Roker Pier provides plenty of sport ahead of closedown

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WORK is due to start on Roker Pier on June 23.

The work involves work to the foundations, pointing between the high and low water marks, and the decking on the pier will be stripped from the pier end to the pier gates and relaid.

The 22-week contract will, of course, depend on the weather and will hopefully be finished just before Christmas.

Anglers fishing from Roker Pier at the moment are enjoying plenty of sport but a lot of the fish are still undersized.

Coalfish, codling, dabs and flounders are taking all manner of baits, with pollock taking float-fished ragworm, sandeel and mackerel strip.

There have been a lot of small whiting in the hours of darkness along with a few lesser spotted dogfish, both taking fish baits.

The first mackerel of the season has also made an appearance here – after the weekend’s big tides there should be a lot more.

Seaham’s North Pier has also seen mackerel, so it may be time to dust off your feathers, polish your spinners and head off to Seaham for some great sport.

The River Wear is still producing good flounders, with fish up to 2lb, mostly on crab tipped with mackerel, with anywhere between the National Glass Centre and Claxheugh worth a look.

South Shields Pier is still giving up codling to 3lbm with local angler Alan Heeling losing one 7lb to 8lb on the lift at the Blocks.

Crab has been the best bait for codling. There have also been coalfish, plaice and dabs coming from the end of the pier. Good numbers of big launce sandeel have been taken from the Small Wall on the end of the pier.

Further north, turbot have been taken at Druridge, along with some good flounders. In Northumberland, some good codling have been taken on crab baits when the sea is flat, with anywhere between Amble to Beadnell worth a look.

Boat anglers have been finding some good sport not far offshore, with mackerel starting to show over the weekend.

There have been no big numbers yet, but some boats have taken six to 10 per trip.

Codling have started to show in good numbers, with boats fishing off Whitburn reporting taking bags of up to 24 fish to 4lb.

Richy Carr and Mick Newton had a good session last Wednesday evening fishing aboard Carr’s boat, The Iris Rose. They took 55 codling for just over 150lb, with the best fish at 9lb.

They used fresh mussel as bait while fishing over the White Stones off Hendon. The Iris Rose was out again on Friday afternoon taking 70 fish, some going to 5lb, on mussel and squid baits.

Eight-year-old Callum Carr, who was aboard, took four fish to 3lb on his first trip out to sea.

Local charter boat The Sapphire fished well off the Wrecks on Monday, with the four anglers on board taking ling and cod to 13lb.

They had 30 cod in total, ranging from 7lb to 13lb. Most were taken on squid baited hokki lures.

Twenty four fished last Tuesday’s Ryhope sweepstake, with 14 weighing in 19 flounders - all returned to the water.

John Blaney won with 1lb 4oz, while Lee Burton took second and third places with 1lb 3½oz and 1lb ½oz. Fourth place was a tie between Derek Ross, Paul Hossack and Chris Hossack (1lb ¼oz).

Wednesday’s Fisherman’s Locker sweepstake had a turnout of 11 anglers fishing at the Timber Beach in the Wear.

Neil Cutler triumphed with 254cm, beating runner-up Steve Rackstraw (171cm) and Joe Gibson (165cm). The longest fish was Cutler’s cracking 43cm flounder.

Saturday’s Blenny Hill Open saw 15 anglers taking part.

Paul Edwards was first with four flounders for 130cm, followed by Micky Davison’s four flounders for 109cm and Dave McCready (three for 97cm).

There was a three-way tie for the longest fish between Paul Edwards, Dave Stoker and Dave McCready all with 36cm flounders.

Sunday’s Tyne sweepstake was fished over two zones at Spillers.

The Zone One winner was Gav Owen with 12 fish for 308cm, ahead of Neil Cutler’s nine for 252cm.

Zone Two was won by Gareth Gardiner’s 10 fish for 259cm, with S. Richardson runner-up thanks to nine fish for 254cm. The longest fish, at 40cm, was caught by Colin Bell.

This Sunday sees Seaham SAC fishing for the Fallowfield Trophy (1-6pm, while the Rutherford’s Cono-flex sweepstakes start at the Glass Centre (2-6pm). Registration is at the venue (£10 entry with 100 per cent payout).

Tuesday’s Ryhope SAC’s sweepstake is at Claxheugh (7-10pm).

Next Wednesday (June 18), the Fisherman’s Locker Sweepstake will take place at Claxheugh (7-10pm). Entry is £7 with 100 per cent payout. Registration is at the venue.

0191 5654183