FISHING can be hard at this time of year, but the effort put in by some anglers has paid off.
The beaches at Horden have given up codling to 3lb, while the south end of the Blast Beach at Seaham has also produced codling, with the best going to 4lb.
Seaham North Pier has seen a few good whiting, as well as the odd lesser spotted dogfish, which seem to be more commonplace from the Pier. Codling to 2½lb have come from The Target at Ryhope.
When the weather allowed Roker Pier to be open, there were still a few good-sized whiting taken from the end, along with small codling (the best just over 1lb) and the usual dabs and flounders.
The flounders are still providing good sport in the River Wear, along with the odd sized coalfish. The best areas have been Timber Beach, Claxheugh and the Business Park.
The Post at South Shields Pier has given up a few good coalfish, taken on frozen crab bait, with the end of the pier producing codling to 3lb.
The bottom end of the Tyne is still full of undersized codling, although they are getting bigger as there have been the odd one taken to 1½lb, in with the smaller fish.
A bit of good news for anglers – Sunderland City Council has negotiated with Sunderland University to allow anglers free access to the Glass Centre promenade after 6pm and on weekends for fishing competitions only. Please note that this is subject to availability and not for general use.
This is a step in the right direction and I would encourage other anglers to contact their local councillor if they have a problem – if we don’t tell them, how can we expect them to help us?
Further good news is that in an effort to improve cod stocks a 40,000 square mile area to the north and east of Scotland, and around Norway and Denmark, will close for 12 weeks on February 12, 2014 to allow the cod to spawn without being fished.
Such a simple idea – why did it take so long for someone to come up with it?
Boat anglers are still struggling to put to sea because of the weather, however local charter boat The Sapphire did find a window in the weather last Thursday and had a six-hour trip uptide fishing off Whitburn, taking 12 codling up to 4lb on mussel and crab baits.
Last Tuesday, eight fished Ryhope SAC’s sweepstake with only one weighing in. That solitary angler was Micky Davison who chose The Target at Ryhope to catch his two cod of 2lb 7oz and 1lb 13oz to sweep the board.
Sunday saw Seaham SAC competing for the Hudson Trophy with 56 anglers taking part, 18 of them bringing 25 fish to the scales for 26lb.
Paul Westmorland fished the south end of the Blast Beach to take his winning bag of six fish for 9.10lb. Runner-up George Curry chose the North Pier and took a lesser spotted dogfish and a whiting for 2.39lb, with Steve Simpson fishing the Blast Beach to land a 2.17lb codling for third place.
The heaviest single fish was Westmorland’s 4.12lb codling. He also won the pairs event with Sue Hope with six fish for 9.10lb, ahead of Curry and David Bond (two fish for 2.39lb).
Ryhope SAC’s club competition on Sunday had 61 anglers out. Tommy Tate triumphed (1,625g), followed by John Robson (1,190g) and Chris Hossack (1,095g). Hossack also had the heaviest round fish (675g), with Robson having the heaviest flat fish (605g). The junior winner was Daniel Tate (865g).
Seaham SAC will hold their Nighthawk competition this Saturday (6pm-1am).
There will be a sweepstake at Southwick Prom on Sunday (10.30am-2.30pm). Entry is £10 (£5 for juniors), with 100 per cent payout. This competition will be pegged (no crab or whiteworm). There will be an additional charge of £1 per angler for car security. More details from Ken McCoy on 07989 811941
On Tuesday, Ryhope SAC will hold their last sweepstake (7-10pm) until May 7. Registration and weigh-in at the back of the Village Tavern.
A meeting will be held on Wednesday in the Village Tavern in Ryhope (7pm) to discuss how we can prevent the Northern Federation of Sea Angling Societies from going out of existence. Following the secretary’s resignation, volunteers are needed to keep the society going.