With angling from the open shoreline now generally quiet in the mostly settled conditions, and with the hordes of whiting now starting to become less evident particularly in daylight hours, the local rivers are the destination for most clubs starting their summer matches. Both the Wear and Tyne have good numbers of coalfish showing this year, flounders are present in large numbers both from the open beaches and rivers for the second year in a row, and with the chance of a decent spring run cod up to 7lb moving into the rivers some of the river are quite crowded on a weekend. The piers at Hartlepool, Roker and South Shields have all produced whiting on night time tides, but there are a lot of very small dabs being reported lately that will eagerly take any worm or mackerel baits. Those with fresh or frozen crab have done quite well in the rivers for double figure mixed bags with coalfish the main species.
A Hartlepool Pirates heaviest fish match saw whiting dominate as expected but in much reduced numbers. Adam Dendrickson had seven totalling 4¾lb, including the heaviest fish at 1lb 1oz, Bill Bradley had 10 weighing 6lb 13oz for the heaviest bag, Steve Shields had six for 3lb 15oz and Steve Swales had five for a total of 3lb 15oz.
A Tynemouth Sunday league match saw Peter Stewart win with 11 coalfish, the best weighing 1lb 15oz, and a single whiting for a total weight of 12lb 11oz taken from the Ice House in the Tyne. Chris Potts had 12 coalfish and a flounder from Middens Rocks totalling 12½lb, and Kenny Patterson had 12 coalies weighing 10¾lb, also from the Ice House.
Seaton Sluice had a good result for their last match with winner Chris Guthrie landing 17 fish for a total of 20lb 1oz, Simon Todd had 18 weighing 18lb 6oz, and Gary Appleton had 19 for 14lb 9oz. Jimmy Dunn had a specimen flounder of 43cm which weighed in at 2¾lb.
By comparison the South Shields monthly match only saw a single fish weighed in when Steve Gordon landed a dab of five ounces.