Shields pier the place to go for best catches

St Aidan's pupils onboard Catch 22 as part of the WE-AR fishing programme
St Aidan's pupils onboard Catch 22 as part of the WE-AR fishing programme
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MOST shore anglers are continuing to head for South Shields Pier.

With bags of up to 60 mackerel being taken in a session, anglers’ freezers will be well stocked!

Another good bait to freeze is large launce sandeel, which have also been caught in good quantities from The Small Wall.

Coalfish, dabs and plaice are also being taken from most marks on the pier. There have been some excellent catches of codling from The Blocks area, taken on crab baits, with bags of up to seven fish going to 5lb not unusual.

Local angler Alan Heeley took a bag of four fish for 12lb 5oz, with the best going to 4lb. As well as giving great sport, the pier has also provided a close-up view of a large pod of dolphins.

The rock marks at Marsden have started to produce codling on crab baits, with the best around 5lb.

The bottom end of the River Wear has fished well for coalfish and flounders with crab and mackerel strip the best baits. At the moment, most of these fish appear to be at the shore end of the River, with the Glass Centre the best venue.

The Old North Pier has produced mackerel on spinners and daylite lures, with a few taken on bait by anglers after other species.

The Northumberland coast is fishing well for codling, pollock and wrasse, with fish up to 7lb, so if you fancy a bit of peace and quiet and some good fish, head north!

Daniel Bennett, from Whitby, headed north to fish off the Isle of Skye and is reported to have caught the biggest ever fish from British shores.

The monstrous 208lb skate (which is about the same weight as a female gorilla), measuring 2.24 metres long by 1.7 metres wide, was caught on rod and line and landed after a two-hour struggle.

According to the British Record Fish Committee, if the weight is verified by experts, it would be the heaviest fish recorded as being caught in the UK.

Closer to home, boat anglers have enjoyed great sport with cod, ling and pollock. Most local boats have found fish between one and five miles offshore.

Pupils from St Aidan’s School took a trip off shore on the Catch 22 charter boat last week. The trip was organised by WE-AR Fishing – a non-profit organisation working with schools and community groups.

The five lads on board had a great day out and caught 34 codling, a pollock and five mackerel.

Further information about WE-AR Fishing is available from Geoff Moon on 07772 393196 and Catch 22 on 07979 238464.

Local charter boat The Sapphire headed out at 4.45am on Sunday for a 15-hour trip.

First stop, once they were through the mist, were the wrecks, eight miles offshore, where codling to 5lb and hundreds of mackerel were taken.

They ventured further out and, when they reached around 20 miles offshore, they took 40 cod and 20 ling up to 5½lb, with the best being a 13½lb cod taken by Mick Newton.

Large fresh mackerel baits and shad lures took most of the fish.

The Lone Shark, fishing out of Hartlepool with seven anglers on board, took 60 cod up to 8lb as well as ling up to 11lb.

The Deptford Open Boat Competition at the weekend was won by a cracking 23lb ling.

Sixteen anglers fished last Tuesday’s Ryhope Sweepstake with half weighing in 12 flatfish, four coalfish and a whiting which were all returned safely to the water.

Taking first and third place, Lee Burton had a 13oz flatfish and a 9oz coalfish. Runner-up Chris Hossack caught a 10oz flatfish, while fourth-placed John Lovett took an 8½oz coalfish.

Nine anglers fished the Fisherman’s Locker competition on Wednesday night at Shields Pier.

The clear winner was Alan Heeley, with four codling for 12lb 5oz, which included the heaviest single fish at 4lb 2oz. Second place went to Dave Mould with five fish for 6lb 5oz, with Stu Carr (3b) third.

Saturday’s Blenny Hill Open at The White Wall on Saturday saw 10 anglers taking part.

Jack Clark won with three fish for 80cm, including the longest fish – a 29cm flounder. Runner-up Paul Edwards took three fish for 77cm.

The Whitley Bay Summer Open was fished between Beadnell and Seahouses and had a great weigh-in.

Winner Steve Williams took a mixed bag of seven fish, which included cod, pollock and wrasse, for 18lb 14oz.

Runner-up John Nixon had four fish for 12lb 3oz and third-placed Chris Potts took five fish for 11lb 11oz. The heaviest single fish was John Hepple’s 6lb 8oz cod.

The Rutherford’s Cono-flex Open sweepstake, at the Glass Centre on Sunday night, produced plenty of coalfish and flounders.

Winner Steve Potts took 19 fish for 465cm, closely followed by Steve Rackstraw’s 19 for 445cm and Jim Dobie’s 21 for 441cm.

This Sunday, Seaham SAC will fish for the Richardson Cup (noon-5pm), while there is a cash match at the Newcastle Business Park (1-5pm). Entry is £12 with registration at the venue.

Sunday also sees the North East Open kayak angling championships (10am-3pm). This is a heaviest single fish competition.

Entry is £10 for all classes with registration and weigh-in at Fort House Centre, Links Road, South Beach, Blyth, NE24 3PQ. Registration starts at 8.30am. Further details are available from Sam Harris on 0191 5184561.

Tuesday’s Ryhope SAC’s sweepstake is at Southwick Prom (7-10pm), while Wednesday’s Fisherman’s Locker competition will take place at South Shields Pier (7-10pm). Entry is £10 with 100 per cent payout. Anglers should meet at the pier gates from 6.15pm.

The next Rutherford’s Cono-flex sweepstake takes place on Sunday, August 10 (1-5pm) at The Glass Centre.

That same day, there is a junior crab fishing competition also at the Glass Centre (1-3pm). Entry is free, with handlines and bait provided. There are two age groups – up to 12 years and 13 to 17 years, with prizes for each age group.

Registration is at noon at the venue. More information is available from Sam Harris on 0191 5184561.

0191 5654183