Whiting to the rescue in big numbers

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THE big seas that were running at the start of last week brought in some good cod, but not in the expected numbers.

After the sea dropped away, anglers were pleasantly surprised by the amount of whiting around, with large bags of fish up to 2lb coming from Roker Pier.

The best fish, however, came from Rat House Corner and the Glass Centre using worm tipped with mackerel strip. The whiting are getting ready to spawn and are in great condition – a fish of up to 3lb is quite possible.

When Roker Pier opened after the big seas, it gave up codling to 6lb from the first steps and the barrier along with good bags of big whiting coming from the end of the pier. On Monday morning, Trevor Green took a 7lb cod along with plenty of whiting from the round head.

Seaham North Pier has been fishing well, with good bags of whiting and good sized codling – the best around 7lb taken from the end of the pier. Seaham Hall Beach has also produced some excellent bags of whiting, with some anglers taking up to 30 fish in one session, along with a few codling to 3lb.

South Shields Pier has given up cod to 8lb as well as whiting, but the numbers haven’t been as plentiful as elsewhere. Fishing has proved more productive during daylight hours, with a couple of haddock taken on worm baits – one was around 1½lb.

Further north, there have been good sized cod taken. Dave Cruddace took a fish of 11lb 2oz from Blyth West Pier and reported seeing two other double figure fish on the same day.

There have also been good bags of codling taken at Cullernose Point and Craster.

Boat anglers took advantage of a break in the weather to take some good bags of codling.

Last Thursday, up-tiding off Marsden, The Sapphire took 22 codling between 3lb and 5lb. On Saturday, The Topline fished off Whitburn, again up-tiding, and took 14 fish with the best one a massive 20lb which fell to the rod of Jeff Ayre.

The Topline was out again on Sunday and found the sport just as good, with Barry Wright taking a fish of 9lb along with two at 7lb and two at 2½lb.

Last Tuesday’s Ryhope Sweepstake saw 14 fishing. with Micky Rich taking the top prize with a cod of 6lb 3oz. Runner-up John Lovett caught a 1lb 11½oz fish from Shield Gate, as did Mick Davison (13oz whiting) to take third.

The Dave Jobson Memorial match saw 68 anglers out, but only 12 weighed in.

Sunderland angler Paul Hossack took the top prize of £265 with eight fish (23lb 2oz). Runner-up Rob O’Hagan won £160 for two fish (15lb 2oz) and also took the heaviest fish title with a cod (8lb 2oz), earning him an additional £135 in prize money.

Third-placed Richy Carr took home £100 for his five fish (14lb 10oz). Junior winner Robbie Farrell did not catch any fish but picked up £50 in tackle vouchers as he was the only junior entered. Well done on making the effort!

Seaham SAC competed for the Dawe Brothers Trophy and had a great weigh-in, with 41 out of the 58 anglers bringing 440 fish to the scales for a total weight of 446lb.

Paul Westmorland triumphed with 35 fish for 32.82lb, with runner-up R. Clark close behind with 34 fish for 29.09lb and D. Davison third with 29 fish for 26.61lb.

Most of the winning fish were whiting, but the heaviest single fish was a good 7.46lb cod, taken by M. Tate. Westmorland won the pairs event along with D. Swan, with 55 fish for 51.76lb.

Ryhope SAC also cashed in on the whiting bonanza with 70 anglers taking part in their match on Sunday.

Winner C. Smith had a bag of 11,890g (around 26½lb in old money), with second-placed K. Haley taking 9.580g and B. Bell 7,385g for third. The heaviest round fish was taken by J. Porteous – a 2,050g codling (4½lb), caught from Marsden. The heaviest flat fish was B. Robson’s 520g flounder. The junior winner was Daniel Tate (2,430g).

On Monday night, Cleadon SAC saw only five out of 22 anglers weighing in.

Paul Rogers took the top prize, along with the heaviest fish award, for his single codling (2lb 8oz). Runner-up Alan Heeley also had a codling (1lb 10oz), as did Geordie Stobbs (1lb 8oz) in third.

This Sunday is going to be busy – Sunderland SAC fish their heaviest bag competition (1-5pm), Ryhope SAC fish their club competition (2-6pm) and Seaham SAC compete for the Kirton Cup (4-9pm).

Also on Sunday, there will be a measure and release competition at Claxheugh in the Wear (2-6pm). Entry is £10 with 100 per cent payout. This match will be pegged, no crab or white worm. More details from Ken McCoy on 07989 811941.

Ryhope SAC will hold their usual Tuesday night sweepstake (7-10pm) with registration and weigh in at the back of the Village Tavern.

On Sunday, February 10, Seaham SAC will hold the John Wylie Open (noon-5pm). Entry is £10 all classes. This is a heaviest single fish competition with payout depending on entry. Optional pairs £2 per team, heaviest bag £1 and sealed weight £1. Boundaries are Hendon Groyne (Groyne excluded) to Saddleback Rock in Hawthorn Hive. North Pier pegged one to 100.

Registration is 10-11.30am with weigh-in 5.15-6pm, both at Seaham SAC HQ. For more information call 0191 5810321.

0191 5654183