Hook, line and sinker for Northumberland

Wednesday 1 August 2018 by Lydia Achard

It’s never too late to learn to fish! Northumberland has long been famed for its fishing hotspots, with the River Tyne considered one of the best salmon fisheries in the country. Here are a selection of the best places in Northumberland for anglers of all varieties to begin a love affair with fishing.

Here, local angler and blogger Adam Hope guides you through some of the county’s finest fishing hot spots – providing you with plenty of inspiration for a week break spent shoreside.

River Fishing
The Tyne is divided into three strands, each popular with local anglers and visitors. The North and South Tyne converge on the outskirts of the historic market town of Hexham, forming the River Tyne which flows east to the coast. Salmon and trout are regularly caught on all three rivers, with the North Tyne and River Tyne catering to coarse fishing. Prime locations for fishing the River Tyne can be found upstream at Wylam, with a number of idyllic banks and pebble beaches stretching all the way to Hexham. All of the Tyne’s fishing spots can be reached via the A69, connecting Newcastle and Carlisle – following the historic ruins of Hadrian’s Wall.

Beyond the Tyne, Northumberland offers a number of alternative river fishing opportunities. From the River Tweed just below the Scottish Borders to the River Wansbeck in central Northumberland, there’s an abundance of secluded and gentle waters for fly fishing. Running through the heart of Morpeth, the River Wansbeck is famed for its brown trout fishing – with lucrative waters just a short stroll from the town centre. The smaller river has a mix of fast running rapids and deeper, calmer stretches. While getting down to its muddy bank can be challenging in wet weather, the waters hold plenty of reward – so wherever you pitch up, you’ll never be short of spots to fish.

Type of fish: salmon, trout, gudgeon, roach, perch and pike.

Still Water Fishing 
If you prefer the calmer waters, Northumberland’s numerous still water fishing hotspots offer plenty of excitement for both fly and line fishing. What the county is lacking in natural lakes, is more than made up for with its plentiful reservoirs and fisheries.

No trip to the region is complete without a day spent at Kielder Water. This is the region’s largest body of water, with 27 miles of shoreline to enjoy – 20 of which you can cast your line from. The reservoir is regularly stocked with both rainbow and brown trout. Open between March and November, Leaplish Waterside Park is a dedicated visitor centre at Kielder, where anglers can obtain licences and even rent a boat for the day if you prefer to fish away for the water’s edge.

Fontburn Reservoir is perhaps the region’s most popular fishery due to its high numbers of sizable rainbow trout. With its own on-site tackle shop, café, picnic park and walking trails, it’s ideal for a family visit. Day passes can be bought from the visitor centre and all types of fishing are allowed here (from fly to bait) and the fishery welcomes everyone from novices to more experienced anglers.

Type of fish: rainbow and brown trout and carp.

Coastal Fishing
While the paths of sea and freshwater anglers rarely meet, a trip to Northumberland’s stunning coastline is a must. With more than 30 miles of pristine sandy beaches, craggy outcrops, piers and harbours, it offers a diverse coastal fishing scene.

Amble is one of the region’s most popular coastal hotspots, and is a regular for local fishermen. This established harbour town is a hive of fishing activity with its own angling centre and numerous boat charter companies offering cod fishing day trips from the marina. Head to Amble Angling Centre on Newburgh Street to stock up on lures and bait before trying your luck on Amble Pier – a popular spot for catching plaice and mackerel in the summer months.

If you prefer to cast your line from the beach, nearby Alnmouth allows anglers to fish without the need for a licence from the beach or in the River Aln’s estuary, right up to the Duchess Bridge. If you prefer to fish further upstream, you’ll need to obtain a licence – these are available from one of the many angling shops in the region. However, the beach and estuary offer fantastic flounder fishing and, if you’re lucky, you may even hook a rare atlantic salmon or sea trout.

As one of Northumberland’s most iconic seaside towns, Seahouses offers a lively and diverse scene for anglers and holidaymakers alike. Here, there are numerous fishing charter boats and day trips on offer. Keen sea anglers can look forward to hooking mackerel, pollack and cod, all while catching a glimpse of the famous Farne Islands’ grey seal and puffin colonies. Many fishing trips cater to beginners with tackle and bait included (alongside some tuition), making it an ideal family activity, however, longer trips are available too, catering to experienced sport fishermen.

Type of fish: plaice, mackerel, Atlantic salmon, pollack, and cod.

Where to stay:

Lemmington Lodge, Keepers Cottage, Teal House