Shore sport is still slow at present, but at the time of writing a good north easterly sea might bring an improvement with a few cod starting to move inshore. The ever present flounders and dabs continue to keep anglers busy and this year there has been an influx of flounders showing from all of the clean ground beaches and piers, with some anglers taking bags of 20 or more fish in a session. Unfortunately the vast majority are small and undersize and even with a good haul only two or three can be expected to be of specimen size. There are still flounders in both the Wear and Tyne rivers but sport here is extremely slow and it seems that the winter population have now started to move out onto the beaches. Some club matches continue to suffer blank weigh-ins or only have a single fish landed.
Hartlepool Pirates last match saw two out of eight find fish with Syd Burtcher winning with two flounders weighing 1lb 5oz followed by Bill Bradley whose single flounder made 10oz. Next match is Friday March 11th fishing from 7pm till midnight and the next meeting is on March 31st in the Stranton Club at 7.30pm prompt.
Hartlepool O.M.A.C. also found the fishing hard with only one angler out of 15 landing anything of size during their last match. Kenny Gooding had two of the reliable flounders for 2lb 5oz, with the best making 1lb 3oz. The Club’s next two matches are on Saturday March 12th from 6pm till midnight, then again on Saturday March 26th from 6pm till midnight.
The recent Bridlington European open saw Hartlepool youngster Matthew Win take the junior prize on Saturday with a flounder of 0.38kg and this was enough to give him second place overall during the two day event.
Ryhope fished last Sunday and found the going hard with nine out of 82 weighing in four flounders, four coalfish and two dabs. Paul Richardson fished South Shields Pier to land two of the coalfish for 1.19kg to finish top. Runner-up Frankie Terry had two flounders weighing 1.18kg, including the heaviest flatfish at 0.64kg from the Wear. Third place went to Bob Bland with two flounders weighing 0.87kg, also from the Wear and the heaviest round fish prize went to Keith Carter with a coalfish of 0.46kg.
The Eastenders sweepstake on Wednesday evening saw five out of 18 weigh in five flounders and three whiting. Ernie Hunter had the best flounder at 1lb 9oz taken from the Wear, and he also had third and fourth place with flounders of 14oz and 13oz. Tommy Tate was second with a flattie of 15oz taken from South Shields Long Beach.
North of the Tyne there have been a few cod taken from the rock edge marks. Junior anglers Curtis Dunn and Shaun Brandon fished North Crab Hill where Curtis had a personal best cod of 5lb 3oz, and Shaun had three cod including a personal best of 3¾lb. Paul Arkle fished at Howick and landed seven cod weighing 35lb, the best of which was a nice fish of 10lb 4oz. Gary Wilson won a S.B.R.A.A.C. match with six cod weighing 11¼lb from Whitley Bay Pipe. Steve Williams won a Cleadon A.C. match with a single cod of 2lb 12oz from South Shields Pier.
The Dave Jobson Memorial match fished on Sunday saw six out of 62 weigh in eight cod and a single flounder. Paul Short weighed in a two cod bag of 4lb 7oz, including the heaviest fish at 3lb 3oz, to win while fishing at Bog Hall Rocks. Dayley Swan took second place with three cod weighing 4¼lb from the Beacons. Third placed Phil Twokowski had a single cod of 3lb 4oz. Chris Stringer had a single cod of 1lb 14oz for fourth and Brian Clennel in fifth had a 7oz flounder.
Looking slightly further ahead to the summer months, the Amble club are holding another summer open match on Sunday July 17th fishing from 9.30am till 1.30pm. Basic entry is £10, juniors are free. Top prizes are for the heaviest bag, heaviest fish and heaviest flatfish, cash prizes only. Wrasse are excluded. Contact Jim on 01665 711007 for details.