AT long last, Roker Pier is open to the public, although it will close again for a few days at some point soon while the new gates are installed, writes Andy Rutherford.
Local anglers are jumping for joy now that they can once again enjoy the great fishing that the pier offers at this time of year.
Already this week, there have been some good bags of whiting up to 1½lb, as well as codling up to 5lb being caught from the end of the pier, and in the heavy ground around the barrier.
During daylight hours, coalfish have been making an appearance, mostly undersized, but there have been a few worth catching.
Elsewhere, whiting have been appearing at the Old North Pier, the Glass Centre and as far up the river as The White Wall.
Heading south, codling up to 5lb, as well as whiting, have been showing at Seaham North Pier. North of the Wear, the rock marks at Whitburn have been giving up codling up to 3½lb, with South Shields Pier producing codling up to 7lb on some tides. Further north, the Northumberland rock marks have fished very well, with cod up to 10lb on the bigger tides!
The best baits for whiting have proved to be worm tipped off with mackerel or bluey. A large piece of mackerel or bluey on its own can work just as well for bigger fish.
For codling, the best baits have been crab, lugworm and runnydown lug. At this time of year, it’s also worth trying mussel, razorfish and squid.
Last Wednesday night, Eastenders Club fished their heaviest single fish competition. Eight anglers competed, with only two weighing in.
Richie Carr’s codling (3lb 12oz), caught at the Wherry in Whitburn, won the day, followed very closely by Adam Spur’s codling (3lb 1oz) from Hendon Prom.
Saturday’s Eastenders Club competition saw a better turnout, with 20 anglers taking part and nine weighing in. Between them, they produced seven codling, 30 whiting and two flounders.
Chris Hossack chose Roker Pier for his winning catch of three codling (7lb), while runner-up Bill Jackson took second place after catching nine whiting (6lb) from the High Ledge in the Wear.
Richie Carr was third, taking three codling (4lb 10oz) from Roker Pier. The heaviest round fish prize went to Chris Hossack’s codling (2lb 10oz), with D. Short’s flounder (1lb) the heaviest flat fish.
Friday’s Seaham Badger Open had a good turnout, with 24 out of 49 anglers weighing in 90 fish (85.72lb).
The first three places were all taken by codling. Winner A. Williamson (4.42lb) was followed by P. Hall (4.08lb), with third place going to R. Wells (3.35lb). Gary Pye had the heaviest bag with 10 fish (8.93lb) and also won the pairs alongside Garry Blanchard with 15 fish (12.34lb).
Fishing on Saturday, Alberta Club saw 19 members compete with almost all of them weighing in.
The Rat House provided the top two places. Darren Browne won with 18 fish (13lb 14oz), with Stephen Coyle’s catch of 16 fish (13lb 9oz) just nudging him into second. Roker Pier came up trumps for Mark Daglish, giving him 20 fish (12lb 14oz) to take third place.
Ryhope Sea Anglers’ club competition proved popular on Sunday, with 71 anglers competing. All of the top bag weights came from Roker Pier.
Leading the way was J. Robson with one codling and six whiting (3,285g) taken from the round end of the pier. Runner-up B. Surtees landed two codling, three whiting and a dab (2,710g) from the same place, while junior angler Thomas Rutherford, fishing the bottom of the steps going on to the round head, took third place, catching two coalfish, three whiting and a pouting (2,475g). Fourth place went to B. Bell (2,070g).
The heaviest round fish was J. Robson’s codling (1,615g), with Mason Burton’s flounder (370g) the heaviest flat fish.
Monday night’s Cleadon Club competition saw 30 anglers fishing and 12 weighing in.
Top spot was taken by Rob Wells’ codling (5lb 7oz), the event’s heaviest fish, caught from South Shields Pier. Stephen Brown’s codling (4lb 3oz) from the Tyne earned second place, with David Carrick’s codling (3lb 12oz) taking third in the Tyne.
This weekend is full of festive cheer, with clubs holding their Christmas competitions.
Eastenders are first up with their Christmas competition on Saturday (11am-3pm). Another one not to miss is Ryhope Club’s big Christmas competition on Sunday (2-6pm). Both clubs’ Christmas presentation nights take place next Saturday.
Sunderland Sea Anglers also hold their Christmas competition on Sunday (1-5pm)
As usual, Eastenders stage an open on Wednesday (7-10pm) with registration at the Eastenders pub in High Street (6-6.30pm) – scales will be off at 10.30pm. This is a heaviest single fish competition, but anglers may win more than one prize.
Looking forward to New Year’s Eve, Eastenders will hold their popular measure and release open competition at the Glass Centre (2-6pm). The size limit is 25cm and over.
Entry is £8 per person and the competition will be pegged and eligible for Penn Points. Registration is at the Glass Centre (1-1.30pm). More details from Ernie Hunter on 07984 306120.
Looking even further ahead, the 2012 European Open Beach Championship at Bridlington will be fished from March 2-4 with an anticipated prize fund of £25,000.
For more information, contact Paul Rodgerman on 01482 391668.
0191 565 4183