Sea Angling, by Andy Rutherford

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LOCAL cod anglers who had put their tackle away for the winter season were falling over themselves to get it back out again when the big sea came away last week.

Just a pity it couldn’t have been like that in November!

There were a few codling taken (but remember it is April) – Hendon prom gave up codling to 4lb on Tuesday morning before the sea got too big.

The repairs to Roker Pier were well and truly tested on Wednesday, and they stood up to the bad weather, because, after re-opening on Thursday, a few codling to 6lb were taken, before returning to the usual catches of coalfish, dabs, flounders and the odd plaice.

The coalfish have started taking lures as well as float-fished ragworm and mackerel.

When the sea dropped away, Seaham North Pier produced codling to 3lb.

South Shields Pier fished poorly on Thursday during daylight hours, but after dark there were codling up to 5lb and a few coalfish all taking crab baits, however lugworm took the best fish of the night – a cracking 3lb plaice.

The River Tyne has given up the best sport this week, with bags of flounders and coalfish and the odd sizeable codling (the undersized codling have continued to be a nuisance).

Fresh or frozen crab has been the best bait for the coalfish at Hebburn Marina, Church Bank and the Mill Dam. Ragworm and mackerel, as well as crab, have been taking the flounders at the Copthorne Hotel and the British Airways Business Park.

Most boats stayed on their moorings this week because of the bad weather – and just a reminder to boat owners about the Sea Safety Workshop at Sunderland Life Boat Station, North Dock Marina on Saturday, April 21 (10.30am-4pm).

Drop in for free advice from the station mechanics and the RNLI boat sea safety advisors. All are welcome.

Now you know we like to bring you news of records being broken, well this one is a belter – Irish angler Andy Logan will certainly get his name in the record books after catching a 222lb common skate which measured 6ft 6in across the wings.

The fish pulled his fishing boat along for two miles before surfacing after an hour – they only managed to get it in after the skipper put the boat into reverse!

The monstrous fish was hooked off Rathin Island in Northern Ireland and is the biggest ever caught in the Irish Sea.

Seaham Sea Anglers saw a turnout of 24 anglers for their Night Hawk competition on Saturday, March 31, but only four managed to weigh in five fish (10.44lb).

Paul Westmorland won with two fish (5.37lb). Danny Swan was runner-up with one fish (2.28lb), followed by Mick Davison in third with one fish (1.56lb).

The heaviest single fish was Westmorland’s codling (3.86lb). Westmorland and Swan also won the pairs title with three fish (7.65lb).

Seaham Sea Anglers were out again on Good Friday for their Annual Open and it proved to be a very good Friday for Wayne Harriman as he took the top three prizes with codling (3.72lb and 1.75lb) and a coalfish (1.21lb).

He also won the heaviest bag with three fish (6.67lb) and, to round off, Harriman also won the pairs event alongside J. Archer. John Barrass and Dean Ambler were second in the pairs (0.86lb).

Sunderland Sea Anglers had 15 fishing at the weekend, with 10 weighing in mostly flounders and coalfish.

First place went to Alan Mordey with a coalfish (1lb 3oz), followed closely by runner-up Henry Antliffe with a flounder (1lb 2oz). Paul Howard came in third with a 1lb 1oz coalfish.

Forthcoming competitions include tomorrow’s Seaham Badger Open (7-11pm; registration and weigh-in at Seaham HQ).

Sunderland Sea Anglers’ next competition will be on Sunday, April 22 (1-5pm).

0191 565 4183