Shore sport is improving with the usual summer species now showing up and already anglers are talking about the coming mackerel season. Mackerel have been reported offshore from St. Abbs and they should start to show in a couple of weeks if the weather stays settled. There are unconfirmed reports of large numbers of mackerel being taken from Blyth pier with one angler taking 39 of them. Traditionally Blyth Pier has usually been the first north east venue to produce this popular fish.
The Wear has been on top form lately with an influx of flounders keeping match anglers happy. The Eastenders sweepstake last Wednesday saw 130 flounders, coalfish and cod weighed in at the Student accommodation where Steve Rackstraw won with 19 fish measuring 461cm. Second place went to Bob Gascoigne with 15 measuring 364cm ahead of Phil Wright with 13 for 320cm and Chris Hossack with 13 for 315cm. The longest fish was a cod of 46cm taken by Darren Welsh.
Another Eastenders heaviest fish catch and release match on Sunday at the Glass Centre saw all 14 anglers land a total of 62 fish. Dave Steel had the best at 1lb 10oz while Chris Hossack had one of 1lb 7oz. Chris Stringer was third with 1lb 3oz and Jim Dobie took fourth with a fish of 1lb 2oz. Chris Stringer also had the best bag with nine fish weighing 6lb.
Seaham A.C. also fished Sunday with 39 members fishing in a heavy south easterly sea. Fourteen found fish to weigh in 23 flounders, five coalfish and a single codling. Ged Charlton fished the round head on the North Pier and won with three coalies, the best weighing 1.29lb, and a cod for a total of 4.18lb, followed by Geordie Hope with four flounders for 1.94lb, Bob Stanwick with four flounders weighing 1.87lb, and Pat Carroll with three flounders for 1.68lb.
The river Aln continues to attract flounder enthusiasts with double figure bags expected. Stan Parkin and sons Grant and James report a good session taking individual fish to 42cm. Dave Cruddas won a Seaton Sluice match in the Aln with 10 fish weighing 9¾lb and Gary Appleton landed the best at 44cm.
A recent sweepstake event in the Tyne saw a very unusual result with more smelt than flounders landed, 11 smelt were taken in total, a previously very rare species which are now becoming more common. Craig Ogilvie won zone A with 13 fish for 380cm, and Neil Cutler won zone B with 26 for 528cm. Sean Golightly and Neil Cutler tied for the longest fish each with a flounder of 37cm.
Inshore boat fishing continues to improve with boats out of Sunderland and Amble taking good numbers of cod from the hard ground marks. Alan Granton was out by himself in his boat Bonnie Lass from Sunderland and landed cod two at a time on ragworm baited muppets, mostly around the 4lb to 5lb mark with many returned. The Warlord out of Amble has produced bags into low double figures for individual anglers with most fish around the 4lb to 7lb mark; the best was a fish of 8lb 10oz taken by Gordon Bell. Again with conservation in mind many smaller specimens were returned.
If you fancy a try for the summer cod from the Northumberland rock edges the Whitley Bay Summer League starts on Sunday June 12th at Beadnell fishing from 3pm till 7pm. The other matches are on Sunday July 3rd at Newton from 9am till 1pm; Sunday July 24th at Beadnell from 12pm till 4pm; Sunday August 7th at Beadnell from 12pm till 4pm and the last one on Sunday August 14th at Newton from 8am till 12 noon. For Beadnell matches meet at Pattersons Garage and for Newton meet at the car park in Newton one hour prior to each match. Basic entry is a single payment of £10 to enter the league which goes towards the final payout and £10 per match paying out on the day. Note that wrasse are not eligible for the weigh-in. For further details contact Gary on 07957-949557 or Mick on 07739-585464
July 17th sees the Redcar Navy and Gentleman’s S.A.C. Summer Open fishing from 10am till 2.30pm between South Gare to Whitby West Pier; all piers are out of bounds. This is a heaviest fish match and attracts Penn points. Basic entry is £5, register at the Priory Club, Lord Street, Redcar from 8.30am till 9am. Contact Tony Barker on 01642-503049 or 07727-754746 for details.