COARSE angling has still been rewarding locally despite the autumnal turn in the weather.
At the Big Waters at Seaton Burn, past success in spawning common carp has seen activity with fish now in the 1lb to 3lb bracket providing sport, while bream up to 5lb are also featuring.
The rivers, too, have been in great form with David Hall managing four quality dace for 2lb 3oz, while chub specialist John Hepworth fished the Wear recently and in under two hours had three fish for 15lb 8oz .
A low clear river and gale force winds kept weights down for the Ghurkha Charity match. However, there were encouraging numbers of roach and chublets caught, which helped make the weights respectable.
The winner, with 9lb 14oz, was local Environment Agency employee John Burns, who caught quality dace and chublets on the waggler throughout the match from the island at Ovingham.
Runner-up for the second week in succession was WACAC angler Ian Bullock with 7lb 14oz amassed from the New Pump House at Ovingham, while third-placed Paul Breeze was pegged at the ‘Bungalows’ and caught dace, chublets, roach and gudgeon on waggler and whip, using maggot.
An excellent £754 was raised for the Ghurkha Welfare Trust and thanks must go to sponsors Strikemore Baits and Standing Stone DOS as well as the Northumberland Anglers’ Federation for the kind use of their water.
An excellent turn-out of 100 anglers took place on the River Wear for the first EA/River Wear Championships. The match, like its predecessor on the Tyne, was used by the EA as a fish survey to determine the river’s coarse fish stocks, and one surprising factor was that not one barbel was recorded. Barry Lockey won with 18lb 4oz of dace, taken above Maiden Castle bridge, ahead of WACAC’s Ian Bullock with four chub for 16lb 5oz from Croxdale.
Dave Wood was another angler who landed four chub, totalling 14lb 11oz, while the performance of the day came from fifth-placed Dave Smiddy, who took 349 gudgeon from the Cathedral stretch for 12lb 5oz.
The final match of the Big Waters AC’s away days was held at Tollerton Ponds, where John Mitchell won with 14lb. The final placings saw Dave Hambleton and Davy Jobes tie ahead of Jim Appleby and the club thank ID Tackle for sponsoring the successful series.
Coarse fishing on the Eden is no longer the force it was decades ago, but prohibitive access to the river around Carlisle has always meant true coarse fish stocks were hard to gauge. However, the EA allowed a small match to take place recently. Alan Little won with a 6lb weight including grayling of 1lb 12oz.