THE coalies are back, especially in the Tyne where catches of double figures are being taken.
But there is one problem! They are apparently only taking peeler crab and this bait is costing £1 apiece, which becomes rather expensive, and they can only be obtained in tackle shops.
A few warmer days could start them peeling again in the local rivers and this should bring the price down.
Boat anglers are doing badly with mostly blank days. They would be just as well going out of the Marina and dropping their lines in the river!
Shore anglers are struggling also to find any decent fish. Joe Archer managed to take a rare codling in a competition last week and this was well up the Wear at the Queen Alexandra Bridge. He fished in last Wednesday’s Eastenders Sweepstake, when 20 rods competed, and he was the only one to weigh in, with a codling of 1lb 5oz and a 13oz flounder.
Things did pick up on Sunday when the Eastenders held an open for heaviest fish, with 22 rods out and eight weighing in, mostly coalies.
Richie Carr won with a 1lb 7oz coalie and he also shared second place with Joe Archer for 1lb 5oz flounders. Fourth place went to Steve Williams for a 1lb 4oz coalie. All of the winners fished Shields Pier.
The unluckiest angler was Chris Hossack, who took 12 coalies but none were big enough to take any prizes.
There was a Night Hawks competition for Age Concern at Seaham at the weekend, commencing at 6pm on Saturday and finishing at 1am. Forty one anglers turned out with just two weighing in two fish for 3.38lb.
Dean Furness took the winning fish, a codling of 2.94lb, followed by John Clarke (0.44oz). Furness cleared the board having the heaviest fish, the sealed weight nearest to 2.53lb and the pairs with Bob Stanwick for the single fish.
I have had a report from another writer that Michael Quayle fished the Wear and, in two sessions, had 30 flounders and 20 coalies. I don’t know where he was fishing, but if he would contact me then I would be eager to find out exactly where.
There are a few codling north of the Tyne but not so many as of late. The offshore sprats must be keeping them well away.
There are a few more competitions in the coming week.
There is an open contest at the Copthorne Hotel at the Tyne on Saturday (1-5pm). Entry is £10 and there are Penn Points available.
On Sunday, Seaham SAC fish for the Hudson Cup (noon-5pm), while Eastenders have a marathon match with registration at the Eastenders from noon (fish straight away and weigh in by 6.35pm). Sunderland SAA are also out on Sunday (1-5pm).
Eastenders have an open pegged match at Panns Bank on Wednesday (7-10pm). Register at the students’ accommodation from 6pm.