There were still good bags of mackerel being taken from Seaham and Hartlepool piers last week with some good bags reported by those who specialise in float fishing for mackerel, and as there is little else of great size to provide any sport, at least in the south of the region, the hard fighting mackerel is a welcome catch for those who like to fish with light tackle. As long as the sea stays settled mackerel can be taken well into October, but most anglers will praying for the first heavy winter seas to bring the expected cod inshore. If you want a bit of practice with heavier tackle then all of the Region’s piers, the Durham beaches, and both the rivers Tyne and Wear have produced plenty of quality whiting and coalfish, particularly during late evening and night time sessions. South Shields and Tynemouth piers have been producing coalies to 2lb, lots of whiting, and some nice cod at times, and a few late season plaice have fallen to worm and crab baits.
Hartlepool Pirates travelled to the Tyne for their latest match where J. Watts won with two whiting, a dab, and a plaice for a total of 2¾lb while fishing at the Groyne. Second placed Steve Swales had a four fish mixed bag of 2lb 5oz, D. Dixon in third had 1lb 13oz and A. Dendrickson was fourth with 1lb 3oz. A. Dixon had the heaviest fish, a cod of 1lb 2oz taken from the Walkway.
The Tyne has been very productive on some tides with cod up to 7lb reported. The last Tynemouth A.C. Winter League match saw some good quality bags of cod weighed in. Brad Hill fished Middens Island to land four cod and two coalfish weighing 10lb 6oz, the best of which weighed 3lb 11oz, Peter Stewart fished the Ice House and had five cod weighing 7lb 10oz, followed by Steve Harper with four cod for 4¾lb from the Sand Bar. Nicky Robson won an S.B.R.A.A.C. match with a mixed bag of cod, flounder, dabs, and whiting totalling 5lb 6oz taken from the Ice House. Leigh Critchley won a Blyth match with three mackerel and a flounder for 4¼lb. Scott Davidson won a Seaton Sluice match with three coalies and two cod weighing 6lb 9oz fishing the Tyne. Alberta S.A.C. had a good result in the lower Tyne with 23 out of 24 anglers finding fish. Mark Daglish won with 13 fish weighing 11lb 9oz, followed by David Jackson with three for 7lb 7oz, the best weighing 6lb 7oz, an excellent fish for the Tyne, and Mick Dellin with 11 totalling 6lb 12oz.
Ryhope A.C. fished on Sunday with 30 out of 70 entrants finding cod, coalfish, whiting, and flounders, mainly from the Tyne and Wear. Wayne Harriman fished the Tyne for a nice mixed bag of 6.01kg; including the heaviest fish, a cod of 1.61kg. John Topliffe fished the Wear and landed four coalfish and a flounder weighing 4.29kg, including the best flatfish at 0.73kg. Bob Surtees had two flounders and two whiting for 1.85kg, and John Porteous had three coalies weighing 1.38kg.
The Eastenders Wednesday evening sweepstake moved out of the Wear for a roving match where a third of the 27 anglers found fish consisting of cod, whiting, flounders, and coalfish. Chris Hossack had a cod of 6lb from South Shields pier to win the heaviest fish and heaviest bag, Mick Davison also fished the pier and had a cod of 1lb 6oz, followed by Tommy Tate with a coalfish of 1lb 5oz from Marsden.
Eastenders were back in the Wear at the Glass Centre on Sunday when 11 out of 12 weighed in fish. Barrie Stowell won with a whiting of 1lb 2oz, Chris Stringer had one of 1lb 1oz and also had the heaviest bag with 15 fish weighing a total of 9lb.
Boat anglers continue to enjoy a productive summer with some nice late season ling taking fresh mackerel baits. The Swordfish out of the Wear had ling to 18lb, pollack to 7lb, cod to 5lb, coalies to 4lb, and the inevitable hordes of mackerel. Graham Napier on the Stingray out of the Tyne landed a ling of 29¾lb, and Chris Potts had a cod of 16lb on the Sarah JFK.
The Seaham A.C. Open is being fished on Sunday October 23rd fishing from 11am till 4pm between Hendon Groyne (excluded), to Dene Holme pipe at Horden. Seaham North Pier will have 100 pegs available weather permitting. No fishing areas include Hawthorne Point between the markers, the cliffs at Featherbed Rocks, Hendon Groyne, and all Seaham dock areas except the North Pier. Basic entry is £10 all classes plus optional heaviest fish and team pools, and a sealed weight draw. One prize per angler for the heaviest fish with the best fish winning £1000. There are prizes for junior, ladies, and disabled anglers and there is a £3000 prize table. Contact Seaham A.C. 0191-5810321 for details.