Northern Bites – 13-08-2014

by Steve Walker

Mackerel have been in short supply with the recent small tides slowing sport down a little, though most of the Hartlepool piers have produced at least a few fish for some anglers on most tides. Float fishing has seen whiting, coalfish, pollack and the odd small cod all taking mackerel strip baits. Bait fishing has been poor with even the normally reliable dabs not showing in any numbers, the odd size flounders have been taken in daylight hours and whiting continue to be taken after dark. This week’s big tides should make a big difference, but with very windy conditions forecast, fishing the piers might be a bit of a challenge.

The Region’s rivers can always provide a bit of shelter and you do not always need fresh crab bait to get amongst the fish. Worm baits tipped with mackerel will always produce plenty of sport though a lot of fish may be on the small side. The Wear has a lot of undersize fish showing at present with lots of small flounder resident all along the tidal river marks and well upriver towards the rarely fished waters at Washington and Chester Le Street. A recent Ryhope sweepstake saw 12 anglers weigh in 27 flounders. Lee Burton had the best of 1lb 5oz, followed by Alan Burton who took the next two places with 1lb 3oz, and 1lb 2oz. The Fishermans Locker sweepstake at the Glass Centre saw Steve Rackstraw win with nine fish measuring 195cm, and the Blenny Hill Open on Friday saw Jim Dobie win with five for 151cm, the best measuring 36cm.

cod head close up

Bags of multiple species dominate the lower Tyne marks. Daryl Bell had three cod weighing 7¾lb, including the best of 3¾lb to win a Tynemouth Sunday match ahead of Paul Foster with two totalling 7lb, and Tom Sawyer with nine flounders for 6lb 1oz. Plaice seem to be in short supply again with just the odd specimens reported, those anglers using fresh crab baits have taken cod up to 5lb but most are much smaller, averaging around the 1lb to 2lb mark with lots of undersize fish among them.

Some anglers continue to take decent bags of summer cod from the kelp beds north of the Tyne where a lot of undersize cod are now starting to appear. Garry Appleton won the last Whitley Bay summer league match at Howick with four cod for 9lb 8oz, Mick Clark had four for a total of 8lb 13oz, and Dave Milne had three weighing 5lb 9oz. Peter Smith won a Blyth match at Beadnell with two totalling 5lb 1oz, Lee Rutherford had the best at 3lb 7oz. Dave Delaney had four for 10lb 10oz, including the best of 4½lb to win a Seaton Sluice match.

Looking slightly further ahead to the winter season of open matches the Seaton Sluice Open is on Sunday September 14th with fishing from 11.30am until 3.30pm between Tynemouth pier to Seahouses South pier. Register at the Bank House Social Club Newbiggin on the day. Basic entry is £13 for adults and £3 for juniors. First prize is £500 for the heaviest bag, £100 and £50 for the top two heaviest roundfish, and £50 for the best flatfish.

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