Northern Bites by Steve Walker – 7th July

by Steve Walker

Settled conditions last week saw the mackerel move inshore again in reasonable numbers with all of the regions piers producing bags of up to 40 fish on the more productive tide. Even with a bit of colour in the water mackerel were still being taken in smaller numbers on lures.  Steetly Pier seems to be the hotspot but if you want a bit of float fishing then try elsewhere.  Some anglers have reported taking the rare shad on small spinners and float tackle from the Hartlepool piers.  If you can manage to find enough room, bottom fishing with worm baits has taken the usual flatfish species with some nice plaice and dabs now showing and quality whiting are starting to show after dark from both piers and beaches.  A few bass have also been reported with the storm drains at Crimdon a favoured mark.  North of the Tyne mackerel and pollack are being taken from the deeper rock edge marks with Dunstanburgh Castle producing several specimen sized pollack.  Gary Warwick had a trip to St.Abbs but only reported large numbers of undersize pollack showing on the day.  Roker Pier and South Shields piers are both capable of producing some big pollack and Roker also offers the chance of herring and shad taking small lures and floatfished baits.

The river Wear continues to improve very slightly with specimen flounders to over 2lb reported over the weekend but the Tyne remains the more consistent venue for match anglers with good numbers of flounders, eels, whiting, coalfish, and small codling present.  The Rutherfords League match on Monday at the Copthorne Hotel saw all 27 anglers land fish.  Alec Harvey was top rod in zone A with ten fish for 294cm, Paul McKintyre in second had eight for 209cm and Steve Potts followed with 136cm.  In zone B Gary Wilson took top spot with eight for 212cm. In second place was Chris Stringer with seven for 175cm and Pauline Ferry had seven for 171cm in third.

The Eastenders sweepstake on Wednesday at the Copthorne Hotel saw 21 out of 23 land fish.  Phil Wright had four for 96cm, Chris Hossack also landed four for 88cm and second with third going to Darren Welsh with three fish for 72cm and Dave McReady followed with three for 68cm.  Barrie Robson had the longest fish with a flounder of 36cm.

The East End and Hendon sweepstake on Thursday was fished at Spillers on the Tyne where everyone landed an all eel weigh in.  Colin Bell won with ten wrigglers for 365cm, including the biggest at 37cm.  Trevor Ferry took second with seven for 225cm and Pauline Ferry again placed with six for 150cm.

The Eastenders open on Saturday was at the Business Park in the Tyne where everyone landed eels and flounders.  Bill Jackson took the top two places with a flounder of 1lb 14oz and an eel of 1lb 7oz both taken on the same cast.  Jim Dobie was third with a flounder of 1lb and Ernie Hunter had a flounder of 15oz.

The Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake saw 20 fishing the Wear.  Anthony Lowther won with a specimen flounder of exactly 2lb just beating Tommy Tate with another specimen of 1lb 15oz and Chris Hossack was third with one of 1lb 3oz.

Tynemouth A.C. fished on Sunday with seven out of 21 weighing in.  Steve Harper fished the Tyne to take fifteen eels for 6lb 11oz. Dave Hayley had a flounder of 1lb 6oz which was also the heaviest fish and Paul Foster had a plaice of 1lb.

There is plenty of sport with flounders from the many marks on the west coast around the inner Solway.  Members of the East End and Hendon club travelled to Carse Bay near Dumfries where all had double figure bags and the top four had 112 flounders between them.  Another trip saw the club fishing for the John Mould Trophy at Carsethorne near Dumfries with the top eight taking over 100 flounders.  Gareth Gardner won with thirty-one flounders for 958cm followed by Barrie Robson with twenty-seven for 807cm and Tommy Tate had twenty-four for 738cm and Anthony Ford finished with 539cm.  The longest fish was a superb specimen of 45cm taken by Jimmy Ford.

A local angler is in the process of being prosecuted for fly tipping, apparently the number of tyres that he has located along the shoreline to catch crabs are too many for bait gathering purposes.  His solicitor needs as many statements as possible from anglers with tyres as crab traps.  You can send your statement to Alan Charlton at, stating how many tyres/traps you have, a rough location, and how long you have been using them.  Any information given will be in confidence and your details will not be presented at court.  Do not give any false information.  This may just be some anti angler being vindictive, a health and safety issue may be involved and legally waste tyres, being classes as hazardous waste, have to be disposed of properly. There may be several issues involved, but whatever they are, the implications regarding our rights to collect bait could be serious.

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