Northern Bites by Steve Walker – 20th July

by Steve Walker

Continuing heavy seas have kept the main mackerel shoals well offshore with just the odd fish reported from all of the region’s piers, although before the sea came away boat anglers reported large numbers of them just offshore. The better results have been from Roker and South Shields piers, when fishable, where coalfish, sandeels, and the odd small cod have been taken on lures. Mackerel, coalfish, and pollack are showing from the deep water rock marks around Northumberland to lures and floatfished baits and in the kelp beds cod and wrasse are looking for fresh crab baits. Most anglers bait fishing from the piers in the absence of mackerel have taken the usual flatties and whiting, small bass are present from the beaches and quality whiting continue to move inshore after dark. The odd bigger cod have also shown during the recent heavy seas but generally they are still few and far between. Andy Pagett had a good session on Roker Pier taking three to 6lb.

Shad, which are occasionally taken amongst the mackerel shoals, are becoming increasingly common. David Craig took a specimen of 1lb 12oz from Dunstanburgh Castle during a recent session. Being a protected species it was returned alive.

There are good numbers of smaller codling, coalfish, pouting, flounder, dab, gurnard, and eels in the lower Tyne estuary where Dave Wood won a recent Longbenton and Seaton Burns match with a nice bag of 11lb 15oz.

South of the Tees small bass have also been showing from the clean ground beaches where Bernard Westgarth landed six of them plus a lone flounder to win a recent Saltburn match with a total of 185cm. Paul Lobley had three bass and a flounder for 107cm and Sara Dowse was third with two flounders and a coalfish for 49cm. Nick Westgarth and Peter Race shared the longest round fish each with bass of 40cm, while Dave Turner had the longest flatfish with a flounder of 35cm.

A recent St. Mary’s match saw Paul Lobley win with five mackerel from the South Gare for 4lb 8oz followed in second by Terry Dalton who had four mackerel for 3lb 3oz and Mick Smith had three dabs and a mackerel in his bag of 1lb 8oz. The heaviest fish was a mackerel of 1lb 2oz taken by Phil Smith.

Redcar Navy and Gentlemans A.C fished a heaviest fish mackerel only match last week with three out of nine taking mackerel. Rob Jackson won with a new club record of 1lb 9oz, Tony Barker had one for 15oz and Dave Allinson had one for 13oz.

Hartlepool Pirates fished a summer league match at Kirkudbright on Saturday. Aaron Dixon took top spot with three dogfish, best 2lb 2oz, for a total of 6lb 3oz. Second was Bill Bradley who had three dogfish, a dab and a mackerel for 5lb 12oz to pip Ritchie Graham with three dogfish and two gurnard for 5lb 3oz. Fourth place went to Dave Robinson with two wrasse, a pollack, a plaice, and a dab for 3lb 7oz.

There are plenty of flounders, eels and whiting in the upper Tyne and the Copthorne Hotel continues to be a favourite mark for match anglers. Eastenders fished here last Wednesday and all nineteen anglers landed fish. Top rod was Bill Bell with six fish for 134cm, Phil Wright had five for 128cm, Jim Dobie had four for 109cm, and Dave McReady had four for 80cm.

The East End and Hendon match on Thursday was a rover event with four out of eleven weighing in seven flounders and two eels. Barrie Robson took the top two places with a flounder of 1lb 6oz and an eel of 1lb 5oz. Jim Ford was third with an eel of 1lb 3oz.

Seven junior members of Seaham A.C. fished for the Edwards Trophy on Saturday. Jack Stoker had a cod of 0.7lb and Liam Wright had an eel of 0.18lb, the only two fish landed.

The Eastenders Open on Saturday was back in the Wear at the Timber Beach where sport was better than of late with all nineteen anglers weighing in flounders and eels. Lee Brown won zone A with an eel of 1lb 7oz ahead of Paul Hunter with an eel of 1lb 3oz. John Surtees won zone B with a flounder of 1lb 7oz and Darren Welsh had a flounder of 1lb 4oz as part of the heaviest bag with six fish for 5lb 6oz ahead of Jim Dobie with nine fish for 4lb 10oz.

Sunday saw another Eastenders open in the Wear at the Golden Lion with all but one of the anglers landing fish. Jim Dobie won this one with fourteen fish for 332cm ahead of Alec Harvey with eight for 210cm. Ned Knightly had the longest fish at 34cm.

Sunderland S.A.A. also fished the Wear at Claxheugh on Sunday with half of the anglers weighing in. John Robinson had a flounder of 1lb, Alan Walker had one of 14oz and Bill Gamblin had an eel of 6oz for third.

Amble S.A.C. had a midweek match recently and with little showing from the rock edges only a few flounders and eels were landed. A.Taylor won with two flounders and an eel for 1lb 3oz, Jim French followed in second with two flounders for 1lb 1oz and Jas French in third had a single flounder of 11oz.

Boat angling has started to pick up again as the sea died down, anglers aboard Sarah JFK taking about sixty fish, the best a cod of 15lb taken by Eddie Clegg of the Environment Agency A.C.

The private boat Julie Anne had some nice fish just off Seaham taking nineteen cod, best 12lb 8oz by Les Fenwick Jnr. and Les Fenwick Snr. had two at 10lb. All fish were taken on baited lures. Kayak anglers fishing off Seaham have also had some good sport taking numbers of pollack and smaller cod. John Smith had a bag of eight fish including pollack to 6lb and cod to 3lb. Stewart Nisbit had twelve fish, best a 4lb pollack and a 2lb pouting, all taken within 400 metres off the pier end.

Would those anglers wishing to book the Gordon Cubbins at Hartlepool please note the new contact number is Mark Williams on 01429-867883, and delete any previous details from your records.

The next Friarage Tackle open boat sweepstake is on July 26th fishing from 7am, weigh in at the Friarage from 4.30pm till 5pm. Basic entry is £20 per angler with full payout and £250 in raffle prizes. The sweepstake is for private vessels only and not registered charter boats. Contact Friarage Tackle on 01429-273145 for details.

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