The River Tyne is being hailed as ‘a float angler’s dream’ after more than 1,170lb of quality dace and chub were taken in a match last week.
The sixth annual Tyne Championships produced huge nets of silvers to the 100 competing anglers, highlighting the waterway’s incredible restoration back to the glorious days of yesteryear.
Match-winner Steve Hoggins netted a new river record match weight of 64lb 10oz of mainly dace to 12oz, together with a handful of chub to 2lb, from the Riding Mill stretch of the North-East venue.
Steve, match organiser for the Tyne Anglers’ Alliance, has been instrumental in working with the EA, game fishing clubs and riparian owners to help restore the river’s coarse stocks after they collapsed in the late 1980s, resulting in the match scene all but disappearing.
“The work of the Agency and the Tyne Anglers’ Alliance has been a phenomenal success story. Putting together that net in the championships represented a very special day for me personally,” said Steve, a 47-year-old logistics worker from Ryton, in the Tyne Valley.
“While a lot of the river is still inaccessible to coarse anglers, the handful of matches we organise give anglers the opportunity to sample some of the best dace fishing in the country,” added Steve, who compiled his winning weight by presenting white maggot on a 4m whip while feeding groundbait and maggot.
He was closely followed by second-placed Pete Hyde, who employed stick float and maggot tactics on the same section to land 53lb 5oz.
Most competitors, some of whom travelled from as far as Nottingham, fished stick, waggler or whip tactics to make the most of the prolific dace shoals, although some on the lower sections looked for bigger chub, with Mike Smith landing one at 5lb 2oz.
Day-ticket fishing is available on the Hexham stretch with tickets available from the town’s tourist office, while a Northumberland Anglers Federation season permit also provides access to great stick float sport.
“For the float angler, the river is nothing short of a dream,” said Steve. “It’s incredibly picturesque and full of fish.”