Northern Bites – 17-04-2013

by Steve Walker

With slightly milder weather and more settled conditions shore sport is starting to improve with a few more summer species starting to show. Plaice in particular have moved inshore and although most of these early fish are thin after spawning specimens to 2½lb have been reported from the lower Tyne, South Shields pier and some of the clean ground marks where ragworm has been the best bait. Once the water clears up and we get some big tides coupled with warmer seas, plaice should appear in better numbers. Note that Roker pier remains closed due to storm damage, but South Shields pier is now open after repairs to storm damage.

a flounder close up
The local rivers continue to be the best bet for a bit of sport with plenty of small flounders and coalfish in the Wear, and flounders and codling in the Tyne. Both rivers have produced flounders to over 2lb among the smaller ones. The crabs have yet to peel in any numbers and worm and mackerel baits continue to produce most of the fish in the rivers. The bigger flounders seem to be in the upper Tyne and in the lower Wear from Southwick down to the Glass Centre. The Ryhope Tuesday evening match in the Wear was not as productive as expected with Chris Hossack the only angler to weigh in with a flounder of 15oz. A sweepstake match at the Timber beach in the Wear saw Gareth Gardner win with five flounders for 178cm. North of the Tyne a sweepstake in the river Aln saw only six fish brought to the scales. Adam Watts had three flounders for 92cm, best 38cm, and Callan Stevens had three for 85cm.

Over on the West coast the popular flounder marks in the Solway continue to produce specimen flounders in bags of over 20 fish. Further West towards Kirkudbright, Isle of Whithorn and the Mull, shore sport is reported to be poor by those who have made the effort to fish here with only the odd dogfish and small pollack present.

With few decent size fish showing along the local beaches those 30 anglers who fished the Seaham Geordies open on Sunday struggled a bit. Mick Davison only needed a flounder of 1.11lb to win ahead of Geordie Hope with one of 1.04lb, and Lee Burton with a coalfish of 0.79lb.

Hartlepool Pirates travelled to the Wear for their last match and at least managed to find a few flounders there on the day. Dave Robinson only needed two for at total of 1lb 3oz to win, followed by S. Greenup with one of 5oz.

The Senhouse open saw 111 anglers fishing mainly for flounders along the Cumbrian shoreline. C. Horn took the top prize for the heaviest fish with a plaice of 1lb 13oz and Mark Scott in second had a flounder of 1½lb. Brian Holliday had the heaviest bag with six fish weighing 6lb 1oz while runner-up Stan Ennis weighed in seven for 5lb 14oz. Dean Bell was top junior with a plaice of 15oz.

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