THE upper reaches of the
warmer months when the river is full of flounders and eels.
From May until September local clubs hold numerous matches along the quayside venues, and even the prestigious National SAMF Masters Final has been staged on these jetties. The range of fishing marks are numerous and varied, with upwards of 10 miles of productive quayside marks to choose from.
Most baits are used to good effect, although the hardened match anglers much prefer fresh peeler crab, followed by white ragworm and lugworm tipped-off with a sliver of fresh mackerel.
ST PETERS BASIN
This long, sprawling quay has produced many memorable catches over the years, in particular massive bags of freshwater eels, with fish to over 2lb. This mark is popular, especially on evening tides during the summer months when the eels go berserk and the action is non-stop. Spillers can accommodate large numbers of anglers and is often used as a match venue when flounders and eels are the quarry, with fresh peeler crab the most effective bait. Sadly, the quay is rarely fished during the winter when codling, whiting and flounder can be landed in good numbers.
OUSE BURN WATERSPORTS
At the mouth of the Ouse Burn and along the quay fronting the water sports centre produces some tremendous sport with eels and flounders. Parking is possible very close to the fishing marks and at the weekend these spots are very busy. At the mouth of the tributary, short casting can be very effective and bites unbelievable with fresh peeler crab. Further up the quayside, upriver of the water sports centre, a cast of 100 yards will put your bait into the main channel, which is where most of the codling and whiting are hooked.
The Copthorne is a recently constructed riverside hotel with a wide promenade running its full length, providing anglers with a superb fishing venue. Just to the west of the hotel is a car park situated directly under the
BRITISH AIRWAYS CAR PARK
The car park is one of the top match venues providing safe parking coupled with excellent fishing. This is another high-water spot, which can produce huge bags of flounders and eels on fresh peeler crab baits. Move upriver and there are a series of grassy banks, also very convenient for fishing, that can accommodate large numbers of anglers. The favoured spot is the west-end corner of the quay, where long casting into the main channel can produce excellent bags of eels with many of them topping the 2lb mark.
This is the latest fishing spot to attract the match fraternity. Newburn is a recently completed quay with a walkway situated directly under the city’s Western Bypass. Access is via the Scotswood Road slip road, with ample parking adjacent to the new quays. The river narrows at this spot and a cast of 70 yards is sufficient to place your baits into the main channel. Fishing is possible approximately three hours either side of high water when the muddy banks are fully covered. The main quarry when the tide is running hard will be eels but, as the flow starts to ease, good numbers of flounders can be caught.
LOCAL TACKLE SHOPS
ID Fishing, Chillingham Road,
Bagnall & Kirkwood, 28 Grey Street,
Walker Angling Centre, 1200 Walker Road,
ALS, Bowsden Terrace,
TF Top Tip
Adding coloured beads and sequins to your rigs can help attract flounders. Even using a brightly-coloured snood line can often work wonders. Using fine wire, long-shank hooks for flounders and eels will make unhooking far easier. Try the B940M pattern from Kamasan in sizes 1 to 2/0.