Northern Bites – 29-03-2011

by Steve Walker

Shore fishing remains very quiet with just the occasional sizeable dab, flounder, coalfish, and if you are very lucky, a rare cod. Flounders continue to provide the best sport from all of the clean ground beach and pier marks, particularly between Seaham and South to Teesbay, but they are nearly all small fish. Roker and South Shields Piers are the best venues for better sized fish with coalfish, flounders together with the odd pouting and early plaice reported. The local rivers are not producing much of size at all though the odd bigger flounder can be expected from the Wear. There are always exceptions in angling of course, and despite most anglers struggling, some are just in the right place at the right time. Mick Quayle fished the Wear and had two very productive sessions taking 30 flounders in the first and 20 in the second; often landing double shots of the flatties. Trevor Green fished Roker Pier and managed to find six cod for 16lb, best 5lb during a recent pleasure session. Anthony Eke won a Newbiggin A.C. match with three cod for 4½lb taken from the Beacons. At Amble the river Aln is also producing a few flounders where Robert Cooperthwaite won an Amble A.C. junior match with one of 1½lb and was followed by Gordon Holland with one weighing 1lb 1oz.

Generally however, match anglers continue to struggle with blank sessions more common than not. There are plenty of matches and sweepstakes in the Wear for those hoping to pick up a size coalfish or flounder, and fishing a 20cm catch and release will at least produce a few fish for a result. The Eastenders sweepstake on Wednesday saw five out of 25 weigh in four coalfish and a single flounder which produced a four way tie for first place. Ian Ainsley, Barrie Robson, Jimmy Gardner, and Gareth Gardner all had coalfish weighing in at 15oz, followed by Steve Rackstraw with a flounder of 13oz.

The Eastenders club match on Sunday saw similar results with four out of 17 landing three coalfish and a single flounder. Tommy Tate had a one pound coalfish from Panns Bank to take first place while runner-up Joe Archer had a 14oz flounder from Southwick. Third place went to Ritchie Carr with a coalie 13oz from South Shields Pier and Steve Rackstraw had a coalfish of 12oz from the Business Park to finish in fourth.

Sunderland S.A.A. fished Sunday and only two weighed in single fish each. Gary Conlon had a 14oz flounder and Steve Mordey had a rockling weighing 4oz.

Seaham A.C. fished for the Clifford Plate on Sunday and found the undersize flounders and coalfish out in force. Five out of 57 managed to weigh in seven fish for 3.31lb, all taken from the North Pier. John Charlton did well to take two for 1.02lb, Glen Cook had one for 0.68lb, Dave Bond had 0.67lb and Ken Slater had 0.57lb.

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