Sizeable codling still the big prize worth waiting for

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THERE are still a few codling being taken in our area, with the best going to 3lb.

If you can get through the large amounts of undersized tommy codling that have moved inshore in big numbers, the Wear and Tyne are both full of these fish.

There are also good number of these fish coming from Roker and South Shields Pier.

There have been some sized codling from Seaham North Pier up to 2lb and the odd one from Hendon Prom over high water, with the southern end of the prom the best spot.

The top end of the Wear at Claxheugh is still producing flounders, as is the Timber Beach and The Business Park mark – mostly taken on frozen black lug tipped with mackerel strip.

Roker Pier has produced codling up to 2½lb with most of these fish coming out of The Bay between the first and second steps.

The end of the pier has given up flounders, dabs and dog fish along with a few small plaice. Small pollock have also started to show from Roker Pier, with most just under size, although Craig Chapman did take one of 2lb 4oz on ragworm bait.

This is really early for these fish to show, so maybe an early spring and summer are on the way.

South Shields Pier has given up codling to 3lb along with a few good coalfish. Small plaice have started to show from the Blocks area.

Anglers will be hoping for some settled weather to get these fish moving inshore. If the fine weather lasts, there may be a chance of a few crab starting to peel in the rivers and this will see an improvement in the fishing.

It will be interesting to see if the crab will continue to peel in large numbers on the west coast after the battering the area took during the winter storms.

Local charter boat The Sapphire fished inshore over the weekend due to strong winds, taking cover behind the South Pier and took a few members of Sunderland diving club out.

During the four-hour session, a few codling and pouting, with the best at 2½lb, were caught. Monday proved a much more successful day when a group of local anglers caught 22 sized codling, mainly on lug and razor fish.

Further south, boats from Hartlepool have reported some good catches of up to 40 codling, some going to around 5lb.

The boats out of Whitby are having a great start to their season with good catches of codling between 3lb and 6lb, mostly taken on shad style lures.

The Mistress, out of Whitby, had a great day last week, taking 90 codling up to 6lb, all taken on lures.

The top three winners in the European Open Championships that took place in East Yorkshire recently were Phil Harrison in first, then Phillip Tong and Paul Medd. Congratulations to Sunderland anglers Mickey Rich and Scott Paxton who came 18th and 19th respectively.

Last Tuesday’s Ryhope SAC sweepstake saw 10 fishing, with five weighing in three cod, a dogfish and a flounder.

Chris Hossack won with a 2lb 3oz cod from Roker Pier, runner-up Micky Davison had a 1lb 15oz cod from Featherbed Rock and Tommy Tate took third with a 1lb 7oz flounder (returned alive) from the big beach at South Shields.

Ryhope SAC members fished in very windy conditions in their club competition on Sunday, with most choosing the sheltered river marks.

In all, 54 anglers competed, with 10 weighing in. The first three places went to flounders caught from Claxheugh.

Peter Wilkinson was first with two fish for 760g, which included the heaviest flat fish at 535g. Matthew Win was second, and winner of the junior title, with two for 740g, with John Porteous third (two fish for 715b).

The heaviest round fish was Paul Richardson’s 345g coalfish.

Seaham anglers also struggled with the wind on Sunday, with only 18 out of 60 anglers bringing 24 fish to the scales.

Micky Davison fished the Green Wall to take three codling for 4.26lb for first place, while Dean Ambler, who also had three codling for 2.82lb, was runner-up.

Third place went to David Alderson with a codling of 2.12lb, which was also the heaviest single fish.

Micky Grey was fourth with a 1.95lb codling. The pairs event was won by Davison and Dean Furness, with four fish for 6.19lb. Dean Ambler and John Barris were runners-up with three fish for 2.82lb.

Sunday sees Ryhope SAC’s penultimate club competition before the summer break (1-5pm).

Ryhope SAC’s final sweepstake of the season takes place on Tuesday (7-10pm), with registration at the Village Tavern in Ryhope. Entry is £10 with 100 per cent payout – there are no boundaries (anyone caught trespassing will be disqualified) for this match. Catch and release matches will start in May.

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