LAST Sunday’s Sunderland Shore Angling Festival saw a fantastic turnout of 279 adults and 14 junior anglers.
The weather was lovely for being outdoors, but not ideal for catching fish.
Despite that, 55 anglers brought fish to the scales.
The winner, Tony Grant, fished the north arm of Frenchman’s Bay to take a cod of 2,330g (about 5lb 3oz in old money) and went home £780 richer.
Second place went to D. Donkin with a 1,985g codling from Roker Pier, earning him £410, while I. McLaughan was third with a 1,490g codling.
George Patterson took a 680g flounder to win the Cono-flex Flattie Fanatic and A. Davison finished a lucky 20th to win a new-to-the-market Penn 535 Mag II reel.
Roker Pier has fished well over the last week, but mostly after dark, with bags of up to 10 whiting being taken on some nights.
There have also been codling to 5lb taken on crab and lugworm baits from the Round Head and The Barrier. During daylight hours, there have been coalfish, flounders, dabs and the odd codling going to 3lb.
A haddock of around 1½lb was taken from The First Steps, fishing into the bay, last Wednesday. The Rat House Corner has given up small codling and whiting, with one angler taking a cod of 6lb, although this was an exception rather than the rule.
South Shields Pier has fished well during the day as well as in the dark, with codling to 3lb and some good sized coalfish on some tides.
The end of the pier has produced fish over low water and on the flood tide, while the Small Wall, The Post and the top of the Rubble have all given up codling.
Heading south, the beaches at Easington and Horden have fished well, as has Hawthorne Point at the south end of the Blast Beach – giving up cod to 8lb.
Going north, Blyth Beach is still giving up good bags of codling when there is a bit of sea running, but the best mark has been Lynemouth Beach, with anglers taking bags of up to eight fish, with the best going to around 6lb. The Beacons at Newbiggin have also given up some good fish, with the best around 5lb.
Boat anglers fishing the uptide method, which involves anchoring the boat and casting up the tide using a grip lead, have continued to have good results.
On Friday, The Sapphire took 30 codling of 2-4lb fishing north of the Wear. Squid, mussel, crab and lugworm have been the top baits.
Ryhope SAC’s Tuesday night sweepstake has seen an upturn in the number of competitors – probably due to a combination of the winter drawing in and Roker Pier being open again.
Thirty fished last week’s match with 11 anglers weighing in eight cod, three whiting and a coalfish.
Barrie Sewells won with a 2lb 2oz cod (caught on his last cast) from The Gate at South Shields Pier.
Runner-up Tony Greenhall took a 1lb 10oz cod from Ryhope, while third-placed Colin Stead caught a 1lb 8½oz cod from Roker Pier, from where Chris Hossack (1lb 5½oz) was fourth.
Friday night’s Blenny Hill Open attracted 15 anglers, but only five managed to catch anything.
Gus Magee had three fish for 79cm to take the top spot. Jim Dobie was runner-up with two fish for 67cm, including the competition’s longest fish at 40cm, while Geordie Heron was close behind to take third place with two fish for 65cm.
Monday night’s Cleadon SAC match saw three of 27 anglers weighing in.
Kevan Hall triumphed with three codling from The Bay at Marsden, while runner-up Paul Rogers caught the single heaviest fish, a codling of 2lb 8oz, from Marsden beach.
Neil Cutler brought up the rear with a 1lb codling from South Shields Pier.
On Sunday, Sunderland SAC fish their competition (3-7pm), Ryhope SAC also fish their competition (3-7pm), while Seaham SAC will compete for the Vernon Knapp Trophy (3- 8pm).
Ryhope SAC’s Tuesday sweepstake (7-10pm), takes place as usual next week, with registration at the Village Tavern.
Next Friday (November 29), Seaham SAC will hold their Badger Open (7-11pm). Entry is £10, with registration and weigh-in at Seaham SAC HQ.