Cod are moving inshore in increasing numbers now with some nice mixed bags reported from all areas. Whiting are present in large numbers also, particularly on night tides, and along with the ever reliable dabs and flounders some anglers have reported bags of over 30 fish taken on worm, mackerel, and squid baits. The rivers Wear and Tyne are full of fish and most catch reports have tended to come from here with few anglers venturing out onto the rock edges unless there is some movement on the sea. Roker pier is still closed at the time of writing so the lower Wear has been quite popular as a productive alternative.
A nice south easterly sea brought the cod inshore early last week, particularly north of the Tyne where double figure bags were expected, and those out fishing were not disappointed. The Teesbay area also produced some nice cod as a change from the hordes of whiting, Middleton Pier often fishes well with the sea in this direction, and cod to 7lb were reported from here and also from the Pilot pier, the normally productive Staincliffe however was strangely quiet.
Bill Murray had three cod totalling 12lb including one of 6¾lb from Amble, Chris Kell won a Blyth match with seven cod weighing 12lb 11oz. Bedlington Station had a record winning weight for Darren Shields during their last match, he weighed in six cod weighing 25lb 9oz in total, the best of which also weighed 6¾lb, all taken at Amble. Second placed Steve Surtees weighed in five cod for 9lb 13oz from the same area. Amble was also productive for Gary Appleton who won a Seaton Sluice match with a seven cod bag weighing 14lb 13oz; followed by Dave Cruddas with six for 13lb 3oz. Mark Christian had the heaviest fish, a cod of 6lb 6oz.
Plenty of cod are also showing from Whitley Bay beach where Daryl Bell won a Tynemouth match with five cod weighing 13lb 7oz. Brad Hill finished second with four for 12¼lb, and Dave Hayley landed the heaviest fish, a cod of 7lb 1oz. Gary Wilson won a Whitley Bay match with six cod totalling 15lb 11oz ahead of Chris Stringer on count back. Chris’s five fish also weighed 15lb 11oz, and included the heaviest fish of 6lb 2oz. Third placed Dave Bentley had four fish for 9lb 15oz.
Hartlepool Pirates had a match last week with mixed bags weighed in. P. Shields landed six whiting from Middleton Pier for a bag weight of 5lb 11oz while Aaron Dixon finished runner-up with two cod of 5lb 7oz from the Green Wall at Seaham. In third place was Dave Robinson who travelled a bit further to South Shields Groyne and landed two dabs, a cod and a whiting for 3lb 3oz. Bill Bradley was fourth from the same mark with 2lb 11oz.
Cleadon A.C. found fish in the Tyne, Wear and from South Shields pier with 13 out of the 33 entrants weighing in. Winner Mark Shotton fished the Tyne to land the inevitable mixed bag of cod, coalfish, and whiting for a total of 11lb 6oz, including the heaviest fish of 3lb 7oz. Graham Slesser had five weighing 6lb 7oz from the pier to take second ahead of Trevor Green who fished the Wear for a bag of an ounce under five pounds.
The Eastenders Wednesday Evening Sweepstake saw some nice cod landed when 10 out of the 19 anglers weighed in 10 cod, two flounders and a single whiting. Tommy Tate fished the rock edges at Marsden to win with a cod of 6¾lb, followed by Chris Hossack with one of 5lb 5oz, and Ritchie Carr with a cod of 5¼lb.
Ryhope A.C. saw 30 competitors out of 72 weigh in mainly mixed bags from the Tyne, with whiting dominating. Anthony Lowther won with eight fish weighing 3.11kg, Darren Donelly had six for 2.9kg, and Alan Marsh had eight for 2.6kg. Paul Craig had the heaviest fish a cod of 2.4kg, Thomas Rutherford had the best flatfish at 0.4kg, and Matthew Winn was top junior with 2.17kg.
The Seaham open last Sunday saw 72 out of 313 weigh in 147 fish for 191.11lb with most of the better fish coming either from the North pier or to those anglers who could fish at distance from the beaches in relatively calm conditions. P. Hogson took the £1000 first prize for the heaviest fish with a cod of 6.99lb, Darren Swan in second had one of 5.03lb and D. Turnbull had one of 4.96lb. Paul Golightly had the heaviest bag with 7.93lb. J. Horner and G. Williams won the team event with 10.56lb followed by Paul Golightly and Paul Westmoreland with 7.93lb. Reece Crake was top junior with 2.24lb, Sue Hope was top lady, and the disabled prize went to Mick Tait.