Northern Bites – 22-03-2011

by Steve Walker

The shore fishing has seen a slight improvement with the odd smaller cod moving inshore onto the beaches last week when Horden beach produced bags of up to six sizeable codling. Roker Pier has also produced better results with smaller codling and coalfish now showing. Coalies are also starting to move into the rivers Wear and Tyne where fresh or frozen crab baits have taken the cod and coalfish while worm baits continue to produce flounders from all of the upper river marks. South Shields Pier and Roker Pier have also seen the first of the summer plaice starting to arrive with odd fish around the 1lb mark reported. Stu Carr had one of the better sessions reported taking several size flounders from Roker Pier followed by cod of 2lb and 6½lb, then loosing a bigger fish at the base of the pier. Colin Todd had codling to 2lb together with several size coalfish and flounders during a midweek session on Roker. John Sanderson fished South Shields Pier and had cod of 2lb 13oz and 2lb 8oz plus a superb specimen pouting of 2lb. Across the river Tynemouth Pier has also produced some nice mixed bags where Tony Taylor won a recent Tynemouth match with four coalfish and a single flounder weighing 4lb 9oz. During settled conditions the various clean ground Durham beaches, and the piers at Hartlepool have seen large numbers of undersize flounders and dabs showing which bodes well for future flattie fishing.

The Sunderland based Eastenders club had four recent matches and the increase in coalfish numbers and lack of size flounders in the rivers was evident during the outings. The first sweepstake on Wednesday evening saw just four out of the 14 members weigh in four cod and two flounders when Chris Hossack landed cod of 3lb and 2½lb from Roker Pier to take first and second place, followed by Ernie Hunter in third with one of 2¼lb from the Wear and Richie Greenhalgh who landed a 13oz flounder from South Shields Pier. Another sweepstake on the Friday evening saw just one angler weigh in when David Steel had a flounder and blenny from Panns Bank weighing 1lb 13oz. Another match on Sunday saw six out of 22 weigh in eight coalies, two blennies and a single flounder. Chris Hossack finished top again when he landed four coalies weighing 3lb from South Shields Pier. Second spot went to Jim Dobie with three coalfish for 2lb 10oz from Lambton. The final match saw four out of 18 find fish; Ernie Hunter only needed a single flounder weighing 1lb 1oz from the Wear to win ahead of Ian Ainsley whose coalie of one pound exactly came from South Shields Pier.

The last Ryhope match saw nine out of 82 weigh in 10 flounders and two coalfish mainly from the Wear. John Lovett won with his two flounders weighing 0.56kg ahead of John Bryan who had two weighing 0.53kg. Tom Rathbone had a single flounder which was the best flatfish at 0.42kg while Barrie Stowells had the best round fish, a coalfish of 0.4kg. Top junior was Matthew Winn with two flounders for 0.36kg.

Looking slightly further ahead there are several summer opens arranged for later in the year. July 31st sees the Bedlington Station Summer Open fishing from 9am till 1pm between Tynemouth Pier and Patterson’s 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.

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