Mackerel are moving inshore in greater numbers when conditions allow but persistent easterly winds are keeping the main shoals offshore. On good days the Hartlepool piers have produced bags of up to 40 fish on lures. Seaham, Roker, South Shields and Blyth piers have all seen some sport during calmer conditions. Those fishing the beaches have taken some quality whiting after dark, and plaice, dabs, and the odd bass have shown in daylight hours when there has been a bit of a surf hitting the beaches. Steetly Pier in particular has produced some good bags of quality summer whiting after dark.
Boat angling is improving all the time with good numbers of smaller cod in the kelp beds in the north of the region, though these fish are still mostly out of reach of the shore angler. Boats out of Amble and Craster are taking exceptional bags of cod, Pollack, coalfish, ling and wrasse from the heavy ground marks close inshore. Most fish are around the 2lb to 4lb mark, with the best around 8lb. The Bon Amy had over 100 sizable fish during a recent trip.
Martin Jones on his first ever sea angling trip landed a cod of 12lb on his first drop fishing aboard the Sarah JFK out of the Tyne and together with a ling of 12lb taken by Steve Alan he shared the sweepstake for the best fish of the day out of 40 landed.
Les Fenwick on his own boat Julie Ann out of Sunderland took 20 cod to 12lb from an inshore mark, as well as mackerel and whiting.
Cod, wrasse, coalfish and mackerel are to be expected from the Northumberland rock edges but sport has been patchy at times. Thomas Charlton won the last Tynemouth match at Seahouses with two wrasse for 4lb 5oz. Dave Keeler had the best at 3lb 6oz.
Saturday saw Seaham A.C. juniors fishing for the Smith Memorial Trophy with six weighing in thirteen fish for 3.05kg. Owen Barrass had three for 0.65kg, Keith Newton had two for 0.55kg and Kieron Newton and Jed Charlton tied each with 0.50kg.
Seaham A.C. seniors saw six out of thirty-eight weigh in seven fish on Sunday. John Barrass won with a Pollack of 1.16lb, Dave Stoker had two flounders for 0.77lb and Shirlet Newton had a flounder of 0.61lb, all fish were taken from the North Pier.
The Tyne is popular with match anglers fishing measure and release events. The Rutherfords Open on Sunday at the Copthorne Hotel saw a good turnout of fifty-eight entrants. In zone A Neil Cutler won with 352cm, Andy Rutherford had 290cm for second and Alec Harvey followed with 288cm. Zone B saw Mick Emery win with 415cm ahead of Gary Forster with 272cm and Paul McKintyre in third had 264cm. Garry Forster had the longest fish with a flounder of 39cm.
The Eastenders sweepstake on Wednesday fished at the Copthorne Hotel saw fourteen out of fifteen land fish, mostly flounders, eels, and whiting. Gareth Gardner had eleven fish for 241cm to take first place, Dave McReady had nine for 228cm, Billy Bell in third had eight fish for 200cm and fourth placed Willie Rowntree had five for 124cm. Dave also had the longest fish with a flounder of 40cm.
The next night saw the East End and Hendon sweepstake at the same venue. Alec Harvey won with twelve fish for 258cm, best 37cm, just ahead of Tommy Tate with eleven for 254cm.
Hartlepool Pirates fished Friday night with only two weighing in fishing at the Tyne. Aaron Dixon had a flounder of 1lb 1oz and Bill Bradley had 3 eels for 14oz.
Seven year old Jessica Sinclair fished alongside some of the northeast’s top match anglers and showed them how it was done in the Eastenders Open fished at Sunderland’s Business Park in the Wear. Jessica who was the only junior that entered the event went home smiling after winning the heaviest fish match with a fine flounder of 1lb 4oz ahead of Ernie Hunter, Mick Sopp, and Chris Hossack who all had flounders of 1lb 1oz.
Eastenders sweepstake saw twenty fishing on Sunday at the Golden Lion in the Wear. Ernie Hunter had two fish for 540 gms then there was a three way tie with Lee Hunter, Billy Bell, and Billy Jackson all with flounders of 420 gms. The heaviest round fish was an eel of 300 gms taken by Dave Mould.
The Ryhope sweepstake on Tuesday evening in the Wear saw a few better sized flounders landed. Mick Davison won with a fish of 1lb 4oz, Tommy Tate had one of 1lb 3oz and Darren Welsh 1lb 2oz.
The Ryhope club took a party of twenty-eight juniors out on a coach trip to Silloth at the weekend where they all enjoyed some good sport with flounders and eels. Fishing catch and release for the longest fish there was a tie for first prize with Michael Allison and Gary Warwick Jnr. each having a flounder of 37cm. The best senior fish was a flounder of 40cm taken by Wayne Harriman.
South of the Tees shore sport is varied with several species available. The last Saltburn match saw nineteen out of twenty weigh in 39 flounder, 6 bass, 6 plaice, 2 turbot, and 1 dab. Gary Joyce was top rod with four flounder, three plaice, and a turbot for 170cm followed by Sara Dowse with eight flounders and two plaice for 160cm. Third placed Paul Lobley had six flounders for 109cm and was followed by Nick Westgarth who had three bass for 102cm. The longest round fish was a bass of 45cm by Andrew Clark and John Dixon had the longest flatfish with a flounder of 30cm.
The last St. Mary’s A.C. match saw fourteen out of the fifteen entrants weigh in. John Hannan won with fourteen dabs and two flounders for 5lb 13oz and in second Mick Smith had seven dabs and two flounders for 3lb 10oz. Andy Burton finished third with ten dabs for 3lb 7oz and Terry Dalton had the heaviest fish an eel of 1lb 11oz.