Mackerel are still around in good numbers from all of the Region’s piers, perhaps not quite in previous numbers, but most anglers are taking double figure bags, mainly on lures, but float fishing where possible, is also starting to produce more fish. All of the Hartlepool piers have lots of mackerel showing with Middleton and the Pilot pier both producing good bags to float fishing tactics. Those bait fishing report lots of smaller flatfish species with the odd bigger flounder or dab among them, and fishing close down the pier sides has seen a lot of coalfish and the odd wrasse showing this summer.
The Durham beaches are generally quiet, but thornback rays to 8lb continue to be taken by those anglers with a bit of patience to try for them, the odd bass have been taken, and dogfish continue to show on a night time tide along with whiting.
The river Wear has small coalfish in the lower estuary and mainly smaller flounders upriver. The Tyne has lots of smaller fish upriver of the Tyne Bridge, cod continue to be taken from the mid and lower river marks along with coalfish, whiting, dabs, flounder, and plaice. Increasing numbers of pollack are showing from the hard ground marks at S.Shields pier, Roker pier, and from the Seaham piers. Floatfished ragworm, mussel or crab baits seem to be the favoured methods, all of which will pick up the odd bigger cod, coalfish, or wrasse, but the bigger fish all seem to like sandeel or mackerel strip baits.
Nine members weighed in five dabs, two whiting, two coalfish, two flounders, and a single pollack for a total of 11.56lb during a recent Seaham Richardson Cup match. Jim Dobie won with two fish weighing 4.85lb taken from the South pier including the heavist fish, a pollack of 3.72lb. Dean Ambler had a single fish of 1.56lb from the Blast beach, and Sue Hope had three fish for 1.22lb also from the Blast beach.
A Tynemouth retired members match produced some typical mixed Tyne bags with 10 out of the 20 entrants weighing in. Tony Anderson had seven whiting, two dabs and a coalfish for 6lb 4oz, Bob Gascoigne had a similar mixed bag of 2lb 4oz, and Stu Ford had the heaviest fish, a cod of 1lb 12oz.
North of the Tyne the various rock edge marks up to Eyemouth, St.Abbs, and beyond, continue to produce bags of mackerel, coalfish, pollack, cod and wrasse. Lure fishing, float fishing, and bait fishing are all popular under the right conditions. Best fish of late was a nice summer kelp bed cod of 10lb 2oz taken by Adam Johnson at Newton, best of a five fish bag.
Blyth A.C. had a heaviest fish match at Eyemouth in far from perfect conditions but D. Carss managed a cod of 3lb 9oz, and R. McMorn had a pollack of 3lb 2oz. Gregg Norris won a S.B.R.A.A.C. match with three fish for 6lb 15oz, the best weighing 3lb 1oz. Iain Galbraith had four for a total of 3lb 14oz, and Steve Sherman had a single fish of 3lb 12oz.
Boat anglers have suffered a bit in the recent windy conditions but Keith Adamson fishing just off from Seaham landed a cod of 20lb on a home made lure.