Sea Angling by Jack Melton

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THERE has been a vast improvement in local sea angling, with plenty of flounders and coalies in the rivers, too.

Boat anglers are doing well off the Tyne, but Sunderland anglers are finding the conditions a bit too rough with the easterly winds.

Codling to 8lb are coming from the usual Tyne boats with catches well into double figures, with a few ling now showing.

Local anglers have been travelling to the west coast, around Silloth, for the prolific shoals of flounders with catches in excess of 20 on crab and worm.

The best marks on the east coast are around the Wear with last Wednesday’s Eastenders Sweepstake having a total of 130 flounders, coalies and codling.

While sea sport has improved, fresh water anglers have had a lean time. The Washington and Harraton Angling Club were struck with ill luck over the winter when their lake froze up and quite a number of fish were killed due to the exceptional conditions.

They are having to restock and would like to know if there are any landowners who would be prepared to rent out suitable waters. Contact can be made with Cliff Hewitt on385 8889. Anyone interested in coarse fishing may join the club.

There were some sizeable flounders taken over the past week.

The Eastenders Sweepstake had 17 entrants at the students’ accommodation last Wednesday, with all taking fish. Steve Rackstraw had the winning length of 19 fish for 461 centimetres. Bob Gascoigne was runner-up with 15 for 364cm, followed by Phil Wright (13 at 320cm) and Chris Hossack (13 at 315cm). The longest fish was Darren Welsh’s 46cm codling of 46cm.

Eastenders SAC were out again on Sunday at the Glass Centre, with 14 competing and all weighing in again, with 62 fish taken, mostly flounders and coalies. Davie Steel won with the longest flounder at 1lb 10oz, ahead of Chris Hossack (1lb 7oz), Chris Stringer (1lb 3oz) and Jim Dobie (1lb 2oz). The heaviest bag of nine fish for 6lb was taken by Stringer. All fish were returned to the water.

Seaham SAC had 39 members competing on Sunday with 14 weighing in a codling, five coalies and 23 flounders. Jed Chartlton drew the Round Head and won with three coalies and a codling for 4.18lb.

Geordie Hope was second for four flounders at 1.94lb, beating Bob Stanwick’s four flounders at 1.87lb and Pat Carroll’s three for 1.68lb – all fishing the centre of the North Pier.

Jed and John Charlton won the pairs’ pool for six fish at 5.17lb, and Jed landed the heaviest fish, a 1.29lb coalie. The sealed weight was 1.20lb and was won by Dean Halliday, the nearest at 1.09lb.

Ryhope SAC held their first Summer League match at the Copthorne Hotel on the Tyne on Sunday, with all 30 entrants taking flounders.

In Zone A, Bobby Bland won with seven fish for 207cm, ahead of Steve Grahame (seven for 196cm), Derek Ross (six for 171cm) and Paul Craig (four for 102cm). Mason Burton landed an impressive 45cm codling.

Bob Surtees won Zone B with 11 fish for 216cm, comfortably beating Billy Bell (eight for 125cm), Lee Burton (six for 123cm) and Davie Raymond (six for 119cm, including the longest fish at 37cm).

Anglers who like to travel might fancy the Whitehaven RNLI Open this Saturday (12-4pm; call 07517 045013) or Sunday’s Workington Bass Open Sweepstake (9am-1pm; call 07513 538448).

Eastenders SAC host their Summer League opener at Panns Bank on Sunday (2-6pm), and there is an Eastenders Sweepstake on Wednesday (7-10pm).