Long-awaited return to Seaham’s South Pier

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SEAHAM’S South Pier is now open to anglers who have passes, with parking available at the taxi rank next to Asda.

There’s a warning though – the path that gives access to the pier is not yet finished, so anglers must take care when using it.

Added to that, the dock company insist that the path must be used and that any anglers not sticking to the path will lose their pass with immediate effect.

The Pier has not been fished much over the last few years, so it will be interesting to see what fish it produces – the ground is very snaggy, so it may pay to take a few extra leads.

Boat anglers have struggled to put to sea due to the weather, but when they did manage to get out they found fish.

The Lone Shark, fishing out of Hartlepool, had plenty of mackerel, cod and ling, with the best cod at 10lb taken by Declan Gordon. The best ling was 15lb 4oz, taken by newcomer Steve Tate.

Seven-year-old Leo Briggs fished aboard the Samson 2 and took a dozen mackerel along with small cod and whiting. Well done, Leo!

The bottom end of the River Wear has fished well for coalfish, although most are undersized. What they lack in size they make up for in quantity, with anglers catching up to 40 a session.

The Glass Centre has been the best venue with mussel and crab (fresh or frozen) top baits. There have also been a few good flounders (up to 1½lb) from this venue.

The Old North Pier is still producing mackerel, coalfish and flounders, along with whiting and the odd codling up to 5lb. First light has been the most productive time, and crab is the top bait for these fish.

For travelling anglers, the Skegness beaches have produced smooth hounds, with up to 12 fish to 12lb being taken in one session.

Ryhope’s Tuesday night sweepstake last week saw 11 anglers competing, with winner Neil Smith taking a flounder (11oz) and runner-up Micky Davison weighing in a 10oz coalfish.

Last Wednesday night’s Fisherman’s Locker competition, on South Shields Pier, only saw five brave souls taking part, so they competed for the heaviest single fish.

Winner Robert Lees landed a codling of 4lb 11oz to take the top spot, while Andy Rutherford took second place with a codling of 3lb 3oz.

The Blenny Hill Open took place at The White Wall on Saturday, with nine anglers taking part. Winner Paul Edwards took three fish for 100cm, very closely followed by Geordie Herron’s three for 99cm. Peter Moir was third with a single fish for 35cm.

The longest fish of the competition was Heron’s 44cm codling.

The Whitley Bay Summer Open was fished between Howick and Craster, with 16 anglers taking part.

Winner Richy Dodsworth took two fish for 9lb 10oz, beating Garry Appleton’s three for 8lb 3oz and Mick Clark’s two for 6lb 11oz. The heaviest single fish, at 6lb 8oz, was caught by Dodsworth.

The last of the Rutherford’s Cono-flex sweepstakes took place lastSunday at the Glass Centre, with 20 anglers taking part in very windy conditions.

The wind did not put the coalfish off either as huge numbers were caught. Zone One winner Chris Stringer took 41 fish for 1,160cm, followed by Gareth Gardiner’s 36 for 1,024cm and Jim Dobie’s 36 for 1,024cm.

Zone Two was just as close with winner Steve Rackstraw taking 26 fish for 668cm and Micky Bell in second with 25 fish for 660cm. Colin Bell sealed third place with 20 fish for 525cm.

This Sunday sees Seaham SAC fish for the Treasurer’s Trophy (noon-5pm).

Also on Sunday is the River Tyne crab competition at the Copthorne Hotel (1-3pm). Entry is free and there are two age groups – up to 12 years and up to 17 years. Handlines and bait are provided and there are prizes for each group. More information is available from Sam Harris on 0191 5184561.

Tuesday’s Ryhope SAC’s sweepstake is at Southwick Prom (7-10pm). Entry is £5.

Wednesday’s Fisherman’s Locker competition will take place at South Shields Pier (7-10pm). Entry is £10 with 100 per cent payout. Anglers should meet at the pier gates at 6.15pm.

0191 5654183