Northern Bites by Steve Walker – 14th July

by Steve Walker

With a bit of movement on the sea mackerel have been scarce in the Teesbay area with just the odd fish taken from the Hartlepool piers and Steetly Pier.  Further north at Roker and South Shields where the water is always a lot cleaner, mackerel continue to be taken in reasonable, but reduced numbers, with small double figure bags the norm.  Those anglers bait fishing continue to take good bags of dabs, flounders, plaice and whiting, with quality whiting showing after dark.  Parton and Crimdon beaches at Hartlepool have been particularly productive when there has been a good surf running with ragworm baits taking some nice dabs and flounders, and small bass are also present.  Dogfish are also present from the Durham beaches on late evening tides.

John Summerbells had an excellent pollock of 6lb 4oz when fishing from the Whitley Bay pipe.

The rivers Wear and Tyne are attracting the regions match anglers with the Tyne the more productive venue.  Eastenders fished their sweepstake at the Copthorne Hotel last Wednesday where all 24 anglers landed fish.  Bob Gascoigne won with ten fish for 283cm, Billy Bell in second place had nine for 262cm, Gary Forster took third with eight for 241cm and Phil Wright in fourth had seven for 231cm.

The East End and Hendon sweepstake on Thursday saw all 14 anglers taking mainly eels from Spillers in the Tyne.  Jim Dobie was well ahead with fourteen eels for 350cm followed by Andy Rutherford who had ten for 288cm. Third place went to Bob Gascoigne with 233cm and Barrie Robson finished fourth with 196cm.

The Eastenders Open on Saturday returned to the Wear at the Golden Lion with 31 fishing.  Alan Burton had six eels for 1.32kg, Alec Harvey had nine eels for 0.98kg, Ernie Hunter had three for 0.88kg and Steve Rackstraw had three for 0.86kg.

The Tyne might be producing numbers of fish but the Wear has some fine specimen flounders showing.  The last Ryhope sweepstake saw 20 fishing.  Chris Hossack won with a superb flounder of 2lb 4oz, John Lovett took second and fourth place with flounders of 1lb 7oz and 1lb 3oz and Wayne Harriman was second with a flounder of 1lb 4oz.

The Ryhope club match on Sunday saw 26 fishing at the Copthorne Hotel where everyone landed fish.  Paul Richardson won zone A with thirteen fish for 298cm, Joe Wilton followed in second with 195cm, Gary Warwick had 169cm for third and Micheal Allinson in fourth place had 121cm.  Bob Surtees had the longest fish of 36cm.  In zone B Mason Burton  had 122cm for top spot, in second place Keith Carter had 99cm, Bob Bland finished third with 86cm and Bill Kennedy was fourth with 85cm and he shared the longest fish prize with Mason Burton at 36cm.

Thirty five anglers fished the Seaham Nighthawk match on Saturday with 28 weighing in 52 whiting, 29 mackerel, 12 dogfish, 6 flounders, 5 pouting, 2 dabs, and a single coalfish for 87.05lb.  Tony Pilkington won with fifteen fish for 10.61lb ahead of Dean Ambler with eight fish for 5.88lb.  John Charlton had eight for 5.80lb and third place and Lewis Barnes had three for 5.29lb including the heaviest fish with a specimen dogfish of 2.38lb.

The Eastenders summer league match on Sunday was fished at the Business Park where all 26 anglers took fish.  Micky Sopp had 1.40kg, Chris Hossack had 1.32kg, including a fine flounder of 1lb 15oz, Ernie Hunter had 0.98kg, and Steve Rackstraw landed 0.75kg.

Sunderland S.A.A. didn’t have such good results fishing the Wear on Sunday with 4 out of 10 landing single flounders.  Paul Robinson had one for 1lb 7oz, John Robinson had 1lb 3oz and Alan Walker had one of 12oz.

Tynemouth retired members fished last week and had a bit of a species hunt.  Dave Hayley had an excellent catch of four plaice, a flounder and a cod for 6lb for top spot. Tony Taylor close behind in second had three plaice, a cod, a mackerel, a flounder and a gurnard for 5lb 13oz. Neil Garner took third with two plaice, two dabs and a cod for 3lb 14oz.  Dave Hayley had the heaviest fish, a cod of 2lb 2oz.

Mackerel are also showing south of the Tees at South Gare and Saltburn piers when conditions allow and whiting and flatties are being taken on various baits.  The last St. Mary’s A.C. match saw Terry Dalton win with seven flounders, best 1lb, for 6lb 2oz, Russell Miller had three flounders and a mackerel for 2lb 5oz and George Beckett was third with five dabs and a whiting for 2lb 4oz.

The Bob White Open on Sunday saw 51 anglers fishing the Northumberland rock edges with 11 weighing in eleven cod, three wrasse, two coalfish and two flounders.  Andy Grieff won with five fish for 12lb 4oz taken from Newton, Barry Tweddle had three fish for 4lb 3oz in second, third was M.Heslop who had two fish for 2lb 1oz and K.Bathgale had two fish for 2lb 3oz.

There seems to be a shortage of mackerel for boat anglers and as such few ling have been reported, anything over 10lb has been the exception.  Cod are also in short supply with odd fish to 5lb from the inshore ground and odd bigger specimens to 10lb from the wrecks.  An Eastern Bloc factory ship was reported working just off Roker Pier and this may explain the lack of fish in that local area.  Down at Teesbay one popular explanation for the lack of fish is that contaminated dredged material from Greatham Creek has been dumped at the Tees spoil ground and has settled across the bay pushing any fish offshore.

The Frazers Open Boat Competition last Sunday saw some fine weather for 79 anglers in the over 20ft class and 18 in the under 20ft class.  Forty three weighed in a total of 318lb of fish which was well down from last year.  In the under 20ft event Gareth Thomas won with a fine pollack of 7lb 10oz on the Dani-K, a repeat of winning the event last year and Lee Gibson had a ling of 12lb to win in the over 20ft class event on the Sarah.  Ken McDonald had a specimen tub gurnard of 2lb 9oz and the only kayak angler to weigh in was Tim Anslow with a cod of 2lb. A sum of £200 was donated to the RNLI.

Peter McFarlane fishing in his kayak off St. Abbs had a good day taking wrasse to 2lb, cod to 5lb, and pollack to 7lb 5oz on light spinning tackle.

Boat anglers out of the Tyne were starting to pick up some decent fish before the sea came away.  Dave Collinson had a ling of 18lb, and Jimmy Cassidy had one of 16lb the best two fish of a 90 fish bag.

Saturday July 18th is the Northumberland Sweepstake fishing from 4pm till 8pm between Dunstanburgh Castle and Cullernose Point.  Register at Craster main car park from 3pm till 3.30pm and weigh in at the same venue from 8pm till 8.45pm.  Basic entry is £10 with 100% payout.  Contact Gav Owen 07974-130205 or Geoff King 07946-744770

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