The River Tyne is renowned as a top game angling river, but it is also excellent for sea angling. Summer months can produce good bags of flounders and eels and in the winter other species can be caught. Cod are present all year round, but the winter months tend to give the bigger fish, with cod to 7lb plus being taken from as far up river as the Newcastle Business Park. There have been odd bass taken, but these are certainly not present in numbers. Flounders and eels are probably the most prolific species present. There are plenty of public areas which can be fished on both sides of the river. Baits for the cod tend to be peeler crab and for the eels and flounders rag worm or lug worm, coupled with strips of mackerel.
In the summer months mackerel move into the lower stretches and can be taken in fair numbers, especially from the North Shields Fish Quay area using spinners, feathers or float fished fish strip. The Groyne at South Shields can give some good bags of cod, but tackle losses can be expected, with crab being the top bait. Lots of Open Angling Competitions are held in the Tyne with competitors taking part now mainly fishing on a catch-and-release basis, which obviously helps conservation.
Best times to fish the river are either the last hour of the ebb and the first two hours of the flood, or one hour before top of the tide and one hour after top water. When the tide is flooding hard, spiders are advisable as plain leads tend to roll with the tide. Hooks need not be big, with a 2.0 quite big enough. Main lines vary, depending on the skill of the angler, but for safety reasons it is advisable to use a shock leader with a breaking strain of at least 10 lbs per 1 oz. of sinker - i.e. 6 oz sinker = 60 lbs. shock leader. Long casting is not necessary as the majority of fish tend to feed close in to the jetties and river bank. There have been double-figure cod taken in the past, so there is always the chance of one of these.
Thanks to Sam Harris for providing information for this article.