THIS stretch of the River Tyne produces
some of the best all-round sport available in the area, with codling being taken as far inland as ten miles! The Tyne is a big river and local anglers never cease singing its praises. The marks on the south bank provide anglers with a wide variety of fishing venues that are capable of producing good bags of fish all year round.
During most months of the year, shoals of codling are resident throughout the entire estuary and are often landed nearly 10 miles upriver. In recent years, codling have been joined by vast numbers of whiting in the autumn, and sport can be hectic with most baits being snapped up with great relish. Upriver, flounder and eel are the summer species, with peeler crab the vital ingredient to success.
THE GROYNE, SOUTH SHIELDS
Situated at the mouth the River Tyne, the groyne (Red Light) is one of the best all-round fishing marks in the northeast. With plenty of safe car parking close by, this short pier can produce a wide variety of species. During the winter, codling, whiting and coalfish are the main quarry, with the latter often showing in considerable numbers to frozen peeler crab baits. As a general rule, codling are caught by the long-distance casters placing their baits over 100 yards out into the shipping channel. In contrast the best catches of coalies are often taken at very close range when the bites can be fast and furious. In the summer months codling and coalfish are still present but not in any great numbers with plaice, flounder, dab and freshwater eel providing the best sport.
MILL DAM, SOUTH SHIELDS
A short distance upriver from South Shields’ ferry port are a series of jetties known locally as Mill Dam. These jetties provide a safe and convenient fishing area for youngsters, often accompanied by their parents who can park within a few yards of the river. This area will produce good catches of codling and whiting from September to March with lugworm, ragworm and peeler crab the top baits. In the summer, flounder and eel are landed in good numbers plus a sprinkling of small codling, which seem to remain in the estuary all year round. Most baits are used with varying success rates although peeler crab takes some beating.
JARROW RIVERSIDE PARK
The hotspot at Jarrow is the jetty adjacent to the entrance of the pedestrian Tyne Tunnel. This mark produces lots of codling throughout the year as well as plenty of flounder, whiting and freshwater eel. This popular mark and walkway fronting the riverside is a brilliant fishery, and it’s unusual not to find at least half a dozen anglers fishing on weekdays, with standing room only at the weekend.
The top cod bait for most months of the year is fresh or frozen peeler crab followed closely by lugworm and mackerel strip.
HEBBURN RIVERSIDE PARK
At Hebburn the Riverside Park is currently being renovated and many stretches of the quayside are fenced off while the work is being completed. The hotspot at the western end of the park remains open to anglers though and the elevated section of the quayside can produce some tremendous catches of codling and whiting.
In a good year cod are present throughout the year and fish to 5lb are landed on a regular basis, with the winter months producing the biggest specimens. During the summer, when fresh peeler crab is available, flounder and freshwater eel will dominate catches.
FRIARS GOOSE QUAYS
The quays either side of the Friars Goose Water Sports Club can produce plenty of action during the warmer months of the year with flounder and freshwater eel the main quarry. These quays can occasionally give up a few other species roughly marking the upriver limit of codling, although whiting can be quite prolific.
During the winter period these marks are rarely fished although flounder to well over 2lb are possible. Again peeler crab is the top flattie bait with lugworm tipped with mackerel strip accounting for most of the whiting.
GATESHEAD (OPPOSITE THE COPTHORNE HOTEL)
The grassy banks just inland of the swing bridge are popular for matches and can produce some excellent catches of flounder and freshwater eel during the summer period of June to September. Many of the flounder are caught at close range by casting fresh peeler crab baits tipped with mackerel strip 30 yards out as the tide is flooding or ebbing. In contrast, freshwater eel are targeted by casting small peeler crab baits 100 yards or more into the main channel. Plenty of tidal movement seems to produce more bites here.
ID Fishing, Mile End Road, SouthShields, Tel: 0191 4563953
Reelsport, 237a Victoria Road East, Hebburn, Tel: 0191 4300247
Fraser’s Angling & Outdoors, 69 Coatsworth Road, Gateshead, Tel: 0191 4775950
TF Top Tip
Frozen mackerel strip can be a deadly bait at certain times of the year, so don’t rule out taking it with you. If you can’t get hold of any peeler crab or lugworm for a winter cod session, take along some frozen squid instead.