by Steve Walker

Boat anglers continue to enjoy some good sport with plenty of double figure cod and ling falling to lures with the ever reliable shads doing most of the damage. The Topliner out of Sunderland produced a cod of 24½lb last Saturday, part of a 60 cod, six ling, and three pollack total catch. Tommy Tate had cod of 15lb and 13lb, with Ritchie Carr and Chris Hossack both taking smaller double figure fish.

The Bob White Memorial Boat Open saw 103 anglers turn out to fish, and the winning fish, a ling of 14½lb was landed by Jeff Davidson on the Warlord, fittingly as the boat once owned by Bob White. Colin Dawson on the Bould Endeavour landed a fine pollack of 12lb 1oz for second place ahead of Norman Davison on the Warlord who landed a cod 11lb 10oz. Fourth place went to Tony Urwin with a ling of 11lb 1oz taken on the Natalie Kristen. Ross Little on the Hunter was top junior with a cod of 2lb 7oz, and Julie Ingham was top lady with a cod of 4¾lb. Substantial donations were made to both the R.N.L.I. and St. Oswald’s Hospice

The river Wear is full of fish with numerous coalfish and flounders along the full length of the lower river. A recent Eastenders longest fish sweepstake saw all 23 anglers fishing at the Glass Centre catch a total of 227 fish. Jim Dobie won with a nice coalfish of 42cm, followed by Richie Carr with a flounder of 41cm and Steve Rackstraw with a flounder of 40cm. Micky Davison had a coalfish of 39cm and Jim Dobie had the longest overall total with 22 fish 685cm beating Micky Davison who’s 23 measured 665cm. Fishing catch and release and heaviest fish only matches has certainly paid off in recent years with the Wear approaching the sort of catches that were common in the late seventies and early eighties. Unfortunately, I hear that some clubs have returned to weighing in full bags of fish which, if true, is almost beyond belief. Quite simply this practice will be unacceptable to the many anglers who have worked hard to promote conservation over the last several years.

Anglers fishing the regions piers are taking mackerel, coalfish, and the occasional herring, pollack, and shad on lures and float fished baits. Bait fishing with ragworm has produced the increasingly prolific plaice with specimens to 2lb showing from all of the clean ground marks. Night time sessions are producing cod to 4lb, sizeable whiting and dabs together with the odd dogfish. Some big pollack are showing north of the Tyne. Ian McDonald fished Craster to land a pollack of 11lb on a lure, the third heaviest pollack recorded from the region. Chris Stringer won a recent Whitley Bay match with five cod weighing 21lb 15oz, the best of which made 7lb 13oz from Newton. Runner-up Steve Williams had four for 14½lb, and Scott Davison had three weighing in at 10lb 15oz. Paul Foster won a Tynemouth match with three cod for 7lb 15oz from Newton. Ken Robinson won a Tynemouth retired members match with three flounders, two whiting, two plaice, the best weighing 1lb 10oz, and two dabs for a total of 6lb 10oz. John Barrass won the Seaham A.C. Sulgrave Trophy with four plaice for a weight of 4.54lb from the Blast beach.

The Rutherfords Conoflex Open at the Copthorne Hotel in the Tyne saw all 20 anglers land fish with a mixed total of 146 flounders, eels, and whiting being taken. Andy Rutherford won with 15 fish measuring 362cm ahead of Gareth Gardner with 13 for 343cm and Tommy Tate with 12 measuring 284cm.

Ryhope fished the Business Park in the Tyne on Sunday to find that the heavy rain had forced lots of eels out into the river with some anglers taking them two at a time on garden worms. Junior angler Mason Burton won zone A with 27 fish measured at 711cm followed by his grandfather Alan Burton had 22 for 547cm. The family clean sweep was completed when Mason’s father Lee had 19 measuring 444cm to push Paul Craig into fourth place; Paul had 10 fish for 177cm. In zone B Andy Rutherford had 15 fish measuring a total of 382cm to win while in second place was Bob Surtees with 14 for 377cm. Third place went to Billy Bell with 13 fish totalling 368cm and Stu Bland finished fourth in the zone with 366cm.

There is a “crabbing” competition for junior anglers at the Glass Centre on Sunday July 31st from 2pm till 4pm. No rods and reels are allowed, just handlines which will be supplied along with bait. Competitors must take their own buckets / containers to keep their catch in however. Entry is free in two categories, under 12 years and 12 to 17 years, under 12 year anglers must be accompanied by an adult. Register at the venue from 1pm.

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