Plenty of flounders are now showing in the local rivers with specimens to 2lb reported from the upriver marks. The lower river marks in the Tyne and Wear also have flounders showing, along with coalfish and cod to 2lb or more, and in the lower Tyne plaice and several dogfish have been reported. Fresh crab has taken the cod and coalfish but worm baits will still take the flounders and plaice. The Hartlepool piers have seen a few sizable cod landed and a number of dogfish have been reported from here also. Whiting continue to be taken after dark and dabs are present in large numbers. The Durham beaches are generally quiet with just the odd flounders, dabs and plaice showing, though some tides have produced the occasional cod from the low water marks.
Hartlepool Pirates had a match in the Tyne at the Copthorne Hotel which saw a few fish over the 20cm limit landed despite the flood water in the river. Steve Swales had three fish for a total length of 84cm, Adam Dendrickson had the longest fish; a nice flounder of 39cm, and P. Shields had one of 30cm.
Shaun Golightly won a Reelsport match at the Copthorne with 10 measuring 178cm in total and Brian Ridley had the best fish of 37cm. Chris Stringer won a sweepstake further upriver at British Airways with an excellent bag of 29 fish for 505cm and Ken McCoy had the longest fish of 38cm.
The last Tynemouth A.C. match on the pier saw few fish showing, Glen Campbell only needed two flatties totalling 1lb 5oz to win ahead of Mick Styles whose dab and whiting weighed 1lb 2oz.
Alberta S.A.C. had a good result with 20 out of the 33 entrants weighing in during their recent match. The winner, Ian Hodgkinson, had seven for a total weight of 7¼lb, the best weighing 3lb 2oz, from the Tyne. Keiran Watt finished second with four fish weighing 3¼lb, and Mick Dellin and Brian Ridley tied for third, each with four fish for 3lb 3oz.
A slight break in the continuous onshore winds and winter conditions allowed a few boats to get out at last, when some decent bags of cod, ling and pollack have been taken. No mackerel have been reported as yet. The TJ Gannett was fishing out of Hartlepool and saw Lee Skinner take 10 cod to 7lb, Ryan Booth had similar sized fish, Paul Skinner and Dave Booth both had cod to 6lb. The Wallsend Rising Sun A.C had a good day out on Guide Me from Amble taking quality cod, pollack, and coalies, with over 70 cod landed, most of which were returned. The Sarah JFK out of the Tyne saw their best trip produce 70 fish into double figures. Peter Dunleavy had a ling of 15lb and a pollack of 13lb, Russell Hudson and Ronnie Jackson both had ling of 11lb. Their best cod was 8lb, and most were averaging round 4lb to 6lb.
Sunday June 12th sees the Olympic Torch Open Shore Angling competition fished between Seahouses pier to Lynemouth Pipe. Fishing is from 12 noon until 5pm and registration takes place at the Amble Angling Centre from 9.30am with the weigh-in at the Radcliffe Club Amble. Basic entry is £12 for seniors, juniors are free if accompanied by a paying adult and will have their own separate prize table. This is a 100% cash payout match. First prize goes to the heaviest fish then on descending total bag weight. One cash prize per angler only. Trophies donated by Amble Town Council will be awarded to the following- heaviest fish, heaviest bag, lady winner, junior winner, over 65 winner, disabled winner. Maximum three hooks can be used. Cart bait or bait that includes uncooked edible crab is banned (as per current legislation) and wrasse are not to be weighed in. For conservation, all flatfish must be presented to the scales in a bucket of water (preferably with aerator attached). Any flatfish that are presented in plastic bags will not be accepted and the angler will be disqualified. The size limit is 27cm for flounders and dabs, and 35cm for turbot. Buckets can be collected from the Amble Angling Centre on the morning. This is a Penn points match. Contact Ken Middlemist 01665 830619 / 07594 545535, Tony Cook 01665 602034 / 07928 570012, or Jim French 01665 711007