Mackerel galore to delight anglers

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MACKEREL showed in huge numbers on Roker Pier last week with bags of up to 75 fish being taken on daylights, spinners and floats.

There were also some good sized coalfish taking lures as well as bait, with fish up to 2lb being caught.

Some good pollock came from the pier, the best one (6lb) being taken by local angler Mick Brown on a float-fished live sandeel.

Whiting were also caught in big quantities after dark from the Old North Pier and the Glass Centre, when the water was coloured with flood water.

Now that the school holidays have started and with the fishing being so good, Roker Pier will be very busy.

Anglers are urged to be extra cautious when casting on the pier when it is full of people, and to make sure their tackle is strong enough to handle casting 5oz and 6oz leads. The rule of thumb is 10lb line strength for every ounce of lead, so if you are casting your daylights with a 6oz lead, you need a 60lb shockleader – better to be safe than sorry!

Anglers gutting and cleaning your catch on the pier should throw the fish guts and heads over the side and not leave them lying around.

South Shields Pier has fished very well for mackerel with big bags of fish (along with some very big coalfish) up to 3½lb, taking lures at dusk and even into the dark.

There are still good numbers of plaice being caught when the sea is settled, with fish up to 3lb on ragworm bait. Last Tuesday, Andy Copeland took 11 plaice – the best being 2lb 3oz – and David Patterson caught a 3lb 5oz turbot on mackerel bait.

Seaham Pier has also given up big bags of mackerel along with launce sandeel, and in the hours of darkness there are still one or two lesser spotted dogfish taking mackerel and ragworm baits.

Boat anglers found the sport to be quieter this week – probably due to the big tides.

The Sapphire managed to find a few fish over the weekend with cod and ling up to 8lb falling to large squid and mackerel baits fished on 8ft-long flowing traces.

On Sunday, due to the strong wind, they fished just off the High Drum at Hendon and took cod-ling up to 6lb on worm and crab baits.

The best boat-caught fish of the week – a 29lb ling on mackerel baited daylights went to 74-year-old Billy Campbell, on a private boat out of the Tyne.

Travelling anglers have enjoyed good sport in the rock marks around Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumberland, with codling up to 8lb taking crab baits.

As well as lots of expected mackerel, there were also pollock up to 5lb on red gill lures. Further north, St Abbs Head has fished well for pollock, with fish up to 8lb being caught along with ballan wrasse to 3½lb.

Last Tuesday’s Ryhope SAC Sweepstake saw 14 of 19 anglers taking 28 fish, plus a lot of undersized specimens.

Top rod Chris Hossack won with a flatfish (1lb 12oz), beating John Lovett’s 1lb 7½oz flatfish, with Chris and Paul Hossack tied for third (1lb 5oz flounders).

Sunday’s Whitley Bay Open had 24 entries, with nine weighing in. Geoff King landed the heaviest bag (19lb 14oz) along with the two best fish of the day (8lb 9oz and 6lb 10oz). Steve Williams was runner-up with four fish (9lb 13oz) followed by Garry Appleton (8lb 7oz).

Seaham Sea Anglers fished for the Richardson Cup on Sunday, with 23 out of 39 anglers bring 53 fish to the scales.

Mick Davison won with nine fish (4.63lb), followed by E. Talbot’s three fish (3.22lb) and R. Davison’s heaviest single fish, a 2.79lb lesser spotted dogfish.

Davison and Dean Furness won the pairs with 11 fish (6.61lb).

The Reelsports Summer League saw nine anglers out at the British Airways Car Park in the Tyne in very windy conditions. Chris Stringer won with 20 fish (490cm) from Andy Rutherford (396cm). The longest fish was Brian Ridley’s 36cm flounder.

Sunderland SAC had 18 fishing a pegged competition, with everyone weighing in. Paul Hossack triumphed with a flounder (1lb 5oz), with Gary Conlin and Paul Robinson joint second (1lb 3oz flounders).

Alberta SAC fished a pegged measure and release competition at Timber Beach, with Darren Browne (152cm) victorious, beating Dave Graves (121cm) and Peter Graves (116cm).

Tomorrow, Seaham SAC hold their Badger Open (7-11pm). Registration and weigh-in is at club HQ. The measure and release Rutherford’s Cono-flex Sweepstake (entry £10) also takes place tomorrow at the Copthorne Hotel on the Tyne (7.30-10.30pm).

Sunday sees a free-to-enter crab fishing competition for juniors at the Glass Centre. There are two age groups – up to 12 years and 13-17 years. Under-12s must be accompanied by an adult. No rod, reels or hooks are allowed.

Hand lines and bait will be supplied free of charge – the only other quipment needed is a bucket to keep your catch alive and return it safely to the water at the end of the competition.

There will be three tackle prizes in each zone plus freebies from Walkers Crisps and Thornton’s Chocolates. More details from Sam Harris on 0191 5184561.

Registration forms for the North East Under-18 Sea Angling Competition on August 19 are available from me. Entry forms must be submitted by August 10.