Northern Bites – 02-06-2014

by Steve Walker

There are plenty of fish around at present along the north east shoreline but most are well undersize, with small dabs and coalies dominating most catches. Flounders do not seem to be present in the numbers of recent years along the open shoreline, but there are plenty in the local rivers to compensate. A few decent sized whiting are still to be taken, small bass are showing from the clean ground beaches, and plaice are just starting to move inshore again after the recent onshore winds kept a lot of movement on the sea.

shore plaice

The Cumbrian coast marks around Silloth are very popular now with large numbers of visiting anglers heading for the obvious marks at Silloth promenade and at Port Carlise. Most are hoping to catch a big thornback ray, bass or just have a bit of sport with the huge numbers of summer flounders that invade the Solway at this time of year. Fewer rays have been reported recently but the flounders are certainly out in force. Worm and mackerel baits will take fish but fresh or frozen crab is generally the more productive bait. Sunderland angler Mick Quayle, a regular visitor to the area, reports taking 47 flounders to 41cm during a recent session with the bigger ones taking crab tipped with mackerel. All fish were of course returned alive.

A Tynemouth retired match saw flounders, dabs, and the odd whiting landed in calm conditions from the lower Tyne where Tony Anderson won with nine dabs for a weight of 3lb 9oz ahead of Bob Gascoigne with three flounders and three dabs totalling 3½lb. A Tynemouth club match on Sunday produced similar results, Dave Hayley winning with five dabs and a flounder weighing 2lb 14oz, followed by Mick Styles with two plaice and one dab for 2¾lb. Dave Rae had the heaviest fish, a pollack of 1lb 9oz. An East End match in the Tyne saw Patrick Farrier win with a total length of 191cm including the longest fish at 30cm, and Les Henzell had 138cm. Another East End match at the weekend saw settled conditions produce some summer cod around the Newton area where Gregg Norris won with four cod weighing 9¼lb, Nicky Robson had four for 8¾lb, and Dave Delaney had three for a total of 8lb 9oz, the best of which weighed 4½lb.

There is always the chance of a big flounder in the Wear, best catches recently have been at the Timber Beach and at Claxheugh, but large numbers of very small coalfish have invaded the river in recent weeks and can be difficult to avoid at times. The Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake saw 15 out of the 27 anglers weigh in 16 flounders, two eels and a cod. John Robson had the heaviest, a flounder of 1lb 1oz, Chris Coxon had one of 14oz, and Bob Surtees one of 13oz. Andy Rutherford won a Fishermans Locker sweepstake at the Timber Beach with 18 fish measuring 450cm ahead of Tommy Tate with 17 for 424cm, which included a bass of 31cm. The Blenny Hill open fished at Claxheugh saw Lee Burton win with five fish for 151cm, best 38cm, Dave McReady had four for 127cm, and Jim Dobie had three for 90cm.

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