Haddock a surprise as warm weather takes hold

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THE unseasonably warm weather has brought with it some unusual catches for the time of year.

The North Pier at Seaham has been giving up dogfish on night tides with bags of up to five being caught mostly on fish baits. However, the most unusual catch of the week has to be a haddock (1½lb) taken from the White Wall in the River Wear by Ralph Stevenson last Thursday afternoon.

Elsewhere in the Wear there have been some good catches of flounders to 1lb 14oz, all taken on bluey bait. Further down the river, Southwick Prom and the White Wall are giving up coalfish up to 1¼lb, with frozen crab proving to be the best bait.

The River Tyne is also fishing well for coalfish, with the best spots being the Walkway, Pedestrian Tunnel and Police HQ. There have also been one or two good-sized codling coming from these marks.

For anglers in search of codling, South Shields Pier is still the mark to try. Sunderland angler Les Straughan fished there last Thursday night and took a cracking cod (7lb) on crab bait, while David Maughan landed a 7lb 8oz cod at the same venue.

During daylight hours, the pier has given up some good coalfish, dabs, flounders and the odd plaice.

Plaice are still to be found from Roker Pier (although a lot of them are on the small side), along with coalfish, dabs, flounders and small whiting.

Boat anglers have been enjoying the warm weather more than most with lots of boats taking the opportunity to go out over the weekend.

Although the fishing was patchy, one private boat fishing out of Seaham did manage to find one good fish – a cod (20lb) taken on hokkis baited with squid. Local charter boat, The Sapphire, took a few codling over the weekend fishing between six and 18 miles out. They took codling up to 7lb on squid and mussel baits. Anyone interested in a trip on The Sapphire can contact Peter on 07854 819 924.

Boat owners are being invited to attend a Sea Safety Workshop on Saturday, April 21 (10.30am-4pm), organised by the RNLI, to give free advice on running and maintaining a boat. All are welcome to attend no matter what size of boat. The workshop is being held at the Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station in North Dock Marina.

Last midweek saw Ryhope Club’s final Tuesday open of the season with six out of 10 anglers weighing in eight fish.

First place went to Lee Burton with a flatfish (520g) taken from Panns Bank, with Richie Carr’s coalfish (480g), caught from Sand Point, taking second place. Chris Hossack’s coalfish (475g) from Roker Pier secured third, while Derek Ross’s coalfish (395g) from the Glass Centre took fourth place.

Eastenders Club were out on Saturday for their club competition. Sadly, only one angler out of 11 managed to bring anything to the scales, so Ernie Hunter cleaned up with a 1lb 2oz coalfish.

Funnily enough, Sunderland Sea Anglers had similar results on Sunday, with only one out of 11 anglers weighing in. That angler was Henry Antliff took first prize and the heaviest fish with a flounder (14oz).

Fourteen anglers fished a measure and release sweepstake at Claxheugh in the Wear on Sunday. Ken McCoy won with five fish (148cm), followed by Bob Gascoigne’s three fish (91cm). The longest fish was Steve Potts’ 38cm flounder.

Seaham Sea Anglers competed for the Hudson Cup on Sunday, which proved to be hard work, with seven out of 50 anglers weighing in flat fish. First place was awarded to Paul Westmorland with three fish (1.43lb), ahead of John Barrass, who took second place and the heaviest single fish with one fish (0.64lb), and J. Coyle (0.45lb).

The pairs title was taken by Danny Swan and Westmorland with three fish (1.43lb).

Ryhope Club anglers had a better time of it in their club competition on Sunday with 58 anglers taking part.

Lee Burton chose the Walkway in the Tyne to take his winning catch of four coalfish (1,865g). Runner-up Paul Hossack stayed in the Wear and went to the White Wall to take five fish (1,845g), with Frank Terry also fishing the Wear for third place with three fish (1,645g).

Paul Wilkinson had the heaviest flat fish (350g), with Mason Burton’s codling from the Tyne (1,005g) the heaviest round fish. The junior winner was Keiron Jenkins with a 385g coalfish.

The European cod record has been broken by a massive fish taken off the north coast of Norway.

The fish weighed an astonishing 91lb 15oz and was caught by Norwegian angler Marten Huam. The fish was 147cm long with a girth of 114cm.

This Saturday, Seaham Sea Angling Club hold their Age Concern Night Hawk competition (6pm-1am). Registration and weigh in at Seaham HQ.

Seaham also have their Annual Open on Good Friday, April 6 (12-5pm). For more details contact Seaham HQ on 581 0321.


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