Shore sport has been very poor over recent days with cod few and far between. The prolonged heavy seas have washed a lot of feed out, it is a classic case of the sea being too rough for too long, and any fish are full of easy to get natural food. Many of the clean ground beaches have changed considerably following the big southeasterly seas. Some have been completely scoured out to the clay bed, and others at Crimdon and Seaton Carew have formed big offshore sandbars with nice big deep holes along the shoreline, unfortunately, there are few fish about to be caught in them. Anglers and bait diggers have reported many bird casualties during the rough seas with guillemots, razorbills, and puffins washed up along Parton and Crimdon beaches and dead specimens floating in the water off the various local piers.
Even the rivers have been very poor with just the odd flounder reported from the upper marks, although on a better tide some anglers report bags of up to 12 or more flounders taking worm and mackerel baits. The occasional cod have made an appearance from the lower Tyne and South Shields pier, and the more sheltered marks along the northeast shoreline, but generally most anglers have struggled to find anything of size, and even the normally reliable whiting and dabs have been thin on the ground.
A few cod to 3lb were reported from Rathouse Corner in the Wear, but on some tides the sea was too rough even to fish here. The base of South Shields pier also saw the odd cod landed when fishable with rumours of a big double figure fish lost when attempting to land it.
Steve Harriman won a sweepstake in the Wear at Southwick Promenade taking six flounders for 132cm ahead of Neil Cutler with five for 123cm; Michael Rich had the longest at 37cm. With sport expected to be poor only 25 fished the Seaham Good Friday open with only five weighing in. John Moyle won with a cod of 2½lb taken from the pier.
South of the Tees Paul Close won a recent St. Mary’s A.C. match with a cod of 9lb 5oz taken from Port Mulgrave. Their most recent match on Saturday demonstrated the lack of fish with only two out of 17 weighing in. Chris Woods had a single whiting of 11oz from South Gare, and Alan Burton fished Middleton to land two dabs weighing 9oz.