Isolated catches of mackerel have been reported over the last few days with small numbers of fish being landed on early morning tides from the piers at Blyth, South Shields and Roker. With continuing northerly to easterly winds keeping some colour in the water, mackerel certainly will not be moving inshore in any great numbers until more settled weather arrives. Meanwhile most anglers seem to be happy to fish the local rivers for good bags of flounders, coalfish and the odd codling. The various Durham beach marks and Hartlepool piers are producing plaice, dabs, flounders and small bass and on the Northumberland rock edge marks the summer cod population is starting to show. Those travelling over to the west coast along the Solway and Cumbrian shoreline are finding big bags of flounders.
Plaice are starting to show in reasonable numbers now, even when the sea is rough, and once settled and clean water conditions arrive they should be around in large numbers with specimens to 3lb likely in some areas. South Shields pier is a favoured mark if you can avoid the mackerel anglers.
The lower river Wear has been a little quiet with reduced numbers of flounders, though some bigger coalies to 2lb have been reported. The upper Wear marks at the Timber beach, Claxheugh, Golden Lion, and Pig Farm marks, have produced good bags of specimen flounders over the 2lb mark to fresh crab baits. Mick Quayle had 11 flounders to 37cm during a recent session at Claxheugh, with many other anglers reporting bags of up to 15 fish to 2lb or more. The lower Tyne has coalfish, plaice and the odd bigger cod showing to crab baits, and the upper Tyne has lots of flounders still looking for worm and mackerel baits. The river Aln also has a good population of flounders where Adam Burns won an Amble match with eight totalling 9lb, the best of which weighed 1lb 14oz. Up at Beadnell Dave Cruddas had two nice kelp cod of 5lb and 3lb.
Seaton Sluice A.C. travelled over to Port Carlisle for their last match when all members landed flounders up to 42cm. The winner Chris Guthrie had 12 weighing 11¾lb, Jimmy Dunn had eight for a weight of 9lb 6oz to take second and third placed Bryan Clennel had 13 totalling 8lb 6oz. The last Tynemouth A.C. match saw plenty of flatties landed. Chris Potts had four dabs and three plaice weighing 4lb 11oz to take top spot followed by Glen Campbell whose three plaice and one flounder weighed 3¾lb and Steve Harper had four flounders for 3½lb. Glen Campbell and Dave Hayley tied for the heaviest fish each with plaice of 1lb 3oz.
Tynemouth A.C. also had their first Summer League match fishing at Seahouses where Marty Elliott won with a single cod of 3½lb, Paul Forster had one of 2¼lb, and Gary Appleton had two coalies for a total bag of 2lb 3oz.
Alberta S.A.C. had a productive match in the Tyne with 22 out of 30 weighing in. Winner Ian Hodgkinson had 11 fish weighing 11lb, followed by Robert Burton on 8lb 10oz and Eric Bell with 6lb 10oz.
Boat angling is improving all the time here in the north east. The Volante out of Sunderland had a good session fishing the inshore wrecks taking cod to 9lb, averaging a good 5lb to 6lb, all taken on artificial shads. The Sapphire also out of Sunderland took cod mainly around the 5lb to 8lb mark with the best topping 10lb. Another Sunderland boat the Topliner also had cod to 10lb and pollack to 8lb. Richard Roll and Graham Napier had cod between 6lb and 11lb on Richard’s boat Stingray, the highlight of the trip being an orca that inspected their boat for several minutes. The Phantom out of Hartlepool also reported two whales swimming around the boat during a recent trip which produced 70 cod to 9lb as well as pollack and ling to 10lb, Ronnie Smith taking the best fish with a pollack of 10lb 11oz. Pollack are becoming a common catch now off this coast, Karl Robson on the Sarah JFK took one of 12½lb fishing off the Tyne, with other anglers taking specimens to 10lb.
The Whitby C.S.A. Summer Boat Competition starts on Saturday June 16th and runs until Sunday July 8th with a top prize of £3000 for the overall heaviest fish, £1000 for second, and £500 for third place. There is a £100 prize for the heaviest each day and £500 for the heaviest cod of the competition. Book direct with the relevant skippers during the competition period.