Odd mackerel continue to show from several of the region’s piers with some reports suggesting unconfirmed double figure bags, but generally, it will be a few weeks yet before anyone can expect to fill the bait freezers with any confidence. The Evelyn Jane out of Hartlepool, back in the water after maintenance, had a trip out to the east off from Boulby and took good numbers of cod and ling to 10lb. Skipper Jason reports huge shoals of mackerel around the four to five mile range, and as long as settled weather continues it won’t be long before the main shoals move inshore, which seems to happen earlier each year.
Hartlepool Pirates had their first summer league match fishing a 20cm catch and release method which saw four weigh in. Bill Bradley won with two flounders and one whiting weighing 1lb 3oz while second placed A. Dendrickson had two flounders for 15oz. Dave Robinson had a single flounder of 12oz in third and Steve Swales’ half-pounder saw him take fourth. Next match is an away trip to Maryport on Saturday May 28th. Next meeting is Thursday May 26th in the Stranton Social Club at 7.30pm at which new members are welcome.
Ryhope A.C. fished a match at the Copthorne Hotel in the Tyne and found sizeable fish hard to locate in very cold conditions. Several anglers report that both the Wear and Tyne that the water temperature in the rivers has dropped and that this has delayed any crabs from peeling to encourage the bigger fish to feed. Nevertheless, Bob Surtees won zone A with 11 fish measuring 250cm, followed by Stu Bland with nine for 223cm, Lee Burton with seven for 155cm and Bob Bland with seven for 154cm. Best fish was a nice flounder of 41cm taken by Charles Irish. In zone B John Bryan won with eight for 166cm, Steve Grahame and Alan Burton tied with six fish measuring 136cm, followed by Kevin Robinson with five for 135cm. Alan Burton had the longest fish with a flounder of 42cm, and top junior was Dominic Mould with five for 97cm.
Sizeable coalfish are starting to show from South Shields pier where Billy Buckham won a local match with five fish weighing 4lb 11oz, including a coalie of 1lb 2oz, and one of those early mackerel which took peeler crab bait whilst reeling in.
Looking slightly further ahead there are several summer opens arranged for later this year. July 31st sees the Bedlington Station Summer Open fishing from 9am till 1pm between Tynemouth Pier to Pattersons Garage at Beadnell. Main prizes are £200 for the heaviest bag, £100 for the heaviest fish and £50 for the best flatfish, plus a £500 prize table. Register at the General Havelock East Sleekburn from 7am to 7.45am. Contact Steve on 07888 674873 for details.