MACKEREL have been taken from all the piers in our area, but catches have been inconsistent.
For example, last week there were good catches from Seaham North Pier on Monday but none at all on Tuesday, then bags of up to six fish were taken during the rest of the week.
Roker Pier was pretty much the same, with mackerel showing on Tuesday an hour after high tide, when bags of up to 10 fish were caught.
South Shields Pier has also produced mackerel (caught on daylite lures), along with lots of undersized coalfish and large launce.
The Wear has fished well for flounders, small codling and coalfish. Ragworm, crab and mackerel strip have proved to be the best baits, with the Glass Centre, Southwick Prom and the Timber Beach all worth a look.
Bait fishing anglers from Roker Pier have taken dabs, flounders, coalfish, pollock and the odd ballan wrasse, along with one or two sized codling to 3lb.
South Shields Pier has had cod anglers getting their gear out and heading for the Blocks and the south east corner ,with bags of up to six fish in the 2-4lb bracket and the best over 6lb. Most of the codling have been taken on crab baits. There have been lots of the usual undersized coalfish, pollock and wrasse, taken by anglers float fishing either side of the Blocks.
The pier has also produced good sized dabs, along with a few very good plaice. Stuart Carr took one of 2lb 3oz while fishing last Wednesday’s Fisherman’s Locker competition.
Boat anglers have still been finding fish, with codling up to 6lb taking baited hokki rigs. Mackerel have shown up around two miles offshore with some boats taking up to 20 fish, while others took none. Ling should start to show well over the wrecks when the tides drop off this week – big fresh mackerel will be good bait.
Local charter boat The Sapphire fished the wrecks three and a half miles offshore on Saturday and took 30 codling up to 5lb, plus ling of 2-4lb, and had to return to port when one angler got a treble hook stuck in his hand.
Last Tuesday’s Ryhope Sweepstake had 12 of 24 anglewrs weighing in 15 flounders and a cod. Top rod Mason Burton caught a 14oz codling, beating runner-up Micky Davison’s 12½oz flounder and the 9½oz flounders landed by Sharon Stanlick, Chris Hossack and Kenny Newton.
The Fisherman’s Locker sweepstake on Wednesday saw all eight anglers fishing on South Shields Pier taking 17 codling, a pollock, a coalfish, two dabs and a cracking 2lb 3oz plaice.
The heaviest single fish, a codling of 5lb 2oz, was taken by a delighted Micky Bell. Andy Rutherford was second (4lb 15oz codling) and had the heaviest bag of five fish for 14lb.
Saturday’s Blenny Hill Open saw 11 anglers take part. Paul Edwards won with three fish for 87cm, including the longest (a 37cm flounder) followed by Steven Rackshaw’s three for 83cm. Davie Wood and Dave McCready (52cm) tied for third.
Seaham SAC’s Fallowfield Cup match on Sunday had 41 competitors, with seven weighing in seven fish.
Ronnie Wright triumphed with 2.97lb, and won the pairs prize too, from Mel Anderson (2.61lb) and Ian Ainsley (2.49lb).
Sunderland SAC were also out on Sunday and had 11 fishing with three weighing in two flounders and a cod. Richie Dodsworth was top rod with a 1lb 14oz codling, with Paul Robinson landing a 1lb 5oz flounder and Stevie Conlin taking a 15oz flounder.
The first Rutherford’s Cono-flex sweepstake had 25 entrants at the Glass Centre.
Zone One was won by Steve Potts’ 15 fish for 360cm, followed by Gavin Owen’s 12 for 297cm and Dave McCready’s 11 for 276cm. Zone Two was a very close call with winner Neil Cutler taking 15 fish for 348cm, pipping Neil Smith (13 for 346cm) and Bob Gasgoine (14 for 342cm).
Seaham SAC will fish their Potter Nighthawk competition on Saturday (6pm to 1am), while Tuesday’s Ryhope SAC’s sweepstake is at Southwick Promenade (7-10pm).
Wednesday’s Fisherman’s Locker sweepstake will take place on South Shields Pier (7-10pm). Entry is £7 with 100 per cent payout. Competitors should meet at the first gates on the pier (6-6.30pm) for registration.