Shore anglers continue to struggle to find fish of any size as undersize flounders, dabs and coalfish plunder the baits in the area. These micro-fish are present in large numbers this year and only around the Roker and South Shields areas are larger coalies being landed with fresh crab taking the better catches. The majority of the flatties are spread out along the Durham beaches and into Teesbay and Hartlepool. Both the rivers Wear and Tyne have slowed down a lot lately, April typically being a quiet month, though the Tyne should produce a few smaller spring run cod over the coming weeks.
A recent Eastenders sweepstake in the Wear saw only Joe Archer weigh in out of 20 anglers when he fished the Queen Alexandra Bridge to land a cod of 1lb 5oz and a flounder of 13oz.
Another Eastenders sweepstake on Sunday saw better results with eight out of 22 finding fish, mainly from South Shields Pier. Ritchie Carr won with a coalfish of 1lb 7oz and also tied for second place with Joe Archer, each with flounders of 1lb 5oz. Third spot went to Steve Williams who landed a coalfish weighing 1¼lb.
Seaham A.C. had a night match in aid of Age Concern on Sunday when just two out of 41 anglers managed to weigh in two fish at 3.38lb. Dean Furness won with a cod of 2.94lb, followed by John Clarke with 0.44lb.
Flounders are evident south of the Tees where Russell Miller won a St. Mary’s A.C. match with three for a total 1lb 5oz taken at Upgang. There was a tie for second place with Stan Preston and Tony Baker each having 13oz.
There will be a series of open boat matches held out of Hartlepool over the coming months for both private and charter boats. The dates are as follows, the second date is a back up if bad weather cancels the first one. April 9th / 23rd, May 7th / 28th, June 11th / 25th, July 9th / 23rd, August 6th / 20th, and September 10th / 24th. Prizes are for the top three heaviest fish on each day which must be weighed gutted. Prize money will be 90% of entry with 10% donated to the R.N.L.I. Fishing is from 7am till 5pm, basic entry is £10, register at the Friarage Tackle shop or the Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club from 6am till 6.30am. Weigh in from 5pm till 6.30pm at the Friarage Tackle shop. No members of the shark family can be weighed in. For up to date information go to www.worldseafishing.com and visit the North East forum, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 07814009701 or 01642 769435.
There are reports of boat anglers taking pollack to 15lb from some of the offshore wrecks.
Looking slightly further ahead there are several summer Opens arranged for later in the year. July 31st sees the Bedlington Station Summer Open fishing from 9am till 1pm between Tynemouth Pier to Pattersons Garage at Beadnell. Main prizes are £200 for the heaviest bag, £100 for the heaviest fish and £50 for the best flatfish, plus a £500 prize table. Register at the General Havelock East Sleekburn from 7am to 7.45am. Contact Steve on 07888 674873 for details.