Boat angling is starting to improve. Small boats fishing the hard ground around Longscar Rocks have taken smaller cod with the odd bigger specimen to 10lb reported. The Victoria Lee fished the hard ground east of Hartlepool and had 21 cod to 7lb, and a nice early pollack of 8lb 8oz. The Flamer 2 had parties out every day over the holiday weekend and had a lot of success with the best day producing 23 cod to 6lb and 3 ling to 7lb. Bernie Walls skipper of the Gannet had 15 cod to 7lb on Sunday and the private boat Father Ted had 14 cod to 6lb and 4 ling to 7lb. The Whitby based boat Sea Otter fished off Hartlepool on Sunday and had 22 cod to 10lb.
Shore sport remains generally quiet with sizable fish being hard to find but there are plenty of smaller fish around to keep anglers happy when fishing with light gear. Ritchie Graham fished Parton Beach at Hartlepool and had a good session taking small flounders and bass every cast, managing to find 3 size flounders amongst them on Irish ragworm baits supplied by Friarage Tackle. Steetly Pier has produced lots of small flatties in the clean water conditions and some nice whiting are starting to show after dark to worm and mackerel baits.
The rock edges north of the Tyne have been quiet but anglers travelling to St. Abbs and Eyemouth have reported early pollack to 5lb on float fished baits.
Hartlepool Pirates fished two recent matches. In the first only a few small dabs were weighed in, mainly from Steetly Pier. Those who travelled to the Tyne and South Shields Pier report lots of small cod and coalfish. Top bag went to Bill Bradley with 3 dabs for 10oz and Dave Robinson followed landing 2 dabs for 10oz. The club also fished last Friday with 7 out of 10 weighing in. Barry Pattinson fished North Gare to land 2 flounders for 1lb 12oz, John Wilson in second place fished the Tyne for a single cod of 1lb 10oz and there was a tie for third place with Dave Robinson having 1 whiting and 1 dab, and Bill Bradley having 5 dabs both for 1lb 7oz.
The recent Tynemouth A.C. match saw 2 out of 11 weigh in. Dave Keeler managed to winkle out an in size coalfish of 15oz from the Tyne, as did Tom Laws who had one of 11oz.
Whereas the Tyne has some size fish present the Wear has been very poor. On Sunday the Eastenders Open saw all 38 anglers blank, and a similar fate awaited the Sunderland S.A.A. match at the same venue. The Eastenders Open on Wednesday saw better results with 10 out of 12 weighing in at Panns Bank in the Wear. Chris Hossack had 4 cod for 87cm and first place, Eddie Knightly had 3 coalfish for 71cm, and Steve Rackstraw finished third with 2 coalfish for 41cm.
The Ease End and Hendon sweepstake in the Wear on Thursday saw 3 out of 8 weigh in. Darren Welsh had a flounder of 1lb 4oz, Steve Rackstraw in second had one of 14oz and the final place went to David Frost with a flattie of 13oz.
The Seaham Good Friday Open saw 2 out of 35 weigh in 2 cod and 1 flounder. Chris Hossack fished the North Pier and had 2 cod, 2.07lb and 1.90lb, to take the top slot and Shirley Newton had a flounder of 0.38lb.
The Seaham club match on Sunday saw slightly better results with 7 out of 47 landing 10 fish for 6.14lb. Paul Westmoreland found fish at the Blast and had 2 plaice and 1 bass for 1.81lb, Rita Clark had 1 coalfish and a flounder for 1.16lb, and the heaviest fish went to John Charlton with a flounder of 0.96lb.
South of the Tees shore sport is reliant upon flounders and rockling with cod from the rock edges few and far between. The last St. Mary’s A.C. match saw 10 out of 20 weigh in. First place went to Darren Lister who had 9 rockling for 1lb 9oz, Russell Miller had a flounder of 1lb 4oz to tie for second with Andrew Burton who had 3 rockling, and Terry Dalton followed with 2 flounders for 1lb 3oz.
Ryhope A.C. start their summer league on Sunday May 10th fishing from 1pm till 5pm at the Copthorne Hotel on the Tyne, meet at the venue at 12 noon. The next Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake is on May 12th, more details later.