THE picturesque village of Craster is surrounded by brilliant fishing marks producing some tremendous catches of fish throughout the year.The main quarry, cod and coalfish, spend all their time feeding in among the weed beds that fringe the shoreline, so catching them is pretty straightforward.
In places the kelp jungles make shore fishing more like a tug of war competition, with weed beds claiming many hundreds of leads every season, but if you have your wits about you and are quick off the mark you can winkle a few fish out while you lose your leads.
The rewards are well worth fighting for with fish to double figures landed every year. As well as cod and coalfish, other species occasionally landed are conger eel, lesser-spotted dogfish, pollack, ballan wrasse and mackerel.
Dunstanburgh Castle dominates the coastline for miles around. It is a magnificent example and a reminder of Northumbria’s past glory. The cliffs and surrounding rock edges are superb fishing marks and capable of producing a wide variety of species. During the warmer months mackerel and pollack are taken in good numbers to both spinners and float-fished mackerel strip or ragworm baits. Bottom fishing will give good sport with cod, ballan wrasse, lesser-spotted dogfish and coalfish – peeler crab being the favourite bait.
These rock marks are very popular and can produce some outstanding catches. In the winter, cod and coalfish are the usual quarry, but during the summer lesser-spotted dogfish and ballan wrasse show in good numbers with sandeel, peeler crab and ragworm the top baits.
The grassy banks and beautiful scenery make this an ideal spot for a combined family day out and fishing trip. So, if the weather is being kind and the sun is shining, make the most of this wonderful mark and give it a try.
The harbour is an absolute gem of a mark capable of producing massive catches of coalfish, flounder, cod and even the occasional conger eel. Both short piers protecting the inner harbour provide anglers with excellent fishing platforms and are well used, especially during the warmer months of the year. Until recently the local kipper-smoking factory regularly dumped a great deal of waste material into the harbour, attracting fish from all over the area. This practice has stopped but the fish remain and are still landed in good numbers. The top bait is frozen peeler crab, ragworm and mackerel strip or perhaps it might be worth trying kipper.
This low-water, big-tide mark can produce outstanding catches of cod with fish into double figures possible. The offshore island is very popular with competition anglers who wade onto it as the tide is dropping away, about two hours before low water, and then walk off when the flood threatens to leave them stranded.
Peeler crab and runnydown lugworm are the top baits with mussel and razorfish good standbys. Get some local advice from a tackle shop before you fish here to find out exactly where the fish are being caught from.
The rock edges running between Craster and Cullernose Point contain some superb fishing marks with good sport possible at any stage or size of tide.
The best time to start fishing is just before low water so that the deeper gullies are visible and easily located, then fish the flood tide casting into the middle of the weed beds. Again it is advisable to use rotten bottom pulley rigs here to minimise tackle losses
The rock edges are surrounded by a grassy bank, which makes a wonderful place for a family fishing session incorporating a picnic, if the weather allows!
Fishable at any stage of the tide, Cullernose Point is a deepwater mark producing brilliant catches of codling, coalfish and the occasional big pollack. The shore end of the point is an excellent high-water mark where a short cast of less than 50 yards can yield good catches of coalfish to frozen peeler crab baits. The cliffs are quite high at this spot. As the tide ebbs away and the point skeers are exposed, a cast of 100 yards at a 45 degree angle to shore will put your bait into very deep water. You’ll wait what seems like an age as your sinker finds the sea bed. In a good year this mark will produce a number of terrific bags of cod.
W Temple, 43 Ocean View, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, NE26 1AL, Tel: 0191 2526017.
Scott’s Of Whitley Bay, 76a Whitley Road, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, NE26 2NE.
TF Top Tips
Make sure you’ve got plenty of fresh peeler crab when you fish these marks, especially if you’re after cod. Always check your hook points and change your hooks regularly to ensure a perfect hook-up on that fish of a lifetime.