There are still plenty of cod showing from all areas along the north east coast, even in relatively settled conditions, with double figure bags again reported from several areas. Most cod are still on the small side around the 1lb to 2lb mark, but bigger fish to 8lb are also starting to show from the rocky marks. The cod have also started to move onto the clean ground beaches when conditions allow, with just a slight swell needed to produce the fish, particularly on a night tide. At other times quality whiting are starting to show, there are also a few early fat winter dabs, some big flounders, and in the north of the region, coalfish are increasing in numbers. Those anglers fishing in settled conditions are still managing to land double figure mixed bags with whiting dominating. Middleton Pier, Roker Pier and South Shields Pier have all seen some nice sized whiting showing. Windy conditions last midweek saw the rivers Tyne and Wear offering some shelter with the usual small cod and coalfish out in force, crab is still the favoured bait in the rivers but worm baits are starting to produce fish.
The last Cleadon A.C. match saw the ever reliable Tyne being the favoured venue where Peter Seymour won with nine cod for 10lb 13oz with second placed John Newcombe landing five for 8lb 2oz and Terry Wood had the heaviest fish, a fine cod of 7lb 10oz from Marsden Bay.
A Blyth A.C. match saw a good win for Peter Smith who fished Druridge Bay to land nine cod, best weighing 3lb 10oz, for a total of 17¼lb. Nigel Howitt finished second with two cod and two coalfish for 6¾lb from Lynemouth and Chris Kell followed him with three cod and a flounder for 5lb 14oz from Tynemouth.
The Tynemouth Sunday League match saw Alan Norman win with a good mixed bag of four coalfish, best 2lb 6oz and three cod weighing 9lb 1oz followed by Jai Thompson with a single cod, coalfish and flounder for 2lb 15oz.
The Tynemouth retired members match saw another nice mixed bag when Ken Robinson brought six whiting, two coalfish, two dabs and a cod weighing for 8lb 15oz to the scales. Runner-up Arthur Smeaton had three coalfish, two whiting and a dab totalling 6lb 5oz and in third Wilf Reed had nine whiting and one dab for 6lb 3oz.
The Bedlington open last Sunday saw 44 out of 210 weigh in 65 fish weighing an ounce over 132lb. First place went to Rob Thurwell with four cod weighing 11lb 14oz from Marden and Anthony Eke had four cod for 9lb 5oz from Amble. Dave Boaden was third and took the heaviest fish prize with a cod of 7lb 14oz. Top junior Ross Lansbury had 1lb 14oz.
There are some bigger cod starting to show south of the Tees from the rock edge marks between Redcar and Whitby. Paul Medd, fishing Boulby, and Gary Joyce, fishing Port Mulgrave tied for the heaviest fish in the Redcar Navy and Gentleman’s Club Open, each with cod of 5lb, Paul Short was third with a cod of 4lb 10oz from Boulby. Paul Medd also had the heaviest bag with a superb catch of eight cod weighing in at 25lb 11oz, B. Laws had four for 10lb 13oz from Kettleness, and top lady was Vanessa Barker with a flounder of 190 grams. 26 out of 88 anglers weighed in 38 cod and seven flounders in a match fished in rough conditions.