There were reports of mackerel from the Region's piers until the middle of last week when northerly winds once again discoloured the sea. Some mackerel have been taken from the Hartlepool piers when conditions allow, but further north where the water is often a lot cleaner only South Shields pier has been fishable as Roker is now closed for construction work. South Shields pier is closed some days due to re-surfacing work so best to check before travelling to either pier.
When you can get access at South Shields some nice cod continue to be taken on very early morning tides with crab producing fish up to 4lb. Alan Heeley had cod to 3lb during a recent session losing one around 7lb as he tried to lift it up the pier wall. Pollack have been taken on float fishing gear but the normally reliable plaice have been very slow to show so far this year. However, Stuart Carr did manage a fine specimen of 2lb 3oz during a recent Fishermans Locker Sweepstake which was won by Mick Bell with a cod of 5lb 2oz.
The Northumberland rock edge marks are starting to improve with all of the usual marks at Beadnell, Newton, Seahouses, and up to Eyemouth producing cod up to 8lb. Steve Williams won the first Whitley Bay summer league match with six weighing 14½lb, with the best making 4lb 1oz, Scott Davison had three totalling 6lb 10oz, and Garry Appleton had three for 4¼lb.
There are plenty of fish in the Wear to keep match anglers happy and there is always the chance of a specimen flounder over the 2lb mark. The Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake saw 12 out of 24 the anglers land 15 flounders and a single cod. Mason Burton had the lone cod to win with 14oz ahead of Mick Davison with 13oz. The Blenny Hill Open on Saturday saw Paul Edwards win with three fish measuring 87cm, the best a 37cm flounder, followed by Steve Rackstraw with three for 83cm. In the Tyne, Dave Delaney had 286cm of fish to win his zone in a CMR sweepstake, Steve Potts won the other zone with 550cm. Bob Gascoigne won a Tynemouth retired members match in the Tyne with five dabs, two flounders and two plaice weighing 5lb 9oz ahead of Neil Garner with seven dabs for 3lb 1oz. Dave Milne had the heaviest fish, a cod of 2lb 2oz.
The Seaham Fallowfield Cup match on Sunday saw 41 anglers struggle to find anything of size with seven entrants weighing in seven fish. Ronnie Wright won with 2.97lb ahead of Mel Anderson with 2.61lb, and Ian Ainsley with 2.49lb.
Down at Hartlepool there are lots of smaller fish showing from the piers with the odd better dab or flounder among them, and some bigger flounders are evident from Parton and Crimdon beaches. Boats out of Hartlepool have been doing a lot better. The North Star has been taking good numbers of cod from the hard ground. Nine year old Oliver Whitton and his dad Paul fishing on Silver Fox out of Hartlepool landed around 50 size cod on light tackle with daylight lures intended for mackerel, on two occasions Oliver had triple headers with cod up to 5lb each time. Out of the Tyne the Sarah JFK has been taking up to 100 cod and ling on the better trips with the best cod around 13lb.