Rough seas bring festive cheer to anglers

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LAST week’s rough weather brought with it plenty of fish for Sunderland anglers.

Roker Pier has fished very well, particularly on the night tides, with good bags of codling up to 7lb and lots of whiting up to 1½lb.

In the River Wear, the High Ledge and the Glass Centre have been this week’s hot spots, with codling up to 2lb and massive bags of quality whiting up to 1¾lb (with one or two coalfish and flounder thrown in for good measure).

South of the Wear, there have been fish taken from Hendon Prom and the cliff marks at Ryhope, with codling up to 4lb. Some good bags of fish have also been reported from Hawthorn Point at Seaham.

The Rathouse Corner on the Old North Pier (a good mark for anglers who don’t want to walk too far) has fished well for whiting and codling up to 3lb.

In the right conditions, the rock marks at Whitburn and Marsden have continued to give up some better quality fish, with cod up to 8lb.

Further afield, South Shields Pier has seen some great sport with good bags of codling, as demonstrated by Sunderland angler Gareth Gardiner, who caught six codling (32lb) last Friday.

The Walkway at the mouth of the Tyne has produced codling up to 6lb, as well as whiting and flounders. Looking further north, Whitley Bay beach, St Mary’s Island and Blyth West Pier are giving up codling up to 6lb.

Last Wednesday’s Eastenders Open saw eight anglers fishing, with only three weighing in four codling and two whiting.

Lee Burton chose The Target at Ryhope to take his winning fish (4lb), while Davey Steel’s codling (2lb) from Roker Pier took second place, with Ernie Hunter’s whiting (1lb) from the Glass Centre bringing up the rear.

Saturday’s Eastenders Christmas competition saw a much healthier weigh in of 235 whiting, six codling, 22 flounders and two coalfish, all caught by the 20 anglers who took part.

Dave McCready took first place with 16 fish (15lb 4oz), followed closely by Bill Jackson with 17 fish (15lb 3oz). Third place went to Davey Steel’s 18 fish (12lb).

Ryhope Club held their Christmas competition on Sunday and saw a tremendous weigh-in from 72 out of 76 anglers who took part.

Andy Rutherford took the top spot with 16 fish (5,595g) taken from the Glass Centre. John Porteous came a close second with 11 fish (5,430g), followed by Keith Johnson’s seven fish (4,875g) from Roker Pier.

Johnson also landed the heaviest round fish – a codling (5lb 5oz), which he caught on a small hook and had to take to the Pier steps to land. The heaviest flat fish was Colin Smedley’s flounder (475g) and the junior winner was Thomas Rutherford with 11 whiting (3,105g) from the Glass Centre.

Sunderland Sea Anglers Club also held a Christmas competition on Sunday, with 19 anglers competing, with the majority weighing in whiting.

Garry Conlin won with 16 whiting (12lb 3oz), followed by Paul Robinson’s 15 whiting (10lb 12oz) and Steven Mordey’s 11 whiting (8lb 3oz). There was a four-way tie for the heaviest fish – all whiting (1lb 3oz) between Alan Walker, Conlin, Mordey and Micky Fisher.

On Monday night, 29 anglers fished Cleadon Club’s Ray Bardwell memorial match, with 10 weighing in. The top three catches all came from South Shields Pier.

First place went to Andrew Nickerson, who caught five codlings and whiting (5lb 8oz). Paul Harrison’s codling and dab (4lb 4oz), secured second place, with Graham Slesser’s five whiting and coalfish (3lb 5oz) taking third.

The heaviest fish and winner of the Ray Bardwell trophy was Paul Harrison, for his 3lb 11oz codling.

This Sunday, the Saltburn Sea Angling Shore Championship takes place (11am-3pm). Registration is from 9am at the Spa Hotel, Saltburn. Entry is £10 all classes (includes heaviest fish pool), with boundaries from Paddy’s Hole South Gare to Whitby East Pier (including the Pier). More details are available from B. Westgarth on 01325 720113 and P. Race on 01642 478351.

Next Wednesday, Eastenders will hold a heaviest single fish competition (7-10pm). Registration is at the Eastenders pub (6-6.30pm) and the scales will be off at 10.30pm.

Looking slightly further ahead to Boxing Day, Seaham Sea Angling Club stage the George Mulholland Charity Boxing Day Open (noon-5pm). Entry fee is £10 all classes, with optional pairs £2 per team and heaviest bag £1.

This is a heaviest single fish competition and payout will depend on the number of entries. Boundaries are Hendon Groyne to Saddleback Rock in Hawthorn Hive, with the North Pier pegged 1 to 100.

Registration is from 10-11.30am, weighing in from 5-6pm – both at the club HQ. More details on 0191 5810321.

A couple to note for the diary are Sunderland Sea Anglers’ next competition on Sunday, January 8 (12-4pm) and Seaham’s John Wylie Open on January 22 (12-5pm).

If your club is putting together fixtures for next year and you would like them included in this column, please let me know.

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