Lemon sole a rare treat for Roker Ronnie

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DESPITE the rumours, Roker Pier is open for business as usual (weather permitting of course), following the completion of the repairs to the decking.

Those who have ventured onto the pier have taken a few good plaice, along with dabs, flounders, small coalfish and small codling. Local angler Ronnie Head (aka Roker Ronnie) took a 1½lb lemon sole on bluey bait from the end of the pier. These fish are quite rare in our area and are usually found in deeper water.

Seaham North Pier is still giving up dogfish after dark, with bags of up to five fish, mostly taken on frozen sandeel bait.

There have also been thornback ray and spotted ray coming from the pier, with the area between pegs six and 25 giving the best results. Anyone wanting to join Seaham Angling Club can contact the club on 0191 5810321.

South Shields Pier is now fishing well for coalfish, with fish up to 2lb being taken on crab baits. The best time is on the flood tide between the small wall and the post. There have also been plaice coming from the south east corner of the round head, as well as from the 40 to 44 marks on the inside of the blocks.

There are plenty of flounders being caught at the top of the Tyne, with the best areas being the Copthorne Hotel and British Airways Business Park with bags of up to 20 fish (some going to 1½lb). The best baits have been ragworm, frozen runnydown and mackerel.

There are not as many flounders in the Wear, but numbers are enough to keep anglers busy, with the Glass Centre prom and the Business Park being the best venues.

If the warm weather continues, crab should start to show in the river. This will bring the flounders in to feed, along with a few good coalfish and the odd codling.

I’d recommend that anglers invest in a cool box to keep their bait fresh during the warmer weather. If it’s not stored correctly, bait will be dead or next to useless by the end of the day and you will have wasted your money.

Boat anglers enjoyed the good weather over the bank holiday weekend. The Samson 2 tried uptiding off Hendon and took codling to 3lb, small ling and whiting. Charter boat The Sapphire fished over the wrecks and took ling up to 5lb, mostly on squid baits fished on a long flowing trace. Further north, off the Northumberland coast, boat anglers reported bags of codling to 3lb on baited daylite lures.

Seaham SAC’s Blenny Hill Open was fished on Friday, with 12 anglers taking part. The fishing was hard going but D. Stoker managed to take a good flounder of 41cm to win. E. Heron was runner up, with a 35cm flounder.

This Sunday, (and not last Sunday as reported in last week’s column – many apologies for any inconvenience or confusion caused) the Maryport and District SAC Spring Open takes place (10am-2pm), fishing Workington Jetty to Maryport South Pier (rover). Entry is £15 (£2 juniors) with cash prizes for the top three heaviest flat fish and a prize for the heaviest round fish. This is a Penn League qualifier match. More information from David Underwood on 01900 605765 or Jeff McAllister on 01900 870624.

Also on Sunday, Ryhope SAC’s summer league kicks off at the Copthorne Hotel (2-6pm). Sunderland SAC fish their heaviest single fish club competition (2-6pm).

Seaham SAC compete for the Moore Cup (1-6pm) and there is a measure and release sweepstake at the River Tyne Business Park, fishing the grass banks (3-7pm). Registration is at the venue and entry is £10 with 100 per cent payout. No white worm, no crab and no maddies. More details from Ken McCoy on 07773 646895.

Ryhope SAC’s Tuesday night competition will take place at Southwick Promenade (7-10pm). There will be someone to watch the cars.

0191 5654183