Shore sport is now very quiet; with the exception of the odd sizeable cod from the rock edges and some coalfish in the Tyne, most anglers are relying on the ever present flounders and dabs for a bit of sport with plenty of smaller flats showing from the piers and clean ground beaches. The odd specimen flounder to 2lb have been reported, but most are around the 1lb mark or under. The small bass and early plaice have shown from some beaches and some whiting are evident after dark. Until a northerly wind stirs the sea up again it’s time for small hooks and light gear to make the most of a session.
With few cod showing from north of the Tyne flounders are the target for club matches. A recent Amble sweepstake fished in the river Aln only produced four of them but Eddie Ide managed a nice specimen of 1lb 11oz to win the event. The last Seaton Sluice match produced a few cod and Chris Guthrie had one of 3lb 3oz to take top spot lb followed by M. Burke and D. Hood who had fish of 1lb 10oz and 1lb 5oz respectively.
The Ryhope club match on Sunday saw four out of seventy-seven weigh in. First placed John Lovett had a rare cod of 1025 grams from South Shields pier while runner-up Kevin Cassidy landed a flounder of 525 grams from South Shield beach. John Bryn had a flounder of 310 grams from Hendon to take third and Kevin Martin finished fourth had a flounder of 195 grams from the Falls.
The Tynemouth retired members match saw one of the better results with coalfish showing on the day from Tynemouth pier. Tony Taylor weighed-in seven for 6lb 10oz to finish first ahead of Neil Garner landed four coalfish, best 1lb 7oz, plus a flounder, for 5lb 2oz and Dave Bentley who had four coalies for 3lb 10oz in third.
The Grey’s Open fished at Seaham last week had an excellent run out. Unfortunately only eleven out of one hundred and six anglers managed to find fish. Andy Softly fished the Chemical beach and cleaned up with a single cod of 3.76lb taking the £500 first prize for heaviest fish, the heaviest bag and with partner Alan Price also won the team event. Miss Katie Peel finished second with a cod of 2.12lb taken from the Blast beach winning £300 and Paul Hodgeson was third with a cod of 2.09lb from the Green Wall.
With shore sport being unproductive Eastenders A.C. had a measure and release match in the Wear at Panns Bank where there are at least a few smaller fish present. Jim Dobie won with fourteen for 284cm ahead of Darren Welsh with seven for 146cm and Paul Howard only needed a specimen of 23cm to claim the longest fish.
South of the Tees shore sport is almost non-existent and if it were not for the humble flounder and rockling one would think that there were no longer any fish in the sea, but anglers can only fish for what is available. The last St. Mary’s club match saw Martin Rivett win with a flounder of 11oz taken from Whitby harbour to win the vent. Second placed John Fairbridge had three rockling for 9oz just ahead of John Hannan who had two rockling for 8oz.
There are a couple of Penn points sweepstake matches on the Tyne in the near future, the first is on Saturday April 10th fishing from 10am till 2pm at the Copthorne Hotel, contact Steve Potts on 07767-473120 for details. The second is on Saturday May 1st fishing from 1pm till 5pm at the same venue, contact Gav Owen on 07974-130205 for details of this one. Both matches are a 20cm limit measure and release, entry to each is £10 with a 100 percent payout, register at the venue one hour before fishing.
The Rutherfords Seaham Good Friday Open is on Friday April 2nd fishing from 1pm till 6pm between Hendon Groyne (excluded), to Hawthorne Hive. Seaham North pier will have one hundred pegs available, weather permitting. Basic entry is £12 all classes plus optional pools and team events. Top prizes for the first three heaviest fish are £500, £300, and £200. There is a supporting prize table of £2000 based on heaviest bag. Register at the Seaham clubhouse from 10.30 to 12.30, weigh in at the same venue from 6.15 to 7.15.