experienced anglers, the youngster landed two nice codling on a day when fish were hard to come by.
The British ling boat record has been smashed by a fish weighing in at a staggering 67lb 8oz. Boated by angler James Isbister while fishing aboard Northmavine Charters under skipper Kevin Tait, the fish breaks the long-standing record for the species by 8lb – a fish caught in 1989 off Bridlington.
The new record fish was caught off Shetland, with James tempting the specimen using a long, flowing trace to a hook baited with a mackerel fillet and green muppet attractor.
An angler digging bait on a beach in Essex came across an unexploded Second World War bomb.
Royal Navy bomb experts were called in and, after an extensive search, found more than 20 other bombs and carried out a series on controlled explosions – I wonder how many worms were picked up afterwards!
Last Tuesday, 20 anglers fished Ryhope SAC’s sweepstake with only three weighing in four flat fish (which were all returned alive to the Wear after the weigh in).
Paul Hossack took first place (1lb 9oz), with Paul Riley finishing second and fourth (1lb 5oz and 14oz). Third place went to Lee Burton (1lb 4oz).
Seaham SAC fished for the Lawson Cup on Sunday and, with the pier being closed due to the weather, the 66 competitors headed for the beaches.
Eleven anglers brought 11 fish to the scales – a bass, five codling, four coalfish and a whiting. Winner Andy Clegg took a single codling of 3.48lb, with runner-up Dean Furness landing a codling of 2.46lb, while Jim Dobie’s codling of 2.41lb took third place.
The pairs event was won by Clegg and Dean Monarch with 3.48lb. Second place went to Furness and Mick Davison (2.46lb.
Ryhope SAC had a great turnout of 70 anglers on Sunday, with junior angler Jake Smith taking first place with two flounders and a bass (1,285g), taken from the Business Park.
Runner-up Chris Hossack caught two flounders (1,015g), while third-placed Stu Bland also had two flounders (970g). The heaviest round fish was John Lovett’s 545g coalfish, with Steve Maw’s flounder the heaviest flat fish (595g).
A poor night’s fishing was had by all except for one member of Cleadon Club on Monday night. Of the 23 who fished, only Neil Cutler managed to weigh in two coalfish (12oz and 10oz) caught from South Shields Pier.
This Sunday sees Ryhope SAC fish their club competition (3-7pm), while Sunderland SAC are also out (3-7pm) and Seaham SAC will compete for the Clifford Plate (2-7pm)
For match anglers, there is a sweepstake at Southwick prom on Sunday (3-7pm). Entry is £10 with 100 per cent payout. This competition will be pegged, with no white worm or crab allowed.
Anglers should meet at the Alexandra Bridge end of the prom, down from the Peugeot garage, where someone will watch over cars at a cost of £1 per angler.
Ryhope Club’s midweek sweepstake will take place on Tuesday (7-10pm).