As competitor after competitor registered bigger and bigger bags in the Amble Open, it would take a decent bag to win.
With Amble angler Gordon Fairley in the lead with his bag of 17 flounder for 12lb 3¼oz taken from Killycranky for most of the time, I took a wander down the long queue and noticed other good bags.
The first up with one was Ben Laws, who took the lead with his bag of seven cod for 14lb 11oz taken from Swine Dene, but looking at Jim Dobie’s 14 flounder it looked very close – Dobie having to settle for second place with 13lb 8¾oz.
With a few 6lb plus cod already registered for the heaviest only, Gareth Gardiner was left to weigh his 7lb ¾oz cod. There were decent flounder taken – Alan Wood claiming the best at 1lb 14½oz, Pauline Ferry catching six for 4lb 12¾oz to clinch the ladies title yet again and Ethane Marshall of Amble the top junior with four for 3lb 10¼oz. Pleasure angler Bobby Bland took the biggest fish of the week at 12lb from the Rat House Corner – not noted for big fish. Arran Stead is on top form making a good start to the New Year. Fishing at Roker Bay, Stead took four cod for 17lb best 7lb and 6lb 3oz. Keith Ryder travelled north taking four cod for 20lb 3oz, best 5lb 13oz. Ryan Thompson took nine-year -old Joe Finnerty to Jarrow Park where he landed his first fish, on his first rod, of 1lb 1oz plus two other smaller fish.
Nice fish turned up in Ryhope’s sweepstake, Richie Carr taking one of 7lb 2oz from Whitburn and Paul Richardson one of 6lb 1oz from Ryhope.
Steve Harper topped the match weights with a mixed bag of seventeen whiting and six dab for 15lb 6oz to win BOTAC’s match on Tynemouth pier. Norman Douglas was second with 14 whiting and three dab for 13lb 3oz.
Gary Willis, fishing at Foxton, won Bedlington Station’s match with four cod for 14lb, the best a cracker of 8lb. Darren Shields fished Blyth beach taking eight for 13lb 4oz.
South Shields pier is producing mixed bags. Phil Coates won South Shields match with a bag of 9lb, the best 3lb 11oz. The Glass Centre gave anglers good sport in a sweepstake match, Chris Stringer taking the best bag of 18 for 571cm, the longest 50cm. Stringer also won Whitley Bay’s match with four codling for 6lb 14oz from Rocky Island.