Sea Angling by Jack Melton

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ANGLERS have enjoyed a big increase in the numbers of fish being taken locally.

Boat anglers are finding more cod in double figures and shore anglers are taking double-figure catches of flounders and coalies to 2lb from the river estuaries.

The best boat fishing appears to be off the Tyne, where quite a number of cod to double figures have been taken, the best ones topping 16lb.

Ian Walker fished from the Stingray and landed a 14-pounder, then lowered his line immediately and took two cod at 13lb and 15lb.

The skipper of the boat, Richard Roll, was next with a cracking 20lb 3oz cod, followed by another at 17lb 4oz.

Not to be outdone, Graham Napier took one at 16lb. The total catch for the trip was 70 fish, of which all but 14 were returned to the water.

The Swordfish, from Sunderland, went north of Souter on Sunday and had a good session, with fish to more than 15lb on ragworm and mackerel baits.

There were not as many mackerel taken as of late due to a fairly big swell, but the cod were back again as the sea settled with some good catches off Roker Pier on Monday morning.

Shields Pier produced excellent coalies after dark with a mixture of plaice, dabs, pollack, codling and whiting.

Stan Parkin had 15 coalies to 2lb, Mark Robson seven plaice and Bob Pattison four.

Last Wednesday’s Eastenders Sweepstake saw 14 of 15 rods taking 108 coalies, 20 flounders, 11 eels and a blennie at the students’ accommodation.

Ernie Hunter won with a coalie of 1lb 7oz, followed by Phil Wright’s 1lb 4oz flounder, while Alan Burton and Chris Hossack tied for third with 14oz flounders. Phil Wright had the heaviest catch of 17 fish for 9lb.

Saturday saw 30 Eastenders SAC members at the Golden Lion, with 16 weighing in 40 coalies and 32 flounders.

Davie Mould had the best fish (1lb 15oz), just beating Chris Stringer (1lb 14oz) and Chris Hossack (1lb 3oz), while Steve Rackstraw and Brian Turnbull were joint fourth (1lb). Ernie Hunter had the heaviest catch (5lb 6oz).

There was an Eastenders Open at Claxheugh on Sunday, with 20 entrants and 11 taking 26 flounders and 14 eels.

Dale Short had the heaviest weight of four flounders at 3lb 15oz, just ahead of Phil Wright (five for 3lb 14oz), Ernie Hunter (five for 3lb 14oz) and Barrie Wright (four for 3lb 11oz).

The next few competitions are for the longest fish.

Ryhope SAC fished at the Busjness Park on the Tyne, with all 30 members weighing in.

In Zone A, John Bryan won with 11 fish for 187 centimetres, including the longest at 35cm, beating Mason Burton (10 for 179cm), Paul Richardson (160cm) and Alan March (129cm).

Jordan Lowes won Zone B with 18 fish for 309cm, comfortably seeing off Terry Mann (14 for 257cm), Alan Burton (246cm) and John Surtees (223cm).

Sunderland SAA fished on Sunday with nine of 13 members weighing in.

Alan Walker won with a 1lb 10oz flounder, while there was a four-way tie for second place (1lb 3oz) between Bill Gamblin, Alan Ramsden, Gary Conlin and Steve Conlin.

Seaham SAC found the going rough, with 37 members fishing for the Sulgrave Cup on Sunday and only seven weighing in 10 fish (seven flounders, a plaice, a bass and a coalie) for 8.63lb.

John Barrass chose the Blast Beach for the winning total of four fish for 4.54lb, including the heaviest (a 2.06lb plaice), with the others all fishing the North Pier where David Stoker came second (1.33lb), John Clark third (0.98lb) and Mickie Gray fourth (0.58lb).

Barrass and Dean Ambler won the pairs’ pool with 4.82lb.

Competitions arranged – Saturday: Rutherfords/Conoflex Open Sweepstake (7.30-10.30pm at the Copthorne Hotel on the Tyne; entry £10; pegged, measure and release); Wednesday, Eastenders Sweepstake (7-10pm, Glass Centre).