Sunderland’s sea angling community in mourning for ‘Coalie King’ Jack Melton

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Sea Angling

by Andy Rutherford

NORTH East anglers will be saddened by the news that Jack Melton passed away earlier this week.

Jack, who was well known to thousands of anglers, wrote this column in the Echo for 34 years – starting in December, 1977 – and liked nothing more than talking about who had been catching fish, where from and the bait they’d used.

Many of us will have fond memories of the tales he used to tell of his fishing exploits and will be best remembered as the “Coalie King” for the coalfish he used to catch from the concrete posts on Roker Pier using fresh mussel from the shell for bait.

Our deepest sympathies to Jack’s family for their loss. He will be sadly missed but fondly remembered.

Good sized whiting are still being caught in large quantities, with Roker Pier, the Rat House Corner and the Glass Centre still being the top spots (the best bait is proving to be worm tipped with mackerel if you fancy your chances!).

It did not take long, after the sea came away last Thursday, for the codling to move inshore, with fish up to 5lb caught from South Shields Pier.

Roker Pier did not disappoint on Friday, delivering cod up to 8lb from the end of the pier – there were even rumours of a 14lb fish!

Shields Pier continued to fish well over the weekend and gave up a 4½lb coalfish to Steve Bingham on Saturday.

The River Tyne is still fishing well for codling, whiting and a few good coalfish. Hebburn Marina and Jarrow Riverside Park have seen codling up to 6lb – the best baits for codling are lugworm or ragworm or even a combination of the two.

Boat anglers who managed to get out last week found a few codling up to 6lb, along with lots of whiting. One local boat fished about 70 yards off the High Drum at Hendon and took 18 codling up to 6lb on lug and mussel baits.

The Northumberland coastline has seen some good bags of codling, producing fish up to 10lb – a good sign for this Sunday’s Amble Open.

Alberta Sea Angling Club’s match on Saturday saw 20 members fishing, with 19 returning to the scales.

The top three bags came from Roker Pier, with Mark Daglish in first place with 41 fish (30lb 7oz). Runner-up Paul Farrell had 28 fish (25lb 15oz), with Darren Browne’s 28 fish (17lb 15oz) in third.

Seaham Sea Angling Club fished the Coronation Cup on Sunday, in their first match of the season.

Fifty six anglers fished, with 24 of them bringing 41 fish to the scales (43.8oz).

First place went to G. Hope’s eight fish (6.25lb), followed by A. Clegg’s two (3.96lb) in second and C. Darwin third with two fish (3.85lb).

Clegg also took the heaviest single fish prize with a codling (2.2lb), while the winners of the pairs event were D. Furness and M. Davison (6.78lb), followed by G. Hope and D. Stoker (6.25lb).

Ryhope SAC had 88 anglers competed in their club competition on Sunday, with 41 anglers weighing in mostly whiting, as well as the odd codling and flounder.

John Topcliff chose the High Ledge in the Wear to take his winning catch of 12 fish (3,365g). Alan Burton tried his luck at the Marine Police HQ at Jarrow and it paid off, giving him second place with four fish (3,165g) and the heaviest round fish (2,005g).

Third place went to Wayne Harriman with six fish (3,155g) along with the heaviest flat fish prize (530g).

The junior winner was Lauren Haley with two fish (960g).

Seaham Angling Club hold their Badger Open tomorrow (7-11pm). Entry is £5 and registration and weigh-in will both be at the club HQ.

The club is also accepting memberships for 2012 at the moment, so current members wishing to renew their membership or anyone new wanting to join can do so by contacting the club on 581 0321.

Sunday sees the Amble Open taking place (10am-3pm). Registration will be held at the Radcliffe Club in Amble and entry is £12 all classes. The top prize is £400, with a prize table worth more than £7,000. More details are available from Tony on 01665 602034.

Ryhope SAC also compete on Sunday (3-7pm), and midweek anglers will be pleased that Ryhope will restart their Tuesday night competitions from Tuesday (7-10pm). Entry is £5 with registration (6-6.30pm) and weigh-in (by 10.30pm) behind Ryhope Sea View Club.

The boundaries are south to Seaham Pier (excluding pier), north to Souter Point car park, west to Wearmouth Bridge. This is a heaviest single fish competition but anglers may win more than one prize. Pay out will be for first, second and third place.

0191 565 4183