Angling’s benefits come to the fore in report

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ANGLING is good for you – it’s official!

Anglers already know it, but a landmark research report launched by the Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, Richard Benyon, has lifted the lid on the role the sport plays in our communities.

The three-year study carried out by Substance, who surveyed and interviewed thousands of anglers, proved the valuable contribution angling makes to communities by improving the environment, helping young people gain new skills and contributing to the local and national economy.

Substance confirmed that angling:

H Is good for your health and well-being. It can be used to help reduce stress and used to restore health after illness or accident.

H Can involve intense physical activity as well as moderate activity.

H Is a gateway activity that can lead to participation in cleaning up the environment, rivers and beaches.

H Helps young people reconnect with education and avoid crime.

For more details about the survey and its findings, visit

With the wind moving round to the north in midweek, there was some good sport for local anglers, though I can’t remember a winter like this with such a lack of northerly gales to give the bottom a good stir up!

Horden Beach at Denehome gave up some good codling up to 6lb on lugworm baits, while Seaham North Pier has also fished well, with good bags of whiting and codling up to 4lb.

When Roker Pier was open, codling up to 4lb were taken along with plaice, dabs, flounder, coalfish and some very good whiting up to 2lb. Now that the whiting are filling up with spawn, it’s the time of year to catch a 2lb+ fish. A large piece of mackerel or bluey is the best bait to target them.

The rock marks at Whitburn and Marsden have been disappointing for this time of year, with just the odd codling up to 3lb – let’s hope we get a big northerly to push the fish back in.

South Shields Pier has been the star performer for anglers after codling, with fish up to 8lb as well as good bags of whiting being caught on night-time tides.

In daylight, there have been a lot of good-sized coalfish showing and the best marks for these have proved to be the Small Wall and The Post into the bay, with frozen crab being the bait of choice.

The River Tyne at The Walkway and Mill Dam have fished for codling to 3lb and bags of whiting, while further up the river, at the Pedestrian Tunnel and Jarrow Police HQ, there have been one or two codling to 4lb and coalfish up to 2lb – crab being the best bait.

Members of Ryhope Fishing Club were feeling the love on Valentine’s Day with a pleasing turnout for their Tuesday night competition.

Nine of the 26 entrants weighed in five cod and six whiting. The cod took all the top spots. Chris Hossack (4lb 5oz) won from Roker Pier, followed by Keith Carter (2lb 5oz) from The Falls, with Gary Walker (2lb 1oz) third at Whitburn.

On Sunday, Seaham Sea Angling Club saw 46 anglers competing for the Kirton Cup, with six weighing in 12 fish (21.56lb).

The winner, Mick Davison took five fish (6.55lb), closely followed by Dean Ambler’s two fish (6.35lb). Ambler also took the heaviest single fish, a 4.85lb codling. Third prize went to John Barris for two fish (3.92lb).

The luck continued for Ambler and Barris, who won the pairs event with a combined catch of four fish (10.27lb).

Cleadon Club’s Monday night competition had 30 anglers fishing but only four weighed in. Mark Shotton took top spot with two whiting (1lb 10oz), one of which also took the heaviest fish title (1lb), caught from Tynemouth Pier.

Alan Heeley’s whiting (14oz) from Roker Pier secured second place, with Neil Cutler’s whiting (12oz) from South Shields Pier was third, with Ray Edmonds’ whiting (9oz) fourth from the Tyne.

This Saturday, Eastenders will fish their competition (1-5pm). Competitors are asked to note the change of registration venue – registration will now be at Cheers pub at 11.45am.

On Sunday, Seaham SAC will compete for the Lawson Cup (1-6pm) and Ryhope Sea Anglers will be out from 3-7pm.

Sunday also sees the Dave Jobson Memorial Match (9.30am-1.30pm). Registration is at the rear of the Ridley Park Hotel, Blyth (7am – 8.30am). Boundaries are Ice House in the Tyne to Patterson’s Garage at Beadnell. For more information, contact Nigel Howitt on 07988 465416

Next Tuesday, Ryhope Club will hold their open (7-10pm), with registration and weigh-in at the rear of Sea View Club.

For travelling anglers, the European Open Beach Championship takes place next Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4, at Bridlington, with an anticipated prize fund of £25,000. There will be a measure and release flattie match on the Friday.

For further information, call Paul Roggeman on 01482 391668 or visit

0191 565 4183