Masses of mackerel continue to be present from all of the Region’s piers and deep water rock edge marks with good numbers of pollack, and coalfish among them from the rough ground areas. Cod, herring and shad have all made an appearance taking both float fished baits and lures. Roker pier has seen huge catches on some tides, and all of the Hartlepool piers have seen big bags of mackerel and the odd specimen shad landed. Float fishing with ragworm down the pier sides and from rock edge marks has produced good numbers of smaller pollack as well as coalfish and cod.
The clean water conditions have produced some fine sport for flatfish from the clean ground beaches and pier marks where fresh mackerel baits have taken the elusive turbot in increasing numbers. Worm baits have produced specimen plaice, flounders, and dabs and when there has been a bit of a surf running the odd bonus bass have made an appearance. At the well known flattie hotspot of Druridge Bay, Peter Hewison took 40 flounders and four turbot during a recent session in flat calm conditions. Mick Hudson had a plaice of 2.16lb in a recent Seaham A.C. match.
There are plenty of fish in all of the rivers where flounders tend to dominate, though some tides have produced a lot of eels from the upper river marks, and coalies from the lower river marks. Chris Stringer won a sweepstake in the Wear with 10 fish for a total; length of 358cm. The river Aln is becoming a popular flounder venue and is certainly a more relaxing and scenic venue than either the Wear or Tyne. A recent Seaton Sluice A.C. match saw 84 flounders totalling 57lb weighed and released. Bryan Clennel won with 24 weighing 16lb 14oz, Neil Lindsey had 14 for 10¼lb, and Mick Bell 14 totalling 9lb 1oz.
A Tynemouth retired members match in the Tyne saw 14 out of 20 weigh in. Doug Spivey celebrated his 79th birthday with a nice bag of cod and coalfish weighing 10lb, including a cod of 4lb 10oz and a coalfish of 2¾lb. Bob Gascoigne had a mixed bag of flounder, dabs, plaice, whiting, and coalfish for a total of 6¼lb, and Bob Blackhall had a bag of mackerel, coalfish, and whiting for 4lb 9oz.
The Northumberland rock edges have some nice summer cod present as well as pollack, coalfish and wrasse. Fresh crab baits are producing over the kelp beds at Beadnell where Chris Potts took six for a total bag of 11lb 6lb, Paul Forster had four for 9lb 5oz and Mick Bell took three weighing 8lb 1oz in club matches. Tynemouth A.C. saw slightly disappointing results at Eyemouth where Paul Forster won with two cod and a pollack totalling 6lb, followed by Dave Hayley with two cod weighing 3lb 14oz. Steve Harper’s cod of 3½lb was the heaviest fish of the event.
Boat anglers are having some productive trips and some big cod and ling are starting to show now with specimens of both species to over 20lb reported. Best cod so far was a monster of 31lb 5oz taken on the first drift of the day by Paul Bainbridge on the Sarah JFK fishing off the Tyne. Paul also had ling to 18lb, and then on another trip had 16 fish to 12lb, the biggest on this day was a ling of 20lb taken by George Richardson.