Northern Bites – 14-07-2014

by Steve Walker

The recent heavy seas may have scattered the mackerel for a while, but the lower Tyne and associated piers continue to produce some big mixed species bags for those anglers bait fishing with either crab or worm baits. There are so many mackerel off South Shields pier that tipping any bottom fished bait with mackerel strip, even in rough conditions, has produced the summer visitors. A Tynemouth retired member’s match saw Tony Anderson win with five dabs, three mackerel, two plaice, two flounders and a codling for a total of 10¾lb. Ian Galbraith fished further upriver to land 11 flounders weighing 7lb 14oz, followed by Phil Smithson with five dabs, two flounders, a plaice, and a cod, totalling 7¼lb, his lone cod was also the heaviest fish weighing 2lb 13oz. An East End match saw Bob Maughan win with seven flounders weighing 6½lb, Dave Delaney had a cod and a pollack for 2¼lb, and Shaun Robson had the heaviest fish, a nice plaice of 1lb 13oz.

The Durham beaches are relatively quiet, producing small flatties during daylight hours with whiting and the odd dogfish showing after dark. At Hartlepool there are lots of small dabs, flounders, coalfish and undersize codling taking bottom fished baits. When the water cleans up the mackerel should move back inshore in large numbers with the big tides of this week being a bonus.

cod head close up

A recent Whitley Bay summer league match, fished in ideal settled conditions, saw the Northumberland rock marks at their best with the top six out of the 24 fishing all land double figure bags from the Beadnell and Seahouses area. Steve Williams won with seven cod for 20lb 2oz, Garry Appleton had five for a total of 16lb 14oz, Chris Hossack had three weighing 13lb 2oz, including the best of 7lb 6oz, Ian Hall had four for 13lb 6oz, and Chris Potts had five totalling 11lb 4oz.

Further north, the many rock edge marks around Eyemouth and St. Abbs have produced lots of mackerel, pollack up to 7lb, cod and coalfish. Those travelling over to Kirkudbright and further west to the Mull of Galloway are enjoying good sport with mackerel again present in big numbers, as well as pollack, wrasse, coalfish, conger eel, dogfish and, for the specialist, the occasional tope and bass. Those travelling south to the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire coast have taken cod, bass, rays, and smoothhound up to 25lb on crab baits, this has been a very productive year so far for smoothhound with some anglers landing ten or more fish a session.

If you are unable to travel then the rivers Wear and Tyne have many species present in large numbers with the inevitable flounders often dominating with specimens to 2lb or more present in all of the Region’s rivers. The Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake saw 12 weigh in 16 flounders, two eels, two cod and a single coalfish, all of which were returned alive. Paul Hossack won with an eel of 1¼lb, followed by Mick Davison with a flounder of 1lb.

The Fishermans Locker sweepstake in the Wear the following evening saw Dave Mould win with five fish measuring 119cm, Mick Bell had four for 114cm, and Dave McCready had the best fish, a flounder of 40cm. On Saturday Mick Davison won the Blenny Hill Open with three fish for 88cm ahead of Jack Clark with two measuring 58cm.

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