Northern Bites – 02-07-2013

by Steve Walker

Boat anglers are now reporting large numbers of mackerel just offshore with some big specimens to two pounds among them. Unfortunately, the sea has not stayed calm for long enough to allow them to move within reach of the shore angler with an easterly or northwesterly swell often keeping some colour in the water. A few mackerel have been taken on early morning tides from the piers at Roker and South Shields where the water is often a lot cleaner than further south into Teesbay. Those anglers keen on mackerel fishing are hoping that the next big tides and settled conditions will bring them inshore.

The Hartlepool piers have only produced the odd size dab or flounder during daylight hours with a few whiting showing after dark. Parton beach and Crimdon beach have seen some bigger flounders showing with the occasional small bass as a bonus. Roker pier and South Shields pier continue to be the relative hot spots with plaice, flounders, dabs, coalfish, pollack and smaller cod showing on most tides. Some better-sized cod up to 4lb have been taken on fresh crab baits on late evening and nighttime tides.

All of the Region’s rivers are full of flounders, small coalies, codling and whiting, and on some tides many eels are present. Match anglers fishing on a 20cm catch and release basis have had plenty of fish to keep them busy and there is always a good chance of a big flounder topping the 2lb mark for a bit of sport.

The last Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake in the Wear saw Derek Ross the best of the 27 anglers who fished with a nice flounder of 1½lb. Their club match in the Tyne at the Business Park saw all 24 members catch fish. Bob Surtees won zone A with 26 fish measuring 439cm, Steve Harriman had 12 for 252cm, Paul Craig had 164cm, Alan Marsh had 132cm, and Lee Burton had the best fish with a flounder of 34cm. In zone A Bill Bell won with 21 fish measuring 374cm, Bill Bland had 15 for 252cm including a good flounder of 38cm, Alan Burton measured 243cm and Stu Bland 238cm. Top junior Daniel Tate had six for a total length of 219cm.

As with previous years, there are a lot of codling showing from the inshore, hard ground marks for boat anglers to target particularly around the Seaham and Sunderland area. Most are in the 2lb to 4lb range with the odd better specimen to 7lb or 8lb amongst them, and some bigger coalfish and pollack have been reported. The Sapphire out of Sunderland has taken up to 80 size fish on a good day and the best fish reported was a pollack of 11lb taken by Barry Wright. The heavy inshore ground off the Northumberland shoreline is attracting a lot of summer cod this year, again mostly around the 2lb to 4lb mark with better ones up to 9lb. On a Promise out of Amble saw 10 anglers land 243 cod to 5lb, mostly returned as is now the expected practice. The Ali Cat and the Famous out of Hartlepool also report cod from the rough ground. Those boats wreck fishing have taken some bigger fish with the Sarah JFK out of the Tyne landing cod to 14lb and ling to 12lb.

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