Shore sport is now mainly reliant upon smaller species, cod of any size are few and far between, and most anglers have been happy to pick up the odd bigger flounder or whiting. The piers are producing better fish after dark, with flounders, dabs and whiting reported. However the clean ground beaches are fishing better in daylight with a little bit of surf running there’s the chance of a specimen flounder amongst lots of smaller ones. Light tackle, such as a bass or carp rod, can make for an interesting session when fishing the open beaches as a good sized flounder can put up quite a fight if balanced tackle is used. There is still plenty of time for a bigger cod to turn up but a good northerly sea is needed to break the sandeel shoals up and prevent the cod from being preoccupied with feeding on this high protein food source.
The river Wear is quiet with little reported, but the Tyne is now attracting lots of clubs fishing 20cm catch and release matches as there are large numbers of smaller cod and coalfish present. Last week’s trend continues with the club results giving a clear indication of what to expect from the shore just now.
Darren Swan managed to find a scarce cod of 4.63lb in a bag total of 5.62lb to win a recent Seaham A.C. match. Phil Wright won an Eastenders sweepstake with one of 3lb 10oz and Chris Stringer won another Eastenders sweepstake with one of 2lb 7oz taken from the Tyne Walkway. The Cleadon A.C. match saw only one angler out of twenty-eight weigh in when Steve Brown managed a cod of 2lb 3oz from Tynemouth beach. During an S.B.R.A.A.C. outing two anglers brought fish to the scales, Steve Alexander had a flounder of 6oz and Steve Haliburton had one of 5oz.
A Westoe A.C. competition again saw a single cod weighed in; Kevin Moeliker took the stray fish of 1¾lb while fishing at South Shields pier. The B.O.T.A.C. Sunday League match was comparatively successful and had eight out of twenty-seven entrants finding fish. Steve Elliott had three flounders and a dab for 2lb 10oz to finish top ahead of Dave Hayley with a flounder and a coalie for 1lb 11oz. Third placed Steve Harper had two flounders for 1lb 9oz.
Flounders saved the Ryhope sweepstake from a blank with two weighed in from Roker pier where Lee Burton had one of 11oz and Bob Surtees weighed in a half pounder. Flounders have also been welcome north of the Tyne where John Bell had six for 3lb 7oz from Lynemouth beach to win a Newbiggin match.
South of the Tees shore sport is desperate with even the smaller cod scarce from the rock edge marks and the piers at Skinningrove and Whitby. The last St. Mary’s A.C. match saw five out of the sixteen anglers weighing in. Winner John Hannan had a single cod of 2lb 3oz from Skinningrove followed in joint second place by Andy Burton who landed a rockling of 7oz from Whitby West pier and John Fairbridge who had a flounder of 7oz from Whitby harbour. Darren Lister managed two rockling for 6oz to take fourth place.