While mackerel can still be taken from the Region's piers, anglers are now getting ready for the winter cod season and the rock edge marks north of Roker are now starting to produce double figure bags with fresh crab always the best bait. Tony Anderson won a Tynemouth match with two weighing 7lb 5oz, including the best of 4lb 5oz taken from Rocky Island. The clean ground beaches that have some depth to them are also producing cod on nighttime tides. Michael Thompson won an S.B.R.A.A.C. match at Newbiggin beach with nine cod for a total of 13lb 1oz. The last Seaham Badger Heaviest Fish Open saw 11 out of 31 find fish. Darren Swan had the best with a cod of 4.65lb taken from the Blast beach, Mick Davison had one of 4lb taken from the Green Wall, and Gary Pye had a spotted ray of 2.70lb amongst his heaviest bag of 13 fish for 11.24lb. The best pier marks continue to be at Hartlepool for mackerel and lots of flatfish in daylight hours with whiting and smaller cod showing after dark. Roker and South Shields piers are much the same with more coalfish and plaice showing, and bigger cod to 5lb have been reported during late evening sessions. Plaice continue to be taken though the next heavy seas will probably see the last of them; mackerel however, can stay as late as mid October.
Inshore boat anglers continue to pick up plenty of smaller cod, coalfish, pollack, and ling around the 2lb to 8lb mark from the hard ground marks but the bigger specimens are now mainly well offshore. Callan Stevens on the Sarah JFK had 16 bigger fish with his best ling of 16lb and two big cod at 18lb and 19½lb. Jimmy Cassidy had the best ling of 20lb. The Stingray went well offshore at 24 miles where Dave McDonald had a cod of 17lb 7oz among other smaller doubles, and a pod of Minke whales kept the anglers amazed for most of the trip. The Sapphire out of Sunderland had ling to 9lb and many smaller cod to 4lb from various inshore marks off from Roker.
The first major open of the winter season is on Sunday September 22th at Seaton Sluice fishing between Tynemouth pier and Seahouses pier from 10am until 2pm. First prize is £500 for the heaviest bag with £100 for the heaviest roundfish and £50 for the heaviest flatfish. Basic entry is £12 for adults and £3 for juniors. There is a full supporting prize table with a special prize of a Greys rod for 40th place. Register at the Bank House Club Newbiggin from 7.30am until 9.30am. It is intended that all flatfish will be returned and all anglers returning to the weigh in with flatfish must keep them alive in a bucket. Contact Mick 07974 369897 for details.
On the same day there is a sweepstake open on Roker pier in aid of the R.N.L.I. fishing from 11am until 5pm. Entry is £2 with half the entry money going to the heaviest fish and the remainder to the R.N.L.I. Register at Sues Cafe on the front from 10am.
Looking slightly further ahead, the Bedlington Station open is on Sunday October 6th with fishing from 9am until 1pm between Tynemouth pier and Craster South pier (both piers excluded). Blyth pier is included seaward side and riverside with all other rivers out of bounds. Register at the Bank House Club Newbiggin from 7am. Basic entry is £12 for adults and £6 for women and juniors. First prize is £500 for the heaviest bag, top three heaviest fish depend on entry, and there is £50, £30, and £20 for the best three flatfish. There is a full supporting prize table with a special prize for 40th place.