Both shore and boat angling continue to be excellent despite the inclement weather. Boat anglers are having one of the best years for a long time with quality cod, ling, pollack, coalfish, haddock, whiting, and pouting all being reported in good numbers, alongside the inevitable huge shoals of mackerel, and on some days, large shoals of coalfish. Some of the mackerel are of a very large size with specimens to well over 2lb reported. Boat anglers out of Hartlepool have found large numbers of cod around the 4lb to 8lb mark on the hard ground and wreck marks, and some trips have produced so many fish that, at least with conservation in mind, they have returned to port early. A recent party out on the Wandering Star saw quality cod coming aboard on every mark the anglers visited with specimens up to 10lb being taken on most drifts, some anglers taking more than 70 cod each with a few pollack and gurnard also showing. Lots of big mackerel were also taken and, for a change, ling were a minority catch. Anglers aboard the Famous and Ali Cat also report similar success with most cod around the 4lb to 12lb mark, the best of 14lb taken by Mal Rogers. Ling to 12lb, as well as good sized haddock and coalies have also made an appearance. The Catch 22 also out of Hartlepool has taken cod to 12½lb, ling to 8lb, and pollack to 7lb. Pilot whales and dolphins have been seen in reasonable numbers as a bonus.
Shore anglers fishing the Durham beaches and the Region’s rivers have also been getting some decent mixed bags. Stephen Hepple had fish up to 2lb in an 18.5lb bag total to win a recent Easington Welfare A.C. match, and Les Harris won a Longbenton match on Tynemouth pier with a mixed bag of 9¼lb, the best a pollack of a pound. Alberta S.A.C. had another good weigh in fishing the Tyne where 25 out of 29 found fish, mainly flounders with the odd coalfish and whiting. Andrew Hodgkinson won with nine fish totalling 9lb 7oz, including the flounder of 1¾lb. Kieran Watt had six weighing 4lb 9oz, and Ian Hodgkinson had five for 4lb 6oz.
The last Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake saw 35 fishing with some big eels showing in the Wear on the night. Mick Davison won with a nice eel of 1lb 7oz, and Steve Rackstraw took second and third places with flounders of 1lb 5oz and 1lb 3oz. The Ryhope club match last Sunday saw 29 fishing at the Business Park in the Tyne where everyone caught fish. Paul Richardson won zone A with 10 fish measuring 258cm, the best of which made 35cm. Second placed Stu Bland had eight for 237cm followed by Bob Surtees with 220cm and Mark Redpath on 183cm. Zone B saw better results where Lee Burton had 21 totalling 500cm to win ahead of Tommy Tate with 310cm, John Lovett on 269cm, and Paul Hossack with 249cm. The best fish was a flounder of 41cm taken by John Bryan and top junior was Daniel Tate with 222cm.
The Olympic Torch Open held at Amble last Sunday saw 34 out of 121 weigh in 32 flounders, 20 cod, and seven coalies. First prize for the heaviest fish went to Chris France with a cod of 4¾lb, the heaviest bag went to Andrew Grief with two cod for a total of 6¼lb, followed by Steve Williams with 5¾lb and Richie Carr with 5lb 2oz. Amelia Urwin was top junior with two nice flounders weighing 2lb 3oz which also included the heaviest flatfish of 1lb 6oz, amazingly she took both of these fish on her first cast. Top lady was Elaine Scott with two flounders weighing 1lb 11oz.
Seaton Sluice fished a match in conjunction with the Olympic Torch Open with three out of 10 weighing in. Mal McIntyre had two cod for 4lb 13oz, Mick Burke had a single cod of 3¼lb, and Bryan Clennel had a cod of 1lb.
The Bedlington Station Summer Open is on Sunday July 8th fishing from 11am until 3pm between Tynemouth Pier and Seahouses South Pier. Seaton Sluice harbour and the rivers Wansbeck, Coquet, and Aln are excluded but Blyth pier is included. Minimum prize is £200 for the heaviest bag, £100 for the heaviest round fish, and £50 for the heaviest flatfish, plus supporting prize table. Basic entry is £10, juniors free if accompanied by a paying adult. Register at The General Havelock, East Sleekburn from 9am until 9.45am. Weigh in same venue from 4pm until 4.45pm. This is a Penn points match.
A reminder that the Whitley Bay Summer League Open starts on Sunday June 24th at Beadnell fishing from 10am until 3pm, then continues on the following dates. Sunday July 22nd at Newton from 9am until 2pm. Sunday August 5th at Beadnell from 9am until 2pm. Sunday August 19th at Newton from 8am until 1pm. Sunday September 2nd at Howick from 8am until 1pm. All Penn points matches. Register 1 hour prior to start at Pattersons Garage for Beadnell, car park for Newton, and Doctors House for Howick. Basic entry is £10 per match with full payout on the day for top two heaviest bags and the heaviest fish. Details Mick 07739 585464 or Gary 07957 949557