There were still plenty of mackerel about during the early part of last week with the North Gare producing bags of up to thirty fish on morning tides, but an easterly sea midweek soon put an end to that, and those anglers who could avoid the masses of washed out weed that always appears during heavy autumn seas were rewarded with a few decent bags of cod up to the 3lb mark, with the Durham beaches and various low water marks the more productive areas to fish.
The lower Tyne and South Shields Pier have been producing some nice mixed bags with a lot of small but in size cod starting to show in the area. The club matches are starting to be won with bags approaching double figures. A recent Tynemouth retired member’s match saw eight out of twenty find fish with winner Neil Carter landing two dabs, a flounder and a mackerel for 2lb 9oz, Wilf Reed had three dabs for 1lb 10oz and Dave Hayley had one dab and a flounder for 1lb 2oz. Their most recent match saw a better weigh in with Dave Hayley having four dabs and one each of pollack, cod and one mackerel for 6lb 10oz, including the heaviest fish with his pollack of 1lb 13oz. Neil Carter had three dabs and a whiting weighing 2lb 10oz and Ken Robinson had a dab, a whiting and a coalfish for 2lb 2oz. The Wear has started to improve a little bit and a recent Eastenders club match at Panns Bank saw Mick Davison win with an eel of 1lb 3oz. The club’s open heaviest fish sweepstake match saw a tie between Jim Dobie and Brian Turnbull each with a flounder of 1lb 6oz; with Chris Stringer having the heaviest bag of sixteen fish for 10lb. Bill Gamblin won a Sunderland S.A.A. Match with a flounder of 1lb 10oz from the Wear.
North of the Tyne anglers are enjoying the best summer and autumn cod fishing for years with lots of double figure bags being reported lately, hopefully a good sign for the winter to come. The final Whitley Bay Sea League match saw thirteen out of fifteen weigh in at Beadnell with winner Steve Williams having a superb bag of seven fish for 17lb ahead of Gav Owen with four for 11lb 7oz. Third spot went to Garry Appleton who weighed in four for 11lb 2oz and fourth placed Dave Cruddace had two for 9lb 15oz, including the heaviest fish at 7lb 5oz. This means that Steve Williams is the overall winner of the league with a total of 56lb 13oz. Second placed Geoff King finished with 37lb 11oz just ahead of Keith Bathgate in third who had 35lb 7oz. Bag weights taken over five matches that a lot of anglers would struggle to achieve in an entire winter.
Some clubs are still travelling over to Cumbria and SW Scotland for flounder matches and enjoying some success. A recent Seaton Sluice A.C. match at Carsethorne saw Martin Pygall win with a bag of 21lb 10oz.
Boats out of the Tyne have been getting some decent bags of cod, ling, coalfish, and pollack. Chris Wilson on the Sarah JFK had a superb cod of 28lb, another trip produced over 100 quality fish when Mark Skinner had ling of 25lb, 16lb and two at 14lb. Derek Wilson had a cod of 22lb and Jimmy Cassidy had coalfish of 12.25lb and 12lb. The Shady also out of the Tyne saw Bert, Kyle, and Kenny Gray and Keith Brown take sixty-three cod to 11lb. John Docherty on the Upholder out of Amble had a cod of 16lb, and Ian McDonald had one of 8½lb, both taken from the inshore ground.
A charity open match for “help the heroes” is being held on Sunday September 19th fishing from 11am till 4 pm between Hendon Promenade and Horden. Basic entry is £10, register from 8am till 10am at Seaham A.C. clubhouse. Top three prizes are £500, £300, and £200.
The 39th Newbiggin open is on Sunday September 26th fishing from 10am till 2pm between Seahouses Breakwater and Tynemouth Pier. Basic entry is £10, juniors £3, register at the Bankhouse Club from 8am till 10am. First prize is £500 plus a prize table of £2000.