Fishing at Tynemouth Haven

In July when the mackerel were abundant, Ross could catch up to a hundred big fish in one session.

In the late forties, two teenagers came to Tynemouth Haven to fish and to mess about on the beach and the North Pier.  The mode of transport was by bicycle down the single carriageway Coast Road.

In July of 1947, the two chaps were introduced to the delight of mackerel fishing just beyond the bar.

Ross Linkleter was a retired policeman who, in a savage beating, had one leg badly damaged and was better able to make himself understood than understand what was being said to him.

He knew how to fish and how to catch mackerel and, in July, the fish were abundant.  He could catch up to 100 plus big fish in one session, and my friend and I provided the rowing power to propel his skiff “Wren” to his preferred location and back.

In return, when the mackerel had moved on, Ross taught us to sail.  He modified “Wren” to accept a small gaff rig.  We weren’t allowed to go past the four poles, (the remains of an old jetty) manoeuvring a small gaff rigged boat in the tiny area available required great dexterity.  Just the thing to learn to sail.  Ross would stand on the beach and bellow his wrath if he detected a tiny error and so we progressed.  Fifty odd years later we still sail – bigger boats – but the memory of those early days remains vividly alive.

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