Mackerel are well established from all of the Region’s piers now and the bigger tides have seen them being landed from some of the deeper beach marks along the Durham shoreline. At Hartlepool the mackerel have moved well inshore with the Pilot Pier, Banjo Pier and Middleton Pier all producing some big bags. Lots of pollack are also evident this year and all of the piers from Hartlepool to South Shields have seen specimens up to 5lb taking float fished baits presented close in to the pier sides. Coalfish and some nice red summer cod have also been taken this way. The rare shad have also been reported taking small lures and float fished baits. Jamie Northey reports a specimen shad of 2lb from the Pilot Pier.
South Shields Pier and the lower Tyne estuary have been very productive for a variety of species with many double figure mixed bags being taken recently with plaice dominating catches on some tides.
The Northumberland rock edge marks are now on top form for bags of cod, wrasse, coalies, pollack, mackerel, and for those willing to try for them, specimen conger eels into double figures. Fresh crab bait is almost essential for bait fishing in the kelp beds for cod and wrasse, but float fished baits and lures from the deep water marks such as Dunstanburgh Castle will take specimen pollack, coalfish, mackerel, and the odd cod as a bonus.
The last Whitley Bay Summer League match fished at Beadnell saw 13 out of 20 weigh in. The winner, Chris Potts, had six cod for a total of 11lb 6oz while runner-up Paul Foster had four totalling 9lb 5oz, and Steve Williams in third had two for 5lb 10oz. Chris Potts and Geoff King tied for the heaviest fish prize each with a fish of 3lb 7oz. Mick Bell also won a Seaton Sluice A.C. match at Beadnell with three cod weighing 8lb 1oz.
A recent Tynemouth club match saw Dave Sloan win with four coalfish, two cod and a whiting for a 7lb 9oz total taken from the Middens Bar. Dave Hayley was second with four dabs and two flounders weighing 3lb 15oz taken from the pier. A Tynemouth retired members match saw Ken Robinson win with three dabs, a mackerel, a flounder, and another superb summer Tyne cod of 7lb 1oz for a total bag of 10¼lb. Tony Anderson was slightly behind with a mixed bag of plaice, dabs, whiting and mackerel totalling 3lb.
The Region’s rivers have the usual flounder population to fish for but some of the smaller and lesser well known rivers such as the Aln are also very productive. Durham police had a match in the Aln where Ian Ainsley won with nine flounders measuring 196cm, Ian Jackson had six for 176cm, and Mick Dunn had six for 134cm.
The Ryhope club match last Sunday in the Tyne was productive, although not if you where one of the owners of the three cars that got washed away in the floods that brought eels up to 3lb out into the river. Lee Burton won zone A with 15 fish for 427cm, John Bryan had 10 for 348cm, John Lovett had 10 for 331cm, and Bob Hamilton had eight for 274cm. Mark Redpath had the longest at 39cm. In zone B Paul Richardson had 21 fish, mainly eels, for 560cm, Tommy Tate had 15 for 482cm, best 36cm, Bob Surtees had 12 for 392cm, and Alan Burton had 10 for 330cm. Top junior was Jordan Lowes with 10 for 231cm.
The Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake was less eventful with all 23 fishing finding flounders at the Wear Business Park. Dave Mcready won with one of 1lb 5oz, Mason Burton had one of 1¼lb, Wayne Harriman had one of 1lb 3oz and John Lovett had a coalfish of 1lb 2oz.
The autumn and winter season of open matches will be starting soon and some of the early date are now available. The Filey Fishing Festival starts on Saturday September 1st and finishes on Sunday September 9th, more details at www.fileybrigganglingsociety.co.uk If you fancy a boat trip out of Whitby then the Whitby autumn boat festival runs from Saturday September 8th until Sunday September 23rd. September 16th sees the Seaton Sluice open fishing from 8.30am until 12.30pm, and October 13th is the date for the Bedlington Station night time open.