Anglers are now starting to pick up some nice mixed bags even when the sea is flat calm, and some anglers still report the odd mackerel from the piers. Summer species are overlapping with the more traditional winter species of cod and whiting with plaice, pollack, pouting, mackerel and even the odd dogfish all still evident. As with recent years the region can be clearly split up between north of Roker where the majority of the cod have been taken, and south of Seaham where the hordes of whiting are outnumbering all other species and bags of over 20lb are not uncommon. Night time sessions have generally produced the better sport and the rivers Wear and Tyne still have good numbers of flounders, coalfish and whiting showing, though there are a lot of undersize whiting in the rivers at present. The lower Tyne, popular as ever, has also seen bags of over 20lb landed, but here the dominant species are cod, coalfish, and plaice.
Hartlepool Pirates had two recent matches with whiting and dabs featuring in most bags. The first saw Steve Swales win with 24 fish for a total weight of 13lb 9oz, P. Shields had 20 weighing 12lb, J. Watts had 12 for 8lb, S. Shields had 12 totalling 7lb 7oz and Adam Dendrickson had the heaviest fish, a cod of 1lb 7oz. Steve Swales also won the second match with 20 fish weighing in at 11lb 9oz, including the match best of 1lb 1oz. J. Watts had 11 for 6lb 5oz and Bill Bradley had 10 weighing 5lb 1oz.
Hartlepool W.C.S.A.C. also had two recent matches with similar results when Paul Blair made it five wins in a row with a cod and three flattie total of 2lb 7oz, and Paul Howard added a four ounce flattie to the heaviest cod of 1lb 5oz to take second. Paul Blair then added a sixth victory by winning the next match with four cod weighing 4lb, followed by Andy Boagey with 12oz.
Ryhope A.C. had their first winter match last Sunday with 69 fishing. First place went to Bernie Prest with six whiting and two flounders weighing 2.61kg followed by Gareth Gardner in second with two cod and two whiting for 2.56kg. Third placed Wayne Harriman had two cod and a flounder for 1.77kg while Derek Ross had the best flattie of 0.61kg, and the best roundfish was a wrasse of 0.75kg taken by Matt Harley. Darren Tate was top junior with 0.77kg. The previous Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake saw only Ritchie Carr weigh in with a solitary cod of 1lb 11oz. The most recent Tuesday sweepstake saw Steve Rackstraw win with a cod of 1¼lb from Roker followed by Jim Dobie with two flounders of 1lb and 15oz.
The Tyne produced some excellent fishing early last week where Brad Hill won a Tynemouth Sunday league match with 11 cod and a coalie for an excellent bag of 20lb 2oz. Runner-up Doug Spivey had three coalfish and a cod for 5lb 6oz ahead of Daryl Bell on 4lb 11oz. Stand out fish of the day was Steve Elliott’s absolutely superb plaice of 4lb 9oz, definitely the proverbial fish of a lifetime which few anglers can ever hope to beat from the shore.
Stu Ford won a Tynemouth retired members match with five whiting, two coalfish and a plaice weighing 6¼lb, followed by Dave Bentley with five whiting, one flounder and a coalie for 4lb 13oz.
Alberta S.A.C. saw all of their top weights come from the Tyne with 17 out of 21 finding fish. Robert Burton had 18 totalling 10lb 6oz, Dennis Wilkinson had nine for 9lb and Ray Harrison had nine weighing 7lb 13oz. Ray Giblin had the heaviest fish, a nice coalfish of 2lb 5oz.
North of the Tyne the rock edges and beaches are unusually quiet. Steve Surtees only needed three fish for 5¼lb taken at Amble to win a Bedlington Station match and Kevin Moffat won a S.B.R.A.A.C. match with five whiting and three flounders totalling 4lb 10oz from Blyth beach. Gary Wilson won a Whitley Bay match with five whiting and a cod weighing 4lb 13oz.
A Cleadon A.C. match saw most of their fish come from Roker pier, S. Shields pier and the rock edge marks in between. Neil Cutler had five fish weighing 5lb 13oz, I. Kellett had four for 5lb 12oz and S. Gordon had four for 3¾lb.
The Newbiggin open last Sunday saw 80 out of 372 weigh in 68 cod, 38 flounders, 13 coalfish, three whiting and a single plaice for a total weight of 191lb 1oz. Top prize for the heaviest bag went to Ian Thompson with four cod weighing 10lb 10oz taken from Swine Dene. Second placed George Hornsby had a two cod total of 9lb 2oz, including the overall heaviest fish of 7lb 10oz from Marden rocks. Third spot went to S. Taylor with a single cod of 6lb 14oz taken from Cambois. The third placed heaviest fish fell to Dave Crudace, a cod of 5½lb. Mark Crow had the best flatfish of 1lb 3oz, Tyler Haldon was top junior with 11oz and top lady was Brenda Rodmell with three flounders weighing 2lb 3oz.
Sunday October 14th is date for the 45th Seaham Open fishing from 12 noon until 5pm between Hendon Groyne and Dene Holm with some cliff marks out of bounds. Basic entry is £10 plus pools and team events; tickets will be drawn to fish Seaham North pier weather permitting. Register at Seaham clubhouse. Top prizes for the first three heaviest fish are £1000, £300, and £200, plus over £2000 of prizes on the table.
Sunday October 28th sees the South Shields Open fishing from 11am until 4pm. Basic entry is £10 plus pools and team events, register at the New Crown Hotel, Coast Road, South Shields from 8am until 10.30am. First prize for the heaviest fish is £600, heaviest bag £300, heaviest flatfish £50, top lady £50, top junior £25 plus tackle, and a prize table of over £2000. Selected local tackle shops will sell tickets prior to fishing.