ANGLERS will be pleased to hear that the scheduled repair works to Roker Pier have been delayed and will not now start until June.
This means that if we get an early start to the mackerel season, anglers may be able to catch a few before the pier closes.
Fishing at the south end of the Blast Beach this week, Dean Appleby took what has to be the biggest whiting this winter, weighing a whopping 3lb 2oz taken on crab bait.
I did not believe it until I saw it with my own eyes – the fish was bigger and fatter than a 2ltr bottle of water!
There have still been a few codling in the area, with Seaham North Pier and Featherbed Rocks producing fish between 3lb and 5lb.
The Target at Ryhope has also given up codling to 4lb, mostly on crab baits, while the south end of Hendon Prom has seen a few codling, with the best around 2½lb.
Roker Pier has continued to produce sized codling up to 3lb, in with lots of undersized fish. The rock marks at Marsden have also seen codling, with the best marks proving to be the Black Path and North Row Ends (Souter car park), where fish to 5lb have been taken.
South Shields Pier has seen the first sized coalfish at the Small Wall and the Post, taken on crab bait. One or two sizeable plaice have also been taken from the Pier, mostly on crab and ragworm bait.
If the sea remains settled, then more of these fish should start to show.
Boat anglers have struggled to put to sea due to the weather, but local charter boat The Sapphire did manage to get out on Saturday and headed to the wrecks 13 miles out.
They took ling up to 6lb, then, on their return journey, they stopped at a wreck 10 miles offshore, where Derby angler Phil Lough took a 12lb 1oz ling, caught on a pirk baited with squid and mackerel.
Sixteen anglers fished last Tuesday’s Ryhope Sweepstake with three weighing in four cod.
Micky Davison won with 2lb 12oz from the Featherbed Rock, Lee Burton took second and fourth place with 2lb 8oz and 1lb 7oz from The Target, while Chris Hossack finished third with 2lb from Roker Pier.
On Friday, Seaham SAC fished their Age UK Night Hawk Competition with 65 anglers taking part. Fourteen of them brought 21 fish to the scales for 39.64lb.
Gary Pye triumphed with two codling for 6.19lb, with runner-up Gary Blanchard bagging three codling for 5.43lb. Lee Burton was third with two codling for 5.07lb, which included the heaviest fish at 3.93lb.
The pairs event was taken by Pye and Darren Swan, with three fish for 8.08lb.
Sunday’s measure and release sweepstake at Walker in the Tyne saw 19 anglers taking part.
Zone One winner was Steve Potts with 459cm, followed by Gavin Owens (288cm), while Zone Two was very close with only a centimetre between the top two. Winner Gareth Gardiner had 398cm, narrowly beating Steve Graham (397cm) into second. The longest fish was Owen’s 41cm codling.
The measure and release competition at the White Wall in the Wear saw Steve Ragstraw take the top spot with 361cm (including the longest fish – a flounder of 37cm), followed by Colin Smith in second with 335cm.
Seaham SAC’s Blenny Hill Open returns this Saturday, fishing at The White Wall in the River Wear.
Entry is £5 for adults and £2 for juniors – £2 will be paid out for the longest fish, £2 will go towards the heaviest bag prize, 50p towards running costs and the remaining 50p will be donated to Little Derek’s fishing fund. Juniors must be accompanied by an appropriate adult.
More details are available from Seaham’s club HQ on 0191 5810321.
Ryhope SAC’s Tuesday roving sweepstakes finished this week. Their summer competitions (which will be pegged) start on May 6 (7-10pm) at Claxheugh.
The first Little Derek’s Flounder Fanatics competition takes place on Saturday, April 26 (10am-2pm) at Claxheugh in the River Wear.
The measure and release competition will be pegged, with the longest fish winning. No white worm, two hooks. Entry is £10, with £5 paid out and the remaining £5 going to Little Derek’s Fishing Fund. More details are available from 07827 338934.
The biggest Great White Shark ever caught on rod and line has been taken by Warwickshire angler Andy Hales while on holiday in South Africa.
Great Whites are protected by law and it is illegal to purposefully target them, however, in a feeding frenzy, it is often impossible to stop them grabbing the bait.
Estimated at 4,000lb, the 18ft shark is well over the 2,664lb IGFA world record taken in Australia in 1959, but will not be recognised as it was not brought in to port and weighed on dry land – what a shame!