River Wear anglers not floundering for flatfish now

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GOOD numbers of flounders are starting to show in the River Wear, with some good sizes up to 1¾lb.

Anglers have been taking bags of up to 15 fish, though most are returned to the river as they aren’t that great to eat.

I was given a cooking tip for flounders recently – Jamie Oliver eat your heart out! – shallow fry with tomatoes, garlic and parsley for 20 minutes, then put them in the bin and eat the pan – it will taste better!

Peeler crab are showing in greater numbers in the Wear and these are now top bait for flounders as they move in to feed on them.

There are also lots of flounders in the Tyne, although the usual marks at the Copthorne Hotel and British Airways Business Park haven’t fished that well because of the rain water coming down the river.

Marks further down the river have produced bags of 12 fish, with Hebburn Marina and Church Bank the top spots, with crab, mackerel and ragworm the top baits.

South Shields Pier has given up one or two good plaice when the weather has been settled, with local angler Graham Hogarth taking plaice to 2lb on Monday. When the sea has been rough, the pier has given up codling to 3½lb on ragworm and crab baits.

With the break in the weather, boats got out to sea last Thursday and found some good sport. Local boat The Topliner had cod to 10lb and pollock to 8lb all taken on shad lures.

On Sunday, local charter boat The Sapphire had a great day fishing on the inshore wrecks between five and seven miles out. The 10 anglers on board took 70 fish, most of them codling between 5lb-8lb, with the best being 12lb.

They also had ling to 10lb and a pollock of 10lb. These fish were taken on squid baits, along with shads and pirks. If this has whetted your appetite, you can contact the skipper of The Sapphire on 07854 819924.

By far the biggest rod and line boat-caught cod I’ve heard of this year was taken out of Hartlepool on charter boat The Famous. Fishing with a blue shad lure, Kris Kolaski hooked and landed a 23lb fish.

Boats out of the Tyne are taking good numbers of fish with The Mistress and JFK both catching up to 100 fish a day, with the best weighing around 8lb.

At last we can bring you the long-awaited Maryport Open result. The winner, with the heaviest flatfish, was junior angler David Kirkbride with a plaice (1lb 6oz). Steve Smith was runner-up with a flounder (1lb 4oz 8drams), followed by another junior, Matthew Smith, with a 1lb 4oz flounder.

Harry Pike’s bass (3lb 4oz) won the heaviest round fish prize.

Last Tuesday night’s Ryhope Club competition attracted 31 anglers, with 11 weighing in with 14 flatfish and two coalfish. First place went to Bobby Surtees with a flatfish (1lb 2oz), winning him £60. Andy Rutherford took the second prize of £40 with a flatfish (1lb), followed in third by Dale Short with a flatfish (15oz), winning £25.

The Tyne sweepstake on Saturday at the British Airways Business Park was won by Garrie Foster with 13 flounders for 284cm.

Last Sunday’s Silloth Championships saw Sunderland angler Chris Stringer walk away with the top prize having caught 22 fish for 225 points and £480.

Runner-up D. Liddington caught 12 fish for 174.5 points and £320, followed by R. Haughton in third with 10 fish for 159 points and £160. Haughton also had the heaviest fish, a 43cm flounder, winning him the tidy sum of £400.

Seaham Sea Anglers competed for the Moore Cup on Sunday, but found fish hard to come by.

Micky Davison won with two codling (3.90lb), with Kevin Barrass second thanks to a 3.13lb bass, which was the heaviest single fish. Paul Westmorland’s flounder (0.79lb) secured third place, while Davison and Dean Furness won the pairs (3.90lb).

Ryhope Sea Anglers held their first summer league match at the Copthorne Hotel on Sunday.

Zone One was won by Lee Burton with 10 fish (160cm), ahead of Tommy Tate’s eight fish (145cm) and Bobby Surtees’s eight fish (133cm). The longest fish was John Blaney’s 34cm flounder.

Zone Two saw Paul Richardson taking 13 fish (214cm) for first place, followed by Chris Hossack’s 12 fish (174cm) and Billy Bell’s 10 fish (165cm). Bell also had the zone’s longest fish, a 38cm flounder. Daniel Tate took the junior prize with six fish (126cm).

Sunderland Sea Anglers were also out on Sunday, with 20 fishing and the majority weighing in flounders and coalfish. Darren Welsh triumphed with a coalfish (1lb 10oz).

Joe Gibson followed in second with a flounder (1lb 6oz), with Steven Mordey’s coalfish (1lb 5oz) third.

In a longest-fish sweepstake at the Golden Lion, in which all anglers had more than 10 flounders, Barry Wright was a clear winner with a 43cm flounder (around 2lb).

This Sunday, Reelsports’ summer league continues at the British Airways Business Park in the Tyne (5-9pm). Registration is at the venue. This is a catch and release competition and entry is £5.

Ryhope Sea Anglers Club’s Tuesday night sweepstake will be fished at Claxheugh this coming Tuesday. Registration is at the venue and entry is £5.

The Rutherfords/Cono-flex Tyne Open Sweepstakes start on June 12. All matches are at the Copthorne Hotel (7.30-10.30pm). This is a measure and release competition. Entry is £5 with an optional £5 pool. Registration is at the venue. More details are available from Andy on the number below.


0191 565 4183