The Autumn whiting are moving inshore in numbers during late evening and night time tides, mainly from Roker pier, the Durham beaches and Hartlepool piers. A recent Seaham Night Hawk match, fished in torrential rain, gives a good indication of what to expect. Eighteen out of 47 weighed in 51 whiting, 12 flounders, five dogfish, two cod, and two spotted rays for a total of 46.96lb. Gary Pye fished the Blast Ledge to land 11 fish for a total of 9.20lb, G. Tait had 13 weighing 7.34lb from Hall Beach, and Dean Furness had four fish totalling 6.09lb from the South Drum, best a dogfish of 2.52lb.
South Shields pier remains consistent and productive with mackerel still being landed even when the water has been coloured, large numbers of coalies and the occasional pollack have been taken, as well as some decent cod to around the 4lb mark from the heavy ground areas. Tommy Tate won a recent sweepstake on the pier with a cod of 2lb 14oz, Stu Foots had the best bag with cod, plaice, and dabs weighing 6lb. Float fishing and lure fishing with micro lures down the pier side has produced herring, coalfish, pollack, and small cod, all in quite large numbers. The Northumberland cod are starting to move south now with better fish starting to show from the rock edges between the Tyne and Wear. James Parkin fished Marsden during a recent session to land cod to 4lb 5oz.
There are still plenty of mixed bags to be landed in the lower Tyne with mackerel, coalfish, pollack, cod, plaice, dabs, flounders, whiting, and the odd dogfish, gurnard, and herring all featuring in recent catches. A recent Tynemouth retired members match did not quite produce the fish as expected but that is what fishing in the Tyne is all about, nevertheless, winner Dave Scrimgeur managed to land two dabs, one plaice, and a mackerel totalling 2lb 15oz, Dave Hayley had the heaviest fish a cod of 1lb 7oz.
The river Wear seems to have picked up slightly with some better coalfish and some big eels starting to show in catches. Chris Stringer won a recent sweepstake at the Glass Centre with 10 fish measuring 298cm. Steve Rackstraw won the last Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake with an eel of 1lb 5oz, Dave Wood had a flounder of 1¼lb, Mick Davison an eel of 1lb 2oz, and Neil Smith an eel of 1lb 1oz, all of the 26 anglers fishing landed lots of undersize flounders. On Roker pier, Rhys Liddle landed a cod of 4lb 11oz fishing down the side with Sabiki lures intended for herring. Mackerel have been taken in large numbers but some anglers report taking more herring than mackerel. Whiting are present in huge numbers after dark with bags of over 40 fish reported.
Prospects are promising for a good winters cod fishing with large numbers of cod just offshore all along the north east shoreline and boat anglers are having their best summer for many years.
The Sapphire out of Sunderland generally fishing the inshore ground has taken cod and ling into double figures with pollack up to 5lb. Ken Hui had a ling of 13½lb, Tommy Simson had a cod of 12lb, Mick Newton and Steve Smith both had ling to 10lb, the best fish however was taken by first time angler Dale Clark, who despite being seasick for the entire trip, managed a ling of 18lb 2oz.