With a bit of movement on the sea over the last few days some anglers have reported landing a few in size cod to around the 3lb to 4lb mark but there are a lot of small undersize fish among them, particularly from the river Tyne and lower river marks at the Walkway and South Shields pier. Bob Coates fished the Spiles at Seaham and took cod to 3lb during a hectic first few hours but was then fishless for the rest of the session. Roker pier and South Shields pier have both seen small plaice landed as well as the odd small pollack to suggest that summer is on its way. Craig Chapman landed a pollack of 2¼lb from Roker which took a ragworm bait. The upper Wear continues to produce lots of flounders to worm and mackerel baits, with as always, the chance of a 2lb specimen amongst them. Some anglers have started to fish over on the West Cumbrian coast for the large numbers of flounders that can be expected from this area but have mainly been disappointed with just the odd smaller fish showing.
A lot of angling clubs will now be finishing their winter season and then starting their summer matches early May, others will be concentrating on fishing in the rivers for flounders. A Tynemouth match on Sunday only produced two size flounders at the weigh in when Malcolm Cairns had one for 1lb 1oz, and Mick Agnew one of 8oz. The Ryhope match on Sunday fished South of the Tyne saw better results with some of the 50 fishing landing cod, mainly from Whitburn. Gary Watson had three for 3.21kg, the best at 1.33kg, Paul Richardson had three totalling 1.77kg, Lee Burton had two cod for 1.62kg, and the best flatfish went to Ralph Stephenson with a flounder of 0.60kg. Top junior again was Matthew Winn with two flounders weighing 0.78kg. The Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake also produced a few cod. Lee Burton won with one of 4½lb taken from the Targets and Bob Surtees had one of 3¼lb from Roker pier.
Former Hartlepool charter skipper Chaz Walker now operates his boat Lady Elsie up in Norway where he has had spectacular success with the big cod that seem to attract British anglers in their thousands. Hartlepool anglers Garry Owen and Steve Tate, and several other anglers, had a good week recently taking cod up to 64lb with many others around the 40lb to 50lb mark landed. They had a lot more cod around the 20lb to 30lb mark, with nearly all these monster fish being returned alive. Some cod well over the 70lb mark were reported lost. The shore fishing was also productive with the best session producing 63 cod all around the 3lb to 4lb mark as well as haddock to 7lb, all taken on sporting spinning rods. During daylight hours the fish were taking lures and on night time sessions bait fishing was the most productive.
The Seaham Good Friday Open on April 18th is fished from 12 noon until 5pm with fishing between Hendon Groyne (excluded) to Saddleback Rock at Hawthorne Hive. The North pier will have 100 pegs available weather permitting. Hawthorn Point and the cliffs above will be out of bounds. Basic entry is £10 plus pools and team event. Top prizes are for the heaviest fish with payout depending on entry. Register from 10am until 11.30am at Seaham H.Q. Contact 0191 5810321 for details.