Northern Bites – 20-05-2014

by Steve Walker

The river Tyne is fishing very well now with large numbers of quality flounders showing all along the river down to the promenades at South Shields and the Middens. Crab is now taking the better fish plus a few bonus sizeable coalfish and codling and some of the better fish are being taken at very short range. Worm baits, mackerel and squid have all taken fish but they are mostly on the small side, nevertheless there is plenty of sport to be had regardless of the baits you use. The river Wear also has flounders showing from the upriver marks but the lower river is full of crabs attacking worm baits so fresh crab is definitely the bait to use here. Local angler Steve Graham took a monster flounder of 48cm from the Vinegar Wells during a recent session.

The Fishermans Locker sweepstake at the White Wall saw Andy Rutherford win with six fish for a total length of 163cm ahead of Joe Gibson with four measuring 96cm, Steve Rackstraw had the longest fish with a coalfish of 34cm. The Blenny Hill Open on Saturday saw Paul Edwards win with two fish measuring 72cm, with the best at 47cm, followed by Steve Rackstraw with two for 63cm.  A recent Ryhope heaviest fish match at Claxheugh in the Wear saw all 24 anglers land fish. Lee Burton won with a flounder of 1½lb, Dave McReady had one of 1lb 7oz, and Sharon Stanlick a flounder of 1lb 5oz.

A SAMF versus Scotland match in the Tyne saw SAMF win with 59 points to Scotland’s 106 (lowest score wins). Bill Buckley (Scotland) won his zone with 15 fish for 317cm, Chris Stringer (SAMF) had 29 fish for 625cm, and A. Dawkins (SAMF) had 22 fish for 494cm.

As the water has cleaned up and conditions have settled down, the plaice have started to show in greater numbers all along the local shoreline. The more productive areas at Roker and South Shields have seen the best results but odd fish have been reported from the Hartlepool piers and Durham beaches. Bob Gascoigne won a Tynemouth retired members match in the lower Tyne with a mixed bag of plaice, dabs, flounders and cod for a total weight of 7lb 14oz, ahead of Doug Spivey whose single cod weighed 3lb. South Shields pier often produces cod on early morning tides at this time of the year, John Hepton had one of 4½lb during a recent session with other anglers taking cod to 5lb.

In the clear water conditions cod, pollack, coalfish and wrasse are starting to show from the Northumberland rock edge marks anywhere between Amble and St. Abbs. Fresh crab is needed for the cod but the pollack and coalfish will take lures, as will mackerel when they arrive. Nicky Robson won an East End match at Newton with five cod totalling 11lb 10oz, including one of 3lb 6oz, followed by Patrick Farrier with five for 9lb taken at Eyemouth, and Darren Gains with four totalling 8¼lb from Newton.

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