Shore fishing for mackerel is still a little quiet even with the recent big tides, though double figure bags are being taken from all of the Region’s piers on lures and float tackle. Down at Hartlepool float tackle is the best option and a little more sporting, as is fishing a single lure on a light rod. The North Gare, Middleton, Banjo and the Pilot piers have all produced fish on most tides. Some anglers report taking small pollack on lures though none as big as the five pound plus specimens that can be taken from the rougher ground marks further north at Seaham, Roker, and South Shields. Those anglers bait fishing report lots of dabs and small coalfish, with whiting showing after dark. Parton beach, Crimdon, and the various marks along the Durham beaches have produced flatfish, small bass, and whiting and dogfish after dark.
Sport in the Wear has improved with some better-sized flounders and eels showing as well as shad that have been slow to move inshore this year. Nicky Robson won an East End A.C. match with five fish for a total of 9lb 10oz, the best weighing 4lb 10oz, and Ken Newton won the Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake with an eel of 1¼lb. The upper Tyne has generally produced better fishing but with larger numbers of small fish among the bags. John Stead won a Rutherfords match with 21 fish for a total length of 389cm, including the best fish, a flounder of 36cm. A Tynemouth retired member’s match saw Ken Robinson win with two coalies, a flounder and a gurnard weighing 3lb 6oz taken in the lower Tyne. Bill Langlands took the heaviest prize with a cod of 1¼lb.
South Shields pier remains one of the more consistent marks with a variety of species to fish for including bigger plaice, pollack, coalfish and cod. Lots of smaller cod have moved inshore together with the odd bigger ones to 4lb looking for fresh crab baits. Early morning tides have produced bigger pollack on lures and float fished baits presented close down the pier sides. Several decent pollack have been reported lost so a drop net is essential to land the bigger ones. Anglers report taking up to a dozen plaice a session with ragworm the most productive. Robert Lees landed six cod for 8½lb, and his weight was match by Mark Robson who had four plaice, three cod and a dab in a recent South Shields match.
The Northumberland rock edges are popular with club and pleasure anglers, most marks have seen cod to 4lb or more landed, as well as wrasse, coalies, pollack and mackerel. The deeper water marks at Dunstanburgh Castle and Eyemouth have been productive for pollack taking lures. Jim Dunn won a Bedlington match with five cod weighing 10lb 13oz when fishing at Seahouses.
The many marks along the south west Scottish shoreline are very productive this year with bigger species such as tope, bull huss, thornback rays, pollack and bass all being reported in unusually large numbers this year, though this may be due to more anglers actively targeting tope and bass in particular.