Easter struggle for anglers, but Moyle tops the lot

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HOPEFULLY anglers had plenty of fish stored in their freezers for Good Friday, because there certainly weren’t many fish being caught last week.

Roker Pier remained closed due to the bad weather and I expect there will be some repairs needed after the battering it has taken over the last three weeks or so.

South Shields Pier re-opened after the bad weather and a handful of codling were taken from the end of the pier over low water, going to 2½lb, along with dabs and the odd coalfish.

The Tyne is still full of undersized codling, which are taking all manner of baits and not letting any sized fish have a look-in!

Flounders are still being taken from the Wear, but not in such big numbers, as most of the fish will be out spawning now.

We could really do with a good spell of settled weather to help the summer species on their way, but if for no other reason than its always nicer fishing in the sunshine!.

On Good Friday, Seaham SAC fished their annual competition with 26 anglers taking part. John Moyle won with a codling of 2.47lb, comfortably ahead of runner-up Paul Golightly’s 1.42lb codling, while Jim Dobie’s coalfish was third. The winners of the pairs event were Golightly and Paul Westmorland with a total weight of 1.42lb.

There was a cracking turnout on Easter Sunday for Ryhope SAC’s club competition.

Most of the 59 competitors headed for the Wear in search of flounders.

Tommy Tate won with two flounders (830g), followed by Bobby Bland (815g) in second, while third-placed Colin Smith’s single flounder (810g) also secured him the heaviest flat fish prize.

Chris Hossack chose South Shields Pier to take a 385g coalfish which won him the heaviest round fish prize. The junior winner was Tony Smith (425g).

Sunderland SAC had 22 fishing at the weekend, with two weighing in two flounders and a blennie. Henry Antliffe triumphed with two flounders for 2lb 15oz (including the heaviest single fish of 1lb 8oz).

John Dyson was runner-up with a blennie of just 2oz.

The Easter Monday sweepstake at Claxheugh saw 36 anglers taking part.

After a difficult session, the result was very close. Zone A winner Marty Pycall took two flounders for 60cm, narrowly beating Ken McCoy, who also had two for 59cm. John Buck was third with two for 53cm.

The winner of Zone B, Garth Gardiner, took two flounders for 66cm (including the longest fish at 40cm). Runner-up Andy Rutherford had two fish for 62cm, while third-placed Micky Rich took a single 37cm flounder.

The Seahouses Open had 111 entries. The heaviest fish was caught by C. Horn from Fife – a plaice (1lb 13oz) earning him £440.

Second place went to Mark Scott from Workington, with a 1lb 8oz flounder, winning him £280 plus £50 for the specimen fish prize.

Brian Holiday from Parton took the heaviest bag with six fish (6lb 1oz) and went home £360 richer. The second heaviest bag also went to an angler from Parton, Stan Ennis landing seven fish (5lb 13¾oz) to win £216. Only one junior weighed in – Dean Bell from Workington, who won £50 and a rod for his 15½oz plaice.
This Sunday sees Seaham SAC’s rescheduled Geordie’s Open take place (noon-5pm). Entry is £10 with payout depending on entry. Optional pairs are £2 per team and the heaviest bag is £1. This is a heaviest single fish competition.

Registration (10-11.30am) and weigh in (5.15-6pm) take place at the club HQ. More information on 0191 581 0321.

The North East Marine Region of the Angling Trust are holding an Open Shore Competition, sponsored by Felling’s Moonfleet Angling, in aid of “Cain’s Dream to Walk” on Sunday, fishing from 10am-3pm on the Newcastle side of the Tyne from the Ouseburn to the British Airways Car Park.

Registration (from 9am) and presentation (3-3.45pm) will be outside the Environment Agency in the car park. Donations of prizes have also been received from Shimano, the Barbour Foundation and the County House Sea Angling Club. This competition will be fished on a points basis.

Entry for all classes will be £5, which will be donated to “Cain’s Dream to Walk”, which is a registered charity. Despite Cain’s severe disability, he loves to fish with his father and his dream is to be able to walk to his favourite fishing venue.

Full details of the smashing little lad can be seen on his website, www.cainsdreamtowalk

The extraordinary AGM called to discuss the future of the Northern Federation of Sea Angling Societies was well attended last Wednesday at the Village Tavern in Ryhope.

Those attending were reminded of the fantastic job that Mick Edwards had done as secretary for a number of years and everyone wished him well for the future.

Following a brief discussion, the following officers were elected unopposed: Chair – Bobby Surtees, Treasurer – Paul Hutchinson, Secretary – Andy Rutherford, Press Secretary – Alan Charlton. There will be a further meeting in a few weeks to elect the committee.

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