With bit of sea running last midweek the early autumn cod moved inshore in surprisingly large numbers with some anglers reporting decent bags of fish up to 5lb from many of the marks along the North East shoreline. Best results at this time of year usually come from north of the Tyne, particularly around the Newbiggin area with the popular marks at Dulce Carrs producing some bigger fish, best reported so far was a fish of 7lb 2oz taken by Ivan Stott. The rock marks around Amble are also producing for the travelling angler. Mal McIntyre won a Seaton Sluice match with four cod and a wrasse for a total of 11lb 11oz, the best weighing 4lb 7oz, taken from the Salt Pans. Gary Tulley won a Newbiggin match at Amble with four cod weighing 7¼lb. Willy Emery won the next Newbiggin match with two weighing in at 6½lb, including one of 5lb 5oz taken from Bog Hall. Dave Milne won a Whitley Bay match at Howick with three cod for 8lb 2oz and Chris Stringer won another Whitley Bay match fished in flat calm conditions with four cod, two dogfish, and a pollack totalling 10lb 6oz. Andy Brotherton won a Cleadon match at Newbiggin with two cod for a total of 6lb 15oz.
If you do not fancy a trip to the tackle hungry rock edge marks then the lower Tyne is producing plenty of smaller codling and coalies with the occasional better cod to 5lb, and coalfish to 2lb plus. South Shields pier continues to fish very well for mixed bags with a few late plaice among the cod, coalfish, whiting, dabs, flounders and pollack. Steve Taarland had a pleasure session on the pier taking seven cod and a coalfish for a total weight of 6lb 9oz. Dave Scrimageur won a Tynemouth match with nine smaller cod weighing 6lb 7oz from the lower Tyne. These smaller cod are much more evident south of the Tyne down to Teesbay with the odd bigger ones showing from the Durham beaches after dark. Roker pier is similar to South Shields with more, smaller coalies present. Lee Burton won a recent Ryhope sweepstake with a cod of 1lb 7oz taken from the Manholes and Paul Hossack won a Sunderland match with one of 2.4lb. Nearly all of these early fish will be looking for fresh or frozen crab baits especially in the Tyne. If you are not able to get any crab then worm baits are taking plenty of whiting, flatfish and the odd bass from the Durham beaches and Hartlepool piers, where large numbers are showing during a night time session. Adam Smith won a Seaham match with seven whiting for 4.27lb from Hawthorne Hive.
The rivers Wear and Tyne still have plenty of flounders, coalfish, whiting, and undersize cod in residence. The upper Tyne can produce plenty of smaller fish to worm and mackerel baits whereas the Wear is still mainly a crab only river, though smaller fish will also take worm and mackerel baits from the upriver marks. Last Tuesday's Ryhope sweepstake saw cod take the top three places. Paul Richardson had one of 1lb 10oz from the Tyne, Dave Mould had one of 1½lb from the Wear, and Bob Surtees had one of 1lb 6oz, also from the Wear. The Ryhope club match on Sunday saw 62 fishing with most heading for the rivers. Bob Surtees had two flounders and four whiting weighing 1.80kg taken from the Tyne, Steve Harriman fished the Tyne and weighed in two flounders for 1.10kg, best 0.68kg, and Wayne Harriman had two flounders totalling 1.06kg. Steve Marr had the best roundfish, a cod of 0.90kg, and top junior Daniel Tate had two flounders for 0.40kg.
The many rock edge marks along the Solway coast westwards to the Mull of Galloway are still very good for big bags of pollack to 8lb taking lures and float fished baits. Mackerel are present in huge numbers this year and fresh mackerel will take conger eel, bull huss, and of course tope, which have become a popular target over recent years. Some anglers continue to travel over to the more secretive bass marks where specimens to 15lb are taken every year in September and October.
Boat anglers continue to do very well when the weather permits. “Mazza” Marsden on the Predator out of Hartlepool had a fine specimen cod of 21lb 9oz during a recent trip, and Karen Marsh who has only been fishing for a few weeks took cod and ling to 10lb aboard the North Star.