Recent rough seas herald the start of the winter season for most anglers with cod now being the main target species. The bulk of the mackerel are long gone with just the odd specimen taking bottom fished baits intended for other species. The rivers are on top form for specimen flounders, and the Tyne and Wear both have good numbers of smaller, but in size cod and coalfish present. Some club matches continue to be won with double figure bags but sport is not quite as productive as in recent weeks. Crab bait is essential to ensure catches in the rivers but some anglers are starting to see the odd fish taking ragworm baits. The piers and beaches will produce cod to fresh crab and there are plenty of flatties, whiting, and smaller species taking various worm, squid, mackerel and cocktail baits. Those cod that were evident north of the Tyne in recent weeks are numbers of largely smaller fish. Lee Burton had a good session from a local Ryhope mark last week taking fourteen cod to 2lb. Prospects for the next few months continue to look promising.
An Eastenders rover match saw Kenny McCoy win with a cod of 1lb 11oz from South Shields pier, Chris Hossack was second with one of 1lb 10oz from Roker pier. The Seaham A.C. Treasurers Cup match saw Ernie Watson win with a late season mackerel of 1.13lb.
Tynemouth retired members saw eleven out of twenty-one weigh in a variety of species. Dave Hayley finished top with a cod of 2¼lb plus three coalfish for a 5½lb total. One ounce behind in second place Arthur Smeaton had three cod, a whiting, and a coalfish in his bag. Neil Garner had single specimens of cod, coalfish, whiting and eel for 3lb 8oz to finish third ahead of Dave Bentley who had a surprise dogfish of 1lb 6oz.
The Whitley Bay Open saw fifty-one of the 206 competitors weighing in ninety-three cod, six flounders, four wrasse, two coalfish and a single pollack for 127.95lb. The £500 first prize went to Steve Harper with eleven fish for 13lb 10oz taken from the Tyne while runner-up Phil Gee had three for 9lb 9oz. Keith Riley had three for 9lb 5oz from Castle Rocks to finish third and in fourth Geoff King had three for 9lb 1oz from Hadston. Ken West had the heaviest fish, a cod of 6lb 2oz while Keith Riley had one of 5lb 12oz and Dave Grieve had one of 5lb 10oz. Top junior was Jordan Crozier with had a single fish weighing 2lb 4oz.
Boat angling was producing some nice fish before the sea picked up; with some specimen ling being reported and George Haswell on the Sarah JFK had one of 25lb. Paul Mouat had cod of 21lb and 17lb on the same trip. George Marshall won the Hartlepool boat sweepstake with a ling of 19lb. Kevin Blyth took son Mark out in their boat Wor Lass for a 13th birthday trip, mark landing cod of 9lb and two at 6lb with fishing partner Steve Wilmott taking cod to 10lb. The Whitby Autumn Boat Festival has not seen much fishing in the heavy seas but the leader at present is nine year old Alex Shaduwa with a ling of 20lb 14oz.
A reminder that the Newbiggin Open is on Sunday September 26th fishing from 10am until 2pm (low water 11:51), between Seahouses Breakwater to Tynemouth pier, all estuaries and piers excluded. Basic entry is £10, juniors £3, plus team and pool events. There is £2000 in cash prizes including £500 for the winner plus the usual supporting prize table. See www.newbigginsac.co.uk for details.
The Seaton Sluice open is on Sunday October 10th fishing from 10am till 2pm between Amble pier and Tynemouth pier. Basic entry is £10, juniors free if accompanied by a paying adult, plus optional pools and team events. First prize is £500 plus a £3000 prize table. Register at the Bank House Club Newbiggin from 8am till 9:30am, weigh in from 2pm till 3pm.