With continuing settled seas, mackerel remain the most common species to fish for with good numbers taken from all of the region’s piers, beaches and rock marks. The mackerel are starting to take float fished baits where this technique is possible, but elsewhere lures are taking most fish. Again anglers fishing either with float or lure have taken the rare shad and the odd bigger cod, pollack and coalfish.
Cod are starting to move inshore already this year and the coming winter looks to be very promising. Some nice individual fish to 9lb and some fine bags of fish have been reported not only from the more obvious rock marks north of the Tyne but from the Durham beaches and piers and from various marks around Hartlepool when access has been possible avoiding the Tall Ships event. Roker Pier has seen lots of smaller cod around the 1lb mark showing after dark and the lower Tyne and South Shields pier have also seen similar results when the flood water is not running down the river. Some anglers are venturing north of the Firth of Forth into Fife and Angus where the shore sport for the traditional red kelp cod has been very good with mixed bags of cod, pollack, coalfish and wrasse eagerly taking float fished crab baits and lures as well as bottom fished baits.
The Durham beaches are also producing thornback rays for those with the patience to fish for them, specimens to 15lb have been reported recently, and if you fish with two rods the second rod can produce the odd bass, plaice, flounder or dab, and a night time session will certainly produce some quality summer whiting.
Ryhope A.C. fished the Tyne at the Copthorne Hotel and found plenty of quality flounders present. Barry Stowels won zone A with eight for 214cm, Bob Bland had six for 170cm, John Lovett had six for 162cm and Terry Mann had four for 127cm including the longest at 40cm. In zone B Stu Bland had 10 for 314cm, Bill Bell had eight for 252cm, Bob Surtees and Mason Burton tied with six fish each for 230cm. Mason was also the top junior and longest fish was a flounder of 37cm taken by Bill Kenneddy.
The last Tynemouth A.C. Summer League match saw a good mixed weigh in with eight out of sixteen landing fish from Tynemouth Pier. Ken Robinson won with three cod, two flounders and a gurnard weighing 12lb 11oz, including the heaviest fish, a fine fresh run cod of 8lb 5oz. Tony Taylor had a single mackerel, flounder, coalfish and plaice for 3lb 10oz to take second spot ahead of J. Kain who weighed in two mackerel for 2lb 3oz.
The fourth round of the Whitley Bay Summer League fished at Newton also saw some nice cod landed from the kelp beds where Steve Potts won with three cod for 8¼lb, best weighing 3lb 11oz. Second placed Neil Cutler had three fish for 6lb 5oz and Andy Grieff finished third with a two fish bag of 6lb 1oz, the best of which weighed 3½lb. After this match Keith Bathgate heads the leaderboard with a respectable 25lb 2oz, followed by Steve Williams with 22lb 15oz.