Mackerel are still showing from most of the Region’s piers when conditions are settled while cod are starting to show north of the Tyne but are scarce elsewhere. Anglers bait fishing have been taking whiting after dark, and various mixed bags from the rivers, with flounders and coalfish dominating most catches. The Hartlepool piers and Durham beaches have seen the best of the whiting catches, though Roker pier continues to produce large numbers on late evening and night time tides.
During daylight hours Roker pier, South Shields pier, and the river Tyne has seen some double figure mixed bags of whiting, flounders, coalies and the occasional cod, with pollack being taken in ever increasing numbers. Chris Hossack won a recent Seaham Badger match with a cod of 4.93lb, and several small spotted rays have been reported recently from South Shields pier.
The better cod are starting to show north of the Tyne. Graham Sidney won a Bedlington Station match with three cod for a total weight of 13lb 14oz from the Doctors House which included a nice early season double figure specimen cod of 10lb 13oz, easily beating Scott Davidson whose two weighed 3¼lb. A Whitley Bay match was less successful with large numbers of undersize coalfish, rockling and eels showing on the night; only Gary Wilson weighed in with a single coalie of 1lb 1oz from Collywell Bay. Plenty of mixed bags were taken in the last Tynemouth retired members match with winner Dave Scrimageur landing three whiting, a monster coalfish of 3lb 1oz and a dab totalling 4¾lb, ahead of Steve Elliott with a similar bag content weighing 3½lb, and John Pearson with 2lb 15oz.
Cleadon A.C. saw 12 out of 24 weigh in during their recent match, again Roker pier was the top venue where Mark Shotton landed a bag of 15 fish weighing 8lb 10oz, and Rob Gilmore in second had 14 for 7¾lb, including a dover sole of 1lb 5oz. Third placed Norman Spour had an eight fish total of 7lb 2oz from South Shields pier, and Paul Wastell had a nice cod of 6¼lb from Frenchman’s Bay to take the heaviest fish prize.
The last Hartlepool W.C.S.A.C. match saw an all dab weigh in when Paul Blair won with 1lb 14oz, Paul Howard had 1lb 10oz and Andy Boagey had eight ounces.
South of the Tees mackerel are still around but cod are in short supply, and flounders have dominated most bags of fish taken in competitions. A St. Mary’s match saw Stu Green win with five flounders for 4lb 7oz while runner-up Terry Dalton had two flounders and two mackerel weighing 3lb 9oz, and Dale Miller finished third with two mackerel and a cod for a total of 1¾lb. A more recent match saw Mick Smith win with 13 flounders totalling 8lb 5oz, Russell Miller had six mackerel and two dabs for 6¼lb, and Terry Dalton had three coalies and a pollack for 5lb 5oz.
The Seaton Sluice Open last weekend produced a good weigh-in giving anglers bit of optimism that this coming winter will be a productive one. Sixty four out of 194 weighed in 172 fish for a total weight of 358lb. First place for the heaviest bag went to Danny Swan who landed four cod, a wrasse and a coalfish for an excellent total of 17lb 2oz while fishing at Snook Point. Second place went to Adrian Hornsby with six coalfish and two pollack weighing 15lb 5oz from Dunstanburgh. Graham Foster finished third with four cod totalling 12½lb from Marden while Daniel Pescod shared fourth spot with Jim Dobie when they both weighed in 12lb. Norman Spour had the heaviest fish of the competition with his 9lb 3oz cod from Craster, followed by Lee Burton with a cod of 8lb 2oz.
Boat anglers have seen some quality late season cod and ling showing, particularly when fresh mackerel bait is available, and as with shore angling, pollack are becoming increasingly common.
There are plenty of quality pollack close in to the cliff edges at Burnmouth where Walter Turnbull, Paul Conroy, and Joe Riley had good numbers of pollack into double figures, the best of which weighed 15lb and 13lb, all taken on light lure fishing tackle. The Sarah JFK out of the Tyne saw Roy Fozard boat a nice cod of 20¼lb, part of a 50 fish total which included nine double figure fish. Jim Cassiddy had two ling of 18lb on the same trip. The Sport and Leisure boat match saw Arthur Smeaton take the heaviest fish in the under 20 feet section with a cod of 10¼lb from his own boat Lazy Daze. Liam Wood won the over 20 feet section on the Topline with a cod of 17¼lb. The Sapphire out of Sunderland has taken lots of cod to 8lb, ling to 6lb, good numbers of pollack to 4lb, and the best cod of late was 13lb 3oz taken by Ian Dickinson.
Ryhope A.C. have their first Winter match this Sunday with fishing from 2pm until 6pm. Meet at the Village Green Ryhope and contact Bob 0191 5237272 for more details