Shore angling is still comparatively slow with calm conditions and clear water keeping most decent specimens of any species well out of reach of the shore angler. The only glimmer of hope is that early plaice, which favour these settled conditions, are starting to move inshore, and fish have been reported from most of the clean ground marks around the N.E. shoreline. Best tactics for the red spots has been ragworm fished on long traces with attractor beads or sequins added for effect, and there is also the chance of picking up a bonus sizeable flounder or smaller bass.
Phil Spratt and his son Connor fished a mark north of the Tyne where they took ten plaice to 2½lb and similar sized plaice are being reported from Blyth and South Shields piers. There is nothing much showing from the rock edges or low water marks and cod might as well be extinct from the open shoreline. The river Tyne however, does have some codling present; Darren Brown landed 10 to 3½lb during two consecutive night sessions. The father and son duo Andy and Thomas Rutherford had some success in the Tyne taking several codling and coalies to 1lb 10oz from well upriver at the Copthorne Hotel.
Some whiting have shown after dark from the beaches and anglers are now trying for thornback ray using big crab or mackerel baits but none have yet to be reported from north of the Tees. Smaller rays have however been taken from Saltburn pier and are increasing in number the further south one travels towards Holderness, an area know to hold good numbers of the roker.
Anglers are now travelling further afield to find flounders in Cumbria and crossing the border to target the dogfish packs along the Dumfries and Galloway shoreline.
As always local club results can give you a good indication of what can be expected from the shore marks. Rob Lees only needed a 10oz coalfish to win a recent South Shields A.C. match, and a single 14oz flounder was enough for Wilf Reed to win a Tynemouth A.C. match. Jason French had greater success during an Amble A.C. match, winning with five flounders weighing 3¾lb, the best of which made 1lb 2oz, taken from the river Aln.
Hartlepool Pirates had a recent match in the lower Tyne which failed to produce any sizeable fish as the area was invaded by small coalfish and codling. The club’s next match is on Friday April 29th from 7pm till midnight. Their next meeting is on April 28th in the Stranton Club at 7.30pm.
Some bigger flounders are now starting to move into the Wear looking for fresh crab baits, though the best fish reported from here was a fine bass of 4lb taken by Barry Robson which won him the Eastenders match at the Student Accommodation.
The summer cod population is starting to move closer to shore north of the Tyne. Boats out of Amble report taking numerous fish around the 4lb to 8lb mark from the inshore hard ground marks. Richard Roll, David Tunstall and Graham Napier fishing on the Stingray out of the Tyne took plenty of cod around the 3lb to 4lb mark plus lots of coalfish, pouting, a surprise herring and several smaller ling.