Mackerel were just making a reappearance from the Hartlepool piers early last week after a short absence with Middleton and the Pilot pier both producing double figure bags. Local angler Kenny Gooding reports having great sport taking a bag of 20 fish on float tackle on Monday evening. Unfortunately the inevitable happened when the heaviest sea since last October arrived and wiped everything out leaving the piers and beaches all unfishable. Lots of washed out summer weed growth will probably be around for a few days after the sea dies down and will continue to make things difficult. Meanwhile the best bet is to go and fish the local rivers where sport with flounders, eels, coalfish, and whiting is at its best. Hopefully the heavy sea will bring a few cod inshore; the sport was just starting to pick up before the blast. When Roker pier was still accessible, Keith Johnson took 20 smaller sized cod on fresh crab from the first gate.
An Eastenders longest fish sweepstake on Wednesday saw all 20 anglers land fish at Panns Bank in the Wear with 39 coalfish, 24 flounders, two blennies and a single whiting being landed. Dave McReady won with a flounder of 38cm, then there was a four way tie with Ernie Hunter, Jim Dobie, Lee Burton, and Billy Bell all on 37cm. Best total catch was Jim Dobie with eight fish measuring 254cm.
The Eastenders Saturday Open at the Golden Lion saw 14 weigh in 32 flounders, 15 eels, and one coalfish. Ernie Hunter had the heaviest fish, a flounder of 1lb 3oz and also tied for second place with Bill Jackson both with flounders of a pound.
Another Eastenders match on Sunday at the Golden Lion saw Chris Hossack win with four fish for 4lb 10oz, best was a flounder of 1lb 13oz. Runner-up Paul Hossack had four weighing 2lb 11oz, and Ernie Hunter had three for 2½lb to take third.
In the Tyne Tony Rutherford fished the Walkway taking coalies of around 2lb every cast. Tony Taylor won a Tynemouth retired members match with two coalfish, two flounders, two plaice, best weighing 2½lb, and a single gurnard for a total weight of 7lb. Bob Blackhall took the heaviest fish prize with a pollack of 2lb 10oz.
The river Aln also has lots of flounders showing, Dave Cruddas won a Seaton Sluice match with 24 weighing a total of 18¼lb
Seaham A.C. fished for the Richardson Cup on Sunday with 21 out of 30 weighing in 31 mackerel, 15 flounders, three plaice, and three dogfish for a total of 46.61lb. All of the fish were taken from the North Pier where Michael Hudson won with four fish weighing 3.87lb. Geordie Heron had three for 3.32lb to take second ahead of David Heron with four weighing 3.17lb. John Prentice lifted the heaviest fish prize with a dogfish of 2.31lb. Prior to this match Dean Redden and a friend fished North Pier and landed 50 fish between them, returning most of the flounders, plaice, dabs, herring, mackerel, whiting, and good sized coalfish that they encountered.
The Amble Summer Open last Sunday saw 25 out of 75 anglers weigh in 58 fish weighing a massive 137lb 14oz. Jimmy Dunn had a good session at Beadnell to win with five cod totalling 13lb 3oz, followed by Colin Bell with three weighing 11lb 1oz. Third place went to Chris Potts with six for 10lb 3oz, and M. Garbutt took fourth with five fish weighing for 10lb 1oz. Paul Buddles had the heaviest fish of 5lb 10oz, Jim Dunn had one of 5lb 1oz, and Colin Bell one of 4½lb. Tony Cook had the best flattie, a fish of 13oz followed by Norma Urwin with one of 11oz.