Last week’s heavy seas have died down a little at the time of writing, but a continuing Northerly wind has kept a lot of movement on the sea with a nice lazy swell evident. Mackerel have long since moved offshore in these conditions, and those anglers out fishing for early cod have been slightly disappointed with lots of loose weed making fishing difficult from the open beach marks. Considering the numbers of cod around the 2lb to 6lb mark that are present just a few miles offshore, the fishing so far has not been as good as expected, with few cod of any size reported, although of course we are still in the middle of summer and to get such a heavy sea at this time of year is very unusual. Best catch reported was by Lee Burton who took three cod to 6lb from the Targets on fresh crab bait.
The heavy seas have also scattered the summer cod from the rock edge marks north of the Tyne where settled conditions are usually required for any success. A recent Whitley Bay Summer League match fished at Beadnell in poor conditions saw Dave Cruddas and Gary Wilson tie for first place, each with a cod of 3¼lb, followed by Mick Bell with one of 1¾lb, and Mick Clark with one of 1lb 7oz. With two matches left Chris Stringer with 21lb 15oz leads last year’s winner Steve Williams who has a total of 14½lb.
The lower Tyne is generally reliable after a heavy sea, and is usually weed free, with lots of whiting and coalfish moving inshore recently. The last Tynemouth retired members match saw 17 fishing, and the winner, Ken Robinson, had 16 whiting, three dabs, a cod, which was the heaviest fish at 1lb 13oz, and a coalfish for a weight of 13lb 7oz. Dave Scrimageur, in second place, had seven whiting, three coalfish and two dabs weighing 9¾lb, followed by Neil Garner with eight whiting, two dabs, one flounder, and one coalfish for 7lb 11oz.
The Rutherfords Conoflex Open at the Copthorne Hotel saw all 20 anglers land fish. Chris Potts won the event with 275cm; Ken McCoy had 222cm, and Tommy Tate 220cm. The next match at the same venue is on August 6th fishing from 7.30pm till 10.30pm
Ryhope A.C. fished at the Business Park in the Tyne on Sunday and found lots of small flounders present with everyone weighing in. Zone A was won by Paul Richardson with 17 fish measuring 332cm, the best of which was a fish of 33cm. Runner-up Lee Burton had 16 for 299cm, Stu Bland had eight measuring 265cm, and John Surtees had seven for 185cm. In zone B Alan Marsh had 23 flounders measuring 543cm to take top spot while in second John Bryan had 19 for 487cm. Alan Burton had 12 for 354cm, including the longest fish at 36cm to take third ahead of Terry Mann with 11 fish measuring 334cm. Top junior was Abigail Redpath with 12 fish for a total length of 232cm.
The Wear estuary also has plenty of flounders, eels, coalfish, and whiting showing. The Eastenders longest fish Wednesday evening sweepstake saw all 20 anglers weigh in 150 coalfish, 47 flounders, and one whiting. Dave Mould won with a coalfish of 43cm followed by John Lovett with one of 42cm. Bob Gascoigne and Mason Burton tied for third place each with coalfish of 41cm. Jim Dobie had the longest total length with 22 fish measuring 649cm.
Another Eastenders match on Sunday at the Glass Centre saw all 19 anglers take fish, this time 137 coalfish, 19 flounders, two eels, a blenny and a whiting were landed. Jim Dobie had the longest fish, a coalfish of 41cm, and Jim also tied with Keith Johnson and Chris Stringer for second place all with flounders of 40cm. Jim had the best bag again with 22 fish for 658cm.
Looking slightly ahead the Sunderland Shore Angling Festival is on Sunday November 27th fishing between South Shields pier and Ryhope Dene. First prize is £500 for the heaviest fish with total prizes in excess of £3000.