Northern Bites by Steve Walker – 23rd March

by Steve Walker

Size fish are hard to find for the shore angler with flounders and whiting the main species to expect.  The rivers Tyne and Wear both have size flounders present with the odd bigger coalfish and whiting, and the Tyne has a population of small codling from the mid river marks.  The regions piers are only producing the odd size flatties and whiting, and very scarce small but size cod are showing from the rock edges.  Best bet is to fish ultra light from the piers or clean ground beaches where lots of small flounders and rockling can be expected, and there is the chance of a bit of sport with the odd bigger flounder or early plaice, especially with a bit of surf hitting the beaches.

South of the Tees thornback rays continue to show from the clean ground marks.  Phil Mann reports specimens to 4lb from Saltburn Pier.  Most matches here though seem to be dominated by rockling.  St.Mary’s A.C. had two recent matches, in the first 7 out of 16 weighed in.  John Fairbridge had 17 rockling and 1 flounder for 3lb 8oz, Dale Miller had 12 rockling for 2lb  1oz, Darren Lister had 8 rockling for 1lb 14oz, and Stan Preston had the heaviest fish with a flounder of 1lb.  The second match saw 12 out of 18 land fish.  John Fairbridge won again with 17 rockling for 2lb 14oz, Darren Lister had 16 rockling for 2lb 13oz, and Dale Miller had 7 rockling for 1lb 7oz.

Flounders and plaice are dominating most club match results throughout the north of the region, though the odd size cod are showing from the rock edges.  The last Amble match saw only flounders weighed in.  Ian Harrogate won with 3 for 1lb 11oz, Gail Oliver had 2 for 1lb 3oz, and C.Dawson had 2 for 11oz.

The last Seaham A.C. match saw an all plaice weigh.  Ten out of 77 fishing weighed 14 fish in for 9.11lb.  Dean Ambler had 3 for 2.06lb, Gary Ramsden had 3 for 1.56lb, Dean Monarch had 1 for 1.09lb which was also the heaviest fish and Jack Clark had 1 for 0.9lb.

The last Tynemouth Sunday League match saw 36 fishing Tynemouth Pier on a beautiful sunny spring day-unfortunately fish don’t celebrate spring, as only Neil Garner weighed in with a single dab of 7oz which was worth a nice £70.

The Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake saw 20 fishing with 5 weighing in.  Ritchie Walton had a good session and took the first two places with cod of 4lb 2oz, and 3lb 8oz, and Lee Burton was third with a flounder of 1lb 3oz.  This was the last of the winter sweepstake matches, the summer series starts in the first week of May, more details nearer the time.  The Ryhope club have a summer meeting on Wednesday April 8th at 8pm in the Village Tavern at Ryhope.

Eastenders fished on Wednesday with 2 out of 14 landing single fish.  Steve Williams had a cod of 1lb 4oz from South Shields Pier where Shaun Robe had a coalfish of 1lb.

The East End and Hendon match on Wednesday saw 3 out of 11 weigh in.  Andy Rutherford had a flounder of 1lb 7oz, Jim Ford had a flounder of 1lb 6oz, and Dave Frost had one for 14oz.

The Eastenders open on Friday saw only Ritchie Walton weigh in with a cod of  3lb 12oz, and a flounder of 1lb 1oz.

East End and Hendon fished on Sunday and 3 out of 18 landed 7 flounders and 1 plaice.  Tommy Tate had 3 flounders from Southwick in the Wear for 2lb 7oz, George Brown had 3 flounders for 2lb 2oz from the same mark, and Barry Robson had a flounder and the plaice for 1lb 7oz taken from South Shields Pier.

The Eastenders Heaviest Fish open on Sunday saw 4 out of 21 weigh in 7 flounders.  Steve Williams had one of 1lb 1oz from South Shields Pier, Dave McReady had 1 for 1lb from Marsden, and Ernie Hunter had the next two places with flounders of 15oz each from the Wear.

Boat angling is a bit slow but some parties have found a few fish mainly in the North of the region where cod and ling seem to be showing a few weeks early this year.  Bert Gray, Kenny Gray, Kyle Gray, and Keith Brown had a morning session on the Shady H out of the Tyne and took 37 cod to 5lb and a single ling fishing in clean water just offshore, most fish were taken on lures.  The Sarah JFK also out of the Tyne found a few cod and ling with skipper Alan Skinner landing the biggest fish of the day with a ling of 14lb 08lb.

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