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Northern Bites by Steve Walker – 13th April

Shore sport remains generally poor, although those fishing catch and release matches in the rivers with a 15cm size limit might find plenty of smaller fish to aim for with the bonus of a size flounder in both the Wear and Tyne.  The upper Tyne seems to have been productive lately with the Derwenthaugh Marina area producing a few size flounders.  The clean ground beaches at Seaham Hall, South Shields long beach, and North of the Tyne at Druridge Bay and Warkworth have also seen size flounders showing, and early plaice to around the 1lb mark have also been reported.  There have been no reports at all of any size cod from the rock edge marks since last weekend.

The Seaham Badger Open only saw 2 out of 20 weigh in 3 fish for 4.35lb.  A.Wilkinson had a cod of 2.78lb to win ahead of I.Heron with a dogfish of 1.33lb and a pouting of 0.24lb.

The Eastenders sweepstake saw 3 out of 14 weigh in 2 rockling, 1 cod, and 1 coalfish.  Chris Hossack had the cod and a rockling for 47cm, Brian Turnbull had a rockling of 26cm, and Gary Warwick had a coalfish for 24cm.

Boat anglers have suffered due to the recent windy conditions but the Sarah JFK out of the Tyne had a recent trip and managed to find smaller cod and ling around the 4lb mark with the odd pollack to 7lb also taken. Cod and ling have generally shown about three weeks early this year in the North of the region but it will probably not be until mid May before numbers start to increase in the Teesbay area.

In politics just one little word can mean a lot of things and Article 47 of the Common Fisheries Policy is no exception. The policy and its 390 proposed amendments went to the EU Fisheries Committee recently and was involved in what has been called “an outbreak of commonsense”. It looks like a victory for all the supporters of recreational sea angling in Britain, simply through the adoption of the word ‘May’ instead of ‘Shall’ in a couple of key paragraphs.

As well as this, the proposed amendment to exempt shore fishing has been passed. A relief to all of us. So, briefly, Article 47 as it now stands says:

In paragraph 1: Recreational fisheries conducted from a vessel in Community marine waters on a stock subject to a multi annual recovery plan may be evaluated by the Member State in whose waters they are conducted. Fishing with rod and reel from shore may not be included.

While in paragraph 2: Within two years of the date of entry into force of this Regulation, Member States may estimate the impact of recreational fisheries conducted in their waters and submit the information to the Commission.

The incorporation of this word into the policy can be interpreted in one easy way: We do not HAVE TO do any of it but if a country decides that it does want to submit information to the Commission, then the development of a monitoring system can follow automatically.

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Steve Walker

Steve Walker