With warm and settled conditions summer species are still around in good numbers with the odd mackerel still being taken. Plaice are showing from the usual popular marks, bass are evident from the beaches, and all of the regions piers have good numbers of the usual flatfish, coalfish, whiting, and small cod present. Pollack are being taken from South Shields pier and from the Northumberland rock edges, where, despite the calm conditions, anglers are still taking double figure bags of cod. With very little rainfall the upper Tyne in particular is more saline than normal and large numbers of mainly smaller fish have been taken well upriver of the normal marks, where flounders, whiting, small codling and coalfish, and the odd eels are all showing. As with recent weeks some anglers report bags of up to 50 fish on ultra light tackle taking worm and mackerel baits. In the lower Tyne some anglers have reported bags of up to 17 smaller, but in size, cod taking crab baits. The beaches South of Seaham down to Hartlepool have seen mainly smaller fish showing, there are a lot of smaller fish evident from the Hartlepool piers but size whiting are to be had during a night time session. If you want the better bags of cod however, then you have to travel to Northumberland or down to the Yorkshire coast with a bucket of crab as bait.
A Tynemouth winter league match saw some good bags of smaller river Tyne cod weighed in. Steve Potts had five for a total of 5lb 4oz, Kenny Patterson had four for 4lb, and Dave Collins had the heaviest of 1lb 12oz. A Tynemouth retired member’s match produced some typical late summer mixed bags in the lower Tyne. Tony Taylor won with two mackerel and three dabs totalling 4lb 1oz, just ahead of Wilf Reed with a monster plaice of 3lb 9oz, plus a gurnard for a 4lb bag total. The river Tyne can always be a bit hit or miss and a later Whitley Bay match saw Paul Brown win with a single flounder of 12oz. Scott Davidson managed eight cod for 10lb 2oz to win a Seaton Sluice match, Brian Clennel had the best at 3lb 3oz.
The recent Newbiggin Open saw 107 out of 299 return to the weigh in, a good result in flat calm seas. Bill Foster won with eight cod weighing 21lb 8oz taken from Marden rocks, Geoff King had four for 18lb 6oz from Cambois, and Paul Westmoreland had 10 for a total of 16lb 2oz. Frank Oldham had the heaviest fish, a nice autumn cod of 9lb 9oz from Marden, Geoff King had one of 7lb 6oz, and David Sinclair one of 6lb 3oz. Steve Williams and A. Johnson won the team event with 25lb 3oz, top lady J. Scott had four flounders weighing 3lb 11oz, Bobbie Thompson was top junior with four flounders totalling 3lb 4oz, and the best flattie of 1lb 7oz was taken by Neil Turner.
The Scarborough Open Cod Championship, a series of open matches, continues to produce some big cod catches. Mark Thomas won the Corporation Trophy with 20lb 10oz. The Scarborians Trophy for the heaviest fish was won by Steve Hoyle with a cod of 6lb 7oz with Andy Crowe taking the heaviest bag title with 28lb 10oz.
The Seaham David Guy Memorial Open is on Sunday October 26th with fishing from 12 noon until 5pm between Hendon Groyne (excluded) to Dene Holm pipe at Horden. Register from 10am until 11.30am at Seaham clubhouse, you can also register prior to fishing at selected local tackle shops. Basic entry is £10 all classes plus various optional pools. The top three prizes for the heaviest fish are £1000, £500, and £350, one prize per angler only. The top lady, junior and disabled angler will each receive £100 and there is a full supporting prize table. Contact Seaham clubhouse 0191 5810321 for details.