Dogfish dominate in the dark

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SEAHAM North Pier produced a lot of lesser spotted dogfish last week, mostly caught in the hours of darkness; with bags of up to five fish per session being taken.

There were 19 lesser spotted dogfish and a thornback ray of 4.67lb taken during last Saturday’s Night Hawk competition – must be a sign that summer is on its way!

A few peeler crab have shown on the west coast and down in Wales the crab have come on strong. We are usually two or three weeks behindm so let’s hope the weather holds and we can start to pick them in the Wear.

Roker Pier has produced a lot of undersized coalfish and codling, along with dabs and flounders but strangely no dogfish.

There are also lots of small coalfish at the Glass Centre prom, taking all kind of baits – what they lack in size, they make up for in numbers.

A few small plaice have been taken mostly on ragworm from South Shields Pier along with some good coalfish and codling, to 2lb, which preferred crab bait.

For travelling anglers, Port Carlisle is now producing good bags of flounders up to 45cm (2lb) on most baits, but crab will be the bait of choice soon.

Local caster Jamie Blakeman, at a NESA casting event at Redcar, had an off-the-ground cast measured at an amazing 308 yards using a 150g sinker. This was the first cast of more than 300 yards at an event in the north of the country. Well done!

David Griffiths landed a huge skate out of Oban after a 90-minute battle and could have set a new record with his 235lb fish which measured 7ft 6in. Unfortunately, it will not stand as a record as he refused to kill it.

Griffiths said: “It was an unbelievable feeling. It was a really beautiful fish, and the skipper said that it was a new British record, but the rules say fish must be weighed on land and I won’t kill a fish for a piece of paper.”

A few local anglers have recently returned from fishing the Gambia Beach Championships which were well organised by Bernard and Barbara Westgarth.

For more information about the competition and to see the results, visit

Anyone planning a trip to Gambia who is in need of a guide should contact the highly recommended Alagie Faal on 002209 913088. Alagie is a great guy and will collect you from the airport, organise your bait, take you from and back to your hotel from beach marks all for around £25 a day per person.

Another group of local anglers have just got back from a fishing trip to Norway, with Sunderland angler Eddie Stephenson enjoying the best catch of a 45lb cod.

Seaham SAC saw a turnout of 31 anglers for their Age Concern Night Hawk competition on Saturday.

Twelve anglers weighed in 19 lesser spotted dogfish, two flounders, a codling and a thornback ray for a total weight of 42.17lb.

First with three fish (7.79lb), including the heaviest single fish – a thornback ray of 4.67lb – was John Barrass. In second with three lesser spotted dogfish (4.77lb) was Jim Dobie, while R. Davison took third with two dogfish (4.22lb). The pairs event went to Barrass and Dean Ambler with four fish (10.24lb).

Eleven anglers took part in a sweepstake at the River Wear Business Park at the weekend but found it hard going.

Calum Stevens won with two flounders for 65cm, with Richy Carr and Dave McCready sharing second place, and the longest fish prize, with 33cm fish.

This Sunday, Sunderland SAC will fish their heaviest fish competition (2-6pm), while Seaham SAC will fish for the Davison Cup (1-6pm).

There will also be a measure and release sweepstake at the Business Park in the Tyne (3-7pm). Registration is at the venue.

Entry is £10 for seniors and £5 for juniors with 100 per cent payout. No white worm and no crab. More details from Ken McCoy on 07773 646895.

0191 5654183