BOAT anglers in our area have had a good start to their season, with only the weather holding them back.
Boat owners who could not put to sea last midweek due to work commitments will have been deeply disappointed with the change in the weather at the weekend.
When boats have managed to get out, they have only needed to get as far as three to four miles offshore before finding fish feeding on the wrecks and the hard ground.
Codling between 2lb and 5lb have been the average, with the odd one up to 8lb.
James Thwaites, fishing on his boat Seas the Day, took a good pollock of just under 10lb on a rhubarb and custard shad, fishing over a wreck seven miles out.
Boats fishing out of the Wear have reported that the best results have been provided by pink and black hokkais and white and black daylites baited with squid.
Local charter boat The Sapphire fished three to five miles out on Saturday but had to come inshore when the wind picked up, eventually fishing off The High Drum at Hendon to take 25 codling up to 6lb.
Anglers fishing aboard The Blue Eye 2 took 50 fish in a five-hour long session with a full-day trip producing 70 to 80 fish, mostly between 3lb to 5lb – the best being just over 6lb.
The Mistress, fishing out of the Tyne, took around 60 fish up to 6lb.
Boats fishing out of Hartlepool have also found fish, with Famous taking 80 fish, mostly between 3lb to 4lb, and the best around 7lb.
Flounders have still been caught in the Wear, with the Business Park up to Claxheugh worth a look.
Frozen runnydown and mackerel have been top baits, but I think it will change to crab very soon.
The Glass Centre prom has seen lots of small coalfish and codling plus the odd flounder and is fishing best on the flood tides.
Roker Pier is also giving up lots of small coalfish, pollock and codling. For anglers wanting sport, try float fishing over the side with light tackle and ragworm or mackerel for bait.
South Shields Pier has seen a few sized codling, with the best around 2lb.
The end of the pier over low water has been the best time for the codling.
In the Tyne, there have been some good sized coalfish coming from The Walkway and the odd codling up to 2lb.
The better codling are still coming out well upriver, with marks up from Hebburn Marina all worth a look and crab is the bait of choice.
Eighteen anglers fished the Wednesday night competition at the Glass Centre.
Although the weather was good, the tides were against the anglers taking art.
Winner Jordan Hunter took eight fish for 180cm. Second place went to Stu Foots with six fish for 145cm, closely followed by Andy Rutherford, also with six fish for 143cm.
The longest fish was Foot’s 34cm flounder.
This Sunday, Seaham SAC fish for the Davison Trophy (noon-5pm). Sunderland SAC also fish on Sunday (noon-4pm).
The Wednesday night match will take place next week at The Glass Centre. 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, call Andy on 0191 5654183.
Ryhope SAC’s Tuesday night competitions start again from May 12 at Claxheugh (7-10pm).
Entry is £5, with registration and the peg draw at the venue. These are heaviest fish competitions fished on a weigh and release basis.