Northern Bites – 25-04-2011

by Steve Walker

Shore angling from the open beaches is still relatively slow. However increasing numbers of sizeable plaice, dabs, flounders and the odd bonus bass are falling to the angler’s baits while battling off many smaller fish in addition to, in clean water conditions, the inevitable hordes of hungry crabs. The rivers are fishing much better with decent codling and coalfish in the Tyne together with plaice in the lower river, and some nice big specimen flounders in the river Wear if the bait robbing coalies can be avoided.

A recent Eastenders sweepstake fished at the Student Accommodation in the Wear saw Ritchie Carr win with 18 fish for 490cm, followed by Jim Dobie with 10 for 223cm and Chris Hossack with six for 144cm. The Eastenders rover match on Sunday saw four out of 16 land six cod and five flounders, mostly from the Tyne where Steve Chapman landed a single cod of 2lb 5oz to win ahead of Steve Williams who took the next two places with cod of 1lb 10oz and 1¼lb.

Sunderland S.A.A. saw four weighing in during their last match which was won by Steve Conlin with a superb flounder of 2lb 2oz with Gary Conlin taking runner-up spot with one of 1lb exactly.

Tynemouth A.C. retired members fished last week and nine out of 17 weighed in mixed bags of plaice, dabs and flounders. Ken Robinson won with three plaice and a single flounder weighing 3¼lb while second placed Neil Garner had two plaice and one flounder for 2lb 1oz. Third place went to Dave Hayley with two plaice and a dab weighing 1lb 10oz.

Seaham A.C. fished for the Wilkinson Cup on Sunday with 12 out of 46 members weighing in six flounders, six plaice and two coalfish weighing 8.87lb. George Curry won with a single fish of 1.44lb ahead of Mick Gray who had two weighing 1.20lb. Shirley Newton took third place with a fish of 1.02lb, followed by Dean Ambler whose two fish weighed in at 0.96lb. The previous day those anglers lure fishing for sandeels for bait on the North Pier had coalfish up to 2lb; Kenneth Newton landing six of the bigger specimens.

South of the Tees shore sport is reliant upon the ever present flounders from the clean ground beaches, though there continue to be reports of small thornback rays being taken from various locations. The last St. Mary’s A.C. match saw eight out of 15 weigh in a catch of mainly flounders. Top rod was Chris Wood with three weighing 1lb 9oz, ahead of Andy Burton with three for 1lb 6oz and Phil Smith with two for 1lb 2oz.

Looking slightly further ahead there are several summer opens arranged for later in the season. July 31st sees the popular Bedlington Station Summer Open with fishing from 9am till 1pm between Tynemouth Pier to Pattersons 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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