Northern Bites – 01-02-2016

by Steve Walker

Almost non-stop westerly gales have kept most anglers off the Region’s piers and the better catches have been made from the beach and river marks. There has been a heavy surf hitting the beaches on some tides and just this bit of movement has been enough to bring a few cod inshore under cover of darkness. Daylight sessions have seen the whiting present in numbers with the odd better dab, flounder and smaller cod amongst them.

The Wear has cod, coalfish, whiting, and flounders showing from most of the river marks as far up as the A19 bridge, there are more whiting in the lower river and greater numbers of flounders in the upper reaches where at least anglers can fish with light tackle for a bit of sport. The Tyne always has cod present, it is just a matter of finding them on the day. The lower river marks from Hebburn Marina down to the Walkway have seen cod to 4lb landed but most anglers will be taking whiting and flounders on worm baits. Roker pier has seen lots of whiting showing with some around the 2lb mark and thornback rays to 5lb and dogfish have also been reported on night time tides.

Roker pier

The best chance of a bigger cod has been from north of the Tyne with fish reported anywhere from Whitley Bay up to Amble and further north to Craster and Seahouses. Colin Bell took two cod for 6lb 1oz, best 5lb 3oz, from Rocky Island to win a Whitley Bay match. The clean ground beaches have lots of flounders showing, Peter Smith had eight totalling 6lb 5oz to win a Blyth match. Glen Campbell had three cod from the Tyne for 5lb to win a Tynemouth match, and across the river, Neil Cutler won a Cleadon match from the ever reliable South Shields pier with a single cod of 6lb 7oz. Andy Rutherford fished Roker beach to win the last Ryhope sweepstake match with a cod of 4lb 5oz as did Peter Moir with a cod of 3lb. The Ryhope club match on Sunday saw 73 members fishing with whiting, flounders, and coalfish coming to the scales but no cod on a day dominated by whiting. Paul Richardson won with 10 whiting weighing 2.75kg taken from South Shields pier, Steve Harriman fished the Tyne to land eight whiting and one flounder for a total of 2.49kg, Tommy Tate had seven whiting for 1.97kg. Colin Copeland had the heaviest fish with a coalfish of 0.52kg, Aung Win had the best flatfish at 0.37kg, and top junior Ryan Taylor had seven whiting weighing 1.67kg.

The popular Amble Open is on Sunday February 14th fishing from 9.30am until 2.30pm. Basic entry is £12 plus optional pools and team event. Register at the Radcliffe Club Amble from 7.30am. The main prizes are £400 heaviest bag, £250 heaviest fish, ladies and junior £50, heaviest flatfish fishing rod, plus supporting cash prizes and a prize table of £6000 making this open one of the most popular in the country. Contact Jim 01665 711007 for details.

As from today, after almost 35 years of presenting the sea angling report for the press and Internet, I am unable to continue to do so. I would like to thank everyone for taking time to give me club results and catch reports over those years. It has been very interesting to see how angling has changed over this period, from the good old days of the seventies and eighties, to the somewhat less productive recent times.

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