Rays an unusual catch up and down North East coast

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THORNBACK and spotted rays are still the hot topic among anglers, with these fish being caught anywhere between Horden Beach and Roker Pier.

Lesser spotted dogfish have been taken among the rays, with Seaham North Pier and Roker Pier producing the most.

Two thornback rays were taken from the seaward side (next to the steps) of Seaham North Pier last week, with the best one at 7lb taken on sandeel bait.

Peter Appleby fished from Hendon Prom on Thursday to take a thornback ray of 8lb, while Roker Pier produced a one of around 3lb for John Hyde and a smaller one still for Andy Rutherford.

Roker Pier has also produced some good bags of up to five codling to 6lb, with reports of bigger fish lost on the lift. Whiting haven’t been there in such big numbers, but what has been caught have been a good size. Along with good numbes of flounders coming from Roker Pier there have been one or two small plaice, which may be a sign of an early spring.

The Wear is still producing good sized flounders with fish up to 2lb and being caught from most popular marks up and down the river. This could be a sign that the fish are about to move out to spawn.

The rock marks at Whitburn and Marsden have seen a few good codling, with fish up to 5lb.

South Shields Pier has been as unpredictable as usual, with whiting, codling and coalfish on some tides and then nothing on the next.

The Tyne is still full of undersized codling taking any bait you cast at them, but, upriver at Jarrow Riverside Park, there have been a few good sized coalfish taken on crab baits.

The Sapphire took a bunch of local anglers out uptiding on Monday night. They got off to a slow start until darkness fell, then the fish came on from 2½lb, with 4lb 6oz being the best, all taken on mixed baits

Only three out of 13 fishing last Tuesday’s Ryhope Sweepstake weighed in.

Micky Newton won with a 2lb 1oz fish from Whitburn, Jason Brown took second and fourth with 1lb 15oz and 1lb 5oz from The Barrier, while Lee Burton was third with 1lb 10oz from The Target.

On Sunday, Seaham SAC competed for the Clifford Plate, with 62 anglers taking part but only five bringing fish to the scales.

The top three places went to single codling. Ken McCoy triumphed with 2.13lb, Dean Redding was second with 1.96lb, then Steve Laverick came third with 1.37lb. McCoy took the heaviest single fish prize and won the pairs event along with Shaun Golightly (2.13lb).

Tomorrow sees Seaham SAC hold their Badger Open (7-11pm). Entry is £10 plus optional pools. Registration and weigh-in are at Seaham HQ.

This weekend, Friday to Sunday, also sees the European Open Beach Championships take place on the East Yorkshire coast. This year’s HQ is the Sand Le Holiday Village (HV12 0JF). The prize fund is a whopping £35,000. For more information visit www.eyevents.co.uk

On Sunday, Sunderland SAC will fish their club competition (3-7pm).

Ryhope SAC’s sweepstake takes place on Tuesday (7-10pm), with registration at The Village Tavern in Ryhope.

Anglers wishing to join Seaham SAC can do so on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10am to noon at the club HQ on South Crescent and should ask for the membership secretary, Paul Edwards.

0191 5654183