THROUGHOUT the summer months, East End of Sunderland-based community interest company We-ar Fishing have been providing fishing fun to the people of Sunderland.
More than 50 learners have taken part in angling sessions with river safety at the forefront of the sessions provided.
The lessons, funded by Sunderland Council’s Community Chest, allowed boys and girls and men and women of all ages and prior experience the opportunity to discover the basics of fishing under the guidance of qualified coaches and youth workers.
With ages ranging from 4 to 60, learners have discovered how to stay safe on the riverside. Equipment and bait has been provided throughout July and August to enable the community to simply “turn up and cast out”.
At the final session, attended by 22 learners, We-ar Fishing coach Geoff Moon said; “It has been great to see so many people attend. It is important that these types of courses are provided in a safe environment.
“We are actively seeking further funding to enable the sustainability of such courses which we have proven are needed to raise awareness of river safety and healthy lifestyle.”
Despite the less than desirable walk to Seaham South Pier, anglers venturing there have found dogfish and codling. When there has been a bit of movement on the sea, codling to 4lb have also been caught from the pier.
The Wear has produced good numbers of fish with sized codling and coalfish as well as flounders and eels. The best areas have been Southwick Prom and the Glass Centre with the best baits being crab (fresh or frozen) and mackerel strip.
The Old North Pier has given up small codling and coalfish as well as whiting after dark.
South Shields Pier has fished well on some tides with codling up to 4lb taken on crab baits. As well as some good sized coalfish, there have been a lot of undersized codling, with most measuring 33 to 34cm. Give it four weeks and they will be just right!
The rock marks at Marsden have given up codling to 3lb, with bags of up to six fish being taken. These marks have fished better when the sea has been flat and the water clear.
Further north, there have been good bags of codling from Whitley Bay Beach and Blyth Beach, with most of the fish between 1-2lb.
The rock marks at Newbiggin have also fished well, with better sized fish up to 4lb. Lynemouth Beach has been the most productive, with five anglers taking 30 codling to 5½lb.
Boat anglers have struggled to put to sea due to the windy conditions. The Blueye 2 did manage a trip out last midweek and took codling and pollock to 10lb. Small boat anglers took good catches of mackerel fishing close to the end of Roker Pier.
Local charter boat The Sapphire fished on the hard ground on Sunday and found it hard going with only small codling taken. The skipper decided to move to the inshore wrecks and sport improved, with anglers taking 35 fish including cod to 7½lb, ling up to 13lb, pollock up to 3lb and a few coalfish up to 2½lb.
Seventeen anglers fished last Tuesday’s Ryhope Sweepstake. First and third places went to Gary Watson with a 1lb 15oz cod and 1lb 3oz flounder. Runner-up Alan Burton had a 1lb 9oz eel, while Davy McCready took fourth place with a 1lb 1oz flounder.
The Fisherman’s Locker competition on South Shields Pier last Wednesday had a turnout of 11 anglers.
Andy Rutherford won with the heaviest fish, a 3lb codling, ahead of Alan Heeley’s 1lb 10oz coalfish. The heaviest bag was taken by David Finerty, with three codling for 3lb 9oz.
Ten anglers took part in the cash match at the Glass Centre catching coalfish and flounders. Winner Tommy Tate had 260cm, followed by Steve Rackstraw (225cm) and Chris Stringer (221cm).
Seaham’s Durham Nighthawk competition saw 56 anglers competing.
Jim Dobie triumphed with two dogfish for 5.14lb. Runner-up Lee Burton also had two dogfish for 4lb and third-placed Dean Furness landed a single fish for 1.93lb. The heaviest fish was Dobie’s 2.77lb dogfish.
The final Whitley Bay Summer Open match had 22 anglers fishing at Newton.
Winner Garry Appleton took six fish for 19lb 15oz. Second-placed Steven Eyre had four fish for 16lb 3oz and John Hepton, in third, weighed in four fish for 10lb 5oz. The heaviest fish was Eyre’s 8lb 10oz cod (also the biggest in the entire series).
Appleton won the overall league title with 69lb, ahead of Steve Williams (60lb 10oz) and Hepton (33lb 12oz).
A catch and release match will be held at Pottery Bank, Walker, on the Tyne, on Sunday (11am-3pm). Registration is at the venue from 10am. Entry is £10 with 100 per cent payout.
Tuesday’s Ryhope SAC’s sweepstake returns to the sea (7-10pm), so registration (5.45-6.20pm) and weigh- in (10.15-10.45pm) will be at the Village Tavern.
Wednesday’s Fisherman’s Locker competition will take place at South Shields Pier (with a new time of 7.30-10.30pm). Entry is £10 with 100 per cent payout. Registration is at the pier gates (6.45pm).