Northern Bites by Steve Walker – 07/09

by Steve Walker

Early autumn cod have started to move inshore with commercial boats reporting good numbers of smaller specimens on the inshore hard ground. All of the regions piers and some low water marks have produced these smaller specimens during night time sessions. The rock edges north of the Tyne have seen some better cod landed from the kelp beds, as well as coalfish, pollack and wrasse. Brian Thompson fishing for cod at Newton had a surprise when a 15lb conger took his fresh crab bait. Small codling are present in the lower Tyne and, along with coalfish, are taking fresh crab baits. Further upriver ragworm and mackerel continue to take good numbers of flounders. The Wear has coalfish and flounders in the lower river but anywhere upriver of the Alexandra Bridge has been poor.

South Shields pier has produced mixed bags of mackerel, coalfish, cod, plaice, dabs, and whiting. Roker Pier and some of the Durham beach marks have seen some quality whiting showing after dark with mackerel and coalfish present during the day. Hartlepool piers have been patchy with only the odd mackerel reported on the recent small tides. Heavy seas over the weekend produced a lot of quality whiting with some anglers taking over twenty sizeable fish. Washed out weed has been a problem as it always is after the first heavy sea of autumn.

The last Whitley Bay Summer League match saw Chris Stringer win with seven fish for 8lb 9oz, second went to Gary Wilson with 6lb 1oz, best 2lb 3oz and three fish saw Steve Williams in third with 3lb 10oz.

Eighteen anglers fished the Ryhope Tuesday sweepstake on the Wear with everyone weighing in, mainly flounders. Lee Burton had a lone eel of 1lb 6oz to win ahead of Colin Smith with a flounder of 1lb 5oz. Lee Burton also took third with a flounder of 1lb 2oz and Darren Welsh had one of 1lb 1oz for fourth.

The last Ryhope summer league match on Sunday fished at the Business Centre in the Tyne also saw a good weigh in with plenty of flounders taking ragworm baits. Keith Carter won zone A with fourteen fish for 282cm, runner-up Paul Richardson had ten for 249cm. Third and fourth places went to Gary Warwick with 233cm and son Gary Warwick Jnr. who had 209cm. Bob Surtees won zone B with eighteen fish for 381cm, Ken Hayley had seventeen for 338cm and second spot. John Bryon in third had twelve measuring for 324cm and fourth placed Joe Lemon had 308cm. This result means that Paul Richardson is league winner with 26 points with runner up Bob Surtees on 16 points. Top junior was Jordan Laws.

The Eastenders sweepstake at the Glass Centre in the Wear saw a good weigh in with over a hundred fish measured and released. Chris Hossack had eleven fish for 295cm, just ahead of Ernie Hunter with nine fish for 273cm. Third went to Lee Burton with six 6 for 178cm followed by Steve Rackstraw who measured 172cm. The longest fish was a nice flounder of 39cm taken by Micky Sopp.

The East End and Hendon sweepstake saw all anglers land fish at Panns Bank. Gareth Gardner won with 234cm, Lee Brown had 132cm and Barry Robson had 113cm.

Eastenders had an open on Sunday at Panns Bank with seventeen anglers landing thirty flounders and a cod. Jim Dobie won with six fish for 176cm, Steve Rackstraw in second landed three 3 for 96cm and Jimmy Gardner had two for 68cm including the longest at 39cm.

The last Rutherford’s Conoflex Open on the Tyne at the Copthorne Hotel saw two dozen anglers land fish. Zone A was won by Andy Rutherford with 270cm, followed by Gary Wilson with 205cm and Jim Dobie with 186cm. In zone B Chris Stringer took top spot with 157cm, Steve Potts had 123cm and Gary Forster had 122cm.

Boats out of the Tyne are getting some specimen ling and cod from the offshore ground with plenty of mackerel providing fresh bait for the bigger ling. Jimmy Cassidy on the Sarah JFK had the biggest ling this year with a 34lb monster and he also had a smaller specimen of 19lb. Morgan Stephenson had another fine specimen of 30lb, Dave Collinson and Tommy Hedley both had ling of 21¼ lb, and Peter Dunlevy had one of 16lb. Best cod was a specimen of 16½ lb taken by Jack Waggett, and Bill Campbell had one a pound lighter. Boats out of Hartlepool have taken their better catches east of Boulby and Skinningrove.

Hartlepool O.M.A.C. has a meeting in the Pink Domino at 6pm on Saturday September 26th for members only.

The Sunday Sun now has a full page of fishing news in a new format and any anglers with news and or photographs, as well as sending them to Planet Sea Fishing, are requested to send them to Alan Charlton at

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