Roker Pier is situated at the mouth of the River Wear and is a superb venue throughout the year.
The whole length is railed and provides comfortable fishing with most anglers choosing to go to the round head at the lighthouse, while others opt for the rougher ground half way in hope of a big cod.
Codling, whiting, coalfish and flatfish can be caught all year but winter is the time to target a big cod. The pier is normally shut during a storm but as the weather calms and the gate is opened, this is the best time when there is a dying swell running down the pier.
Cold, calm winter days offer fabulous sport with whiting and dabs, but expect a cod to be among the shoals. Night tides are sometimes better but not always.
Summer can see the pier packed with the annual invasion of anglers chasing mackerel. As darkness arrives and the pier empties, you can have good sport with summer codling.
Recent seasons have seen the arrival of garfish, dogfish and pollack amongst other summer species where early morning or late evening tides are more productive.
BAIT AND TACKLE
Cocktail baits are ideal for winter cod such as worms, crabs, mussels, razorfish and clams. Use big, strong hooks as a Pennell along with a rotten-bottom if fishing into the rougher ground.
Two or three hook flappers with small Aberdeen hooks loaded with small worm tipped with squid or mackerel will be perfect for whiting and flatfish.
Big cod are landed and lost every winter so tackle capable of handling such fish should be adopted. A 13ft or 14ft beachcaster with a 7000 size reel and 18lb to 22lb mainline and shockleader will be fine. The tides are not particularly strong and 5oz or 6oz breakout sinkers should be used. A drop net could also be worthwhile.
Summer tackle should be light to gain maximum sport such as small spinners or float tackle, but take care among the strings of feathers which are continuously being cast and retrieved.
Rutherford’s Angling Ltd, 125 Roker Ave, Sunderland, tel: 0191 565 4183. Opening times: 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday (closed Wednesday), 9am to 1pm Sunday. Bait: Fresh and frozen.
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Directions : Heading east from the A19 follow the A1231 along Wessington Way and follow the signs for Roker. From Monkwearmouth follow the A183 coast road. There is a free car park on the sea front that closes at 10pm along with a shop that sells food and hot and cold drinks.