Sunderland’s sea anglers still struggling around the Wear

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Sea Angling, by Jack Melton

THERE has been very little change in sport along the local coastline – the area around the Wear still struggling to give up decent catches.

It was first thought that the fresh water from the Tyne was causing the problem, but research over the past three years found that things were no better at this stage of the season in 2009 and 2010.

Anglers could find that there will be no improvement until late April, when there has been a definite increase in the number of fish caught by boat anglers.

The Wear area appears bereft of any worthwhile codling and there are only small coalies and the odd codling on the piers. There are still a fair number of flounders along the beaches and in the river, but not in big quantities.

The Northumbrian rock edges appear to be the best venues, with some good codling north of the Tyne.

Paul Arkle, fishing at Howick, took six codling to 6lb and topped this with one at 10lb 4oz, taking a total of 35lb.

Codling appear to be a rarity at Sunderland, but one or two are being taken from Shields Pier.

Eastenders held a Sweepstake last Wednesday, with 16 anglers turning out but just four weighed in five flounders.

Barrie Wright took first and third prizes for fish at 14oz and 11oz, with Barrie Robson runner-up (13oz). All fished the big beach at Shields. Brian Turnbull chose the Glass Centre for fourth place (10oz flattie).

Eastenders were out again on Friday, but the 18 entrants were blanked – for the second time in a fortnight. Undaunted, Eastenders were out again on Sunday with seven of the 20 rods weighing in seven fish. Chris Hossack won with a 1lb 9oz codling from Roker Pier, beating Michael Sopp’s 1lb 5oz flounder from the students’ accommodation.

John Dixon weas third (1lb 2oz flounder from the White Wall), with Dave Short fourth (1lb 1oz).

There were better results for Ryhope SAC on Sunday, with 25 out of 91 members taking 20 flounders, four coalies, a codling and a rare bass.

Steve Graham was well ahead with the bass, a flounder and a coalie for 1.330kg from the Business Park, with runner-up Lee Burton landing an 855g codling (the heaviest roundfish) from Shields Pier. Next came Steve Harriman for two flounders (815g) from the Business Park, where Darren Donnelly came fourth for two flounders.

The heaviest flatfish (605g) was taken by Davie Mould. The junior winner was Tamsine Kenfield for two flounders (616g) under the town bridge.

Sunderland SAA fished also on Sunday, with seven of 13 members taking seven flounders and three rockling.

Steve Rackstraw triumphed with two rockling and a flounder for 1lb 12oz, while Steve Mordey (a flounder and a rockling) and Bill Gamblin (a flounder) tied for second place (1lb 5oz).

Seaham SAC fished for the Lawson Cup on Sunday, with 11 out of 66 members weighing in 14 fish for 10.84lb.

Dean Furness took first prize for three fish at 4.07lb – including the heaviest codling (1.69lb) – from the Green Wall, with second placer going to Dean Ambler for two at 2.07lb from the Blast Beach.

Edgar Tallentire was third (0.70lb) on the North Pier, with Geordie Hope fourth (0.64lb) from the Blast Beach and Ernie Watson fifth (0.56lb).

Furness also won the pairs’ pool with Bob Stanwick and nearest to the sealed weight.

Cleadon SAC fished on Sunday, too, with four of 24 members weighing in one codling from Shields Pier. Steve Williams had the best at 2lb 12oz, followed by Paul Harrison (1lb 9oz), John Stephenson (1lb 8oz) and Stevie Elliott (1lb 2oz).

Competitions arranged for the coming week: Tomorrow – Eastenders Open Sweepstake (register at the Eastenders from 5.15pm and fish straightaway; Weigh-in by 10.35pm; Entry £6); Saturday – Eastenders SAC, 2-6pm; Sunday – Eastenders Open Sweepstake (register at the Eastenders from 12.30pm and fish straightaway; Weigh-in by 6.35. Entry £6); Wednesday – Eastenders Open Sweepstake, 7-10pm.