Mackerel made yet another brief appearance from the Region’s piers between periods of onshore winds when the sea was settled enough, with most anglers who caught them taking up to three or four fish, though some anglers report double figure bags from Middleton pier before the rough seas pushed them offshore again.
The whiting are back in force when the sea has picked up, with late evening and night time sessions the most productive. Dave Jones fishing a pleasure session in the Tyne took 35 to well over the 1lb mark on ragworm and mackerel baits.
Several uncommon species have turned up lately. Steve Gibbins Jnr. had a superb and rare specimen turbot of 2lb 2oz taken on lug and mackerel bait from a local Hartlepool mark during a recent session. Dogfish have been showing in increasing numbers over recent years with an unknown angler reported to have taken eight of them from Seaham North pier last week. Plaice, previously almost unheard of several years ago, are now well established as an expected species during the summer months. The Hartlepool piers have produced specimens up to 2lb on ragworm baits, Andy Copeland landed nine of them, plus two big flounders from South Shields pier.
The rivers Tyne and Wear are still productive after lots of recent floodwater and those anglers who have braved the tree trunks and dead sheep floating down the Tyne have been well rewarded. A recent Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake match saw all 28 anglers land fish. Mason Burton won with a flounder of 1lb 13oz, John Lovett had a coalfish of 1lb 3oz, and Jim Dobie and Steve Rackstraw tied for third place on 1lb 2oz. The following Ryhope Sunday match saw 26 anglers fishing the Tyne. Paul Richardson won zone A with 15 fish measuring 382cm, Barrie Stowells had 12 for 239cm, Lee Burton had eight totalling 210cm. Top junior Jordan Lowes had six for a total length of 173cm, and Alan Burton had the longest fish, a flounder of 36cm. In zone B Tommy Tate won 12 for 255cm, Alan March had eight measuring 204cm, Bill Bell had six totalling 200cm, followed by Wayne Harriman with seven for 163cm. The longest fish of 36cm in this section was shared by Wayne and John Lovett. The Ryhope Tuesday sweepstake match last Tuesday suffered due to the slightly wet weather and lots of debris in the Wear. Mick Davison managed a super eel of 2lb 3oz to win ahead of John Lovett with a coalfish of 1lb 7oz.
The Rutherford two day open fished in the Tyne saw Jim Dobie win overall with third place on the first day with nine fish for a total of 187cm, and first place on the second with a whopping 25 fish measuring 615cm. Phil Wright was second overall with a win on day one with eight for 204cm and third on day two with 19 measuring a total of 469cm.
Alberta S.A.C. had yet another good weigh in from the Tyne with flounders, dabs, eels, and whiting weighed in. Eric Bell won with 12 weighing 10lb 14oz, Mark Minchell had nine for 7lb 14oz, and Darren Browne had 13 totalling 7½lb.
Some boats managed to get out last midweek during a break in the onshore winds. The Famous out of Hartlepool had cod in the 8lb to 10lb range, best a 16lb specimen taken by Darren, and a shark was seen following a hooked fish up to the surface. The Sarah JFK out of the Tyne produced a ling of 17lb for Ross Alexander as part of a 50 fish catch of cod many around the 12lb to 15lb mark. Walter Turnbull and Paul Conroy had another good session fishing close in to the rock edges off Burnmouth taking cod to 8lb.