Shore sport has been quiet recently with small tides and gale force westerly winds keeping the sea flat most days. The Hartlepool piers have generally seen the better sport regarding numbers of fish though most fish are on the small side. Whiting dominate, particularly on night time tides, spring flounders are starting to show in numbers among lots of dabs, and the odd size cod have been reported from the low water marks. The Durham beaches are much the same with those anglers who can cast at long range having the advantage; again odd cod have shown on night time tides and from the rougher ground marks. Smaller cod continue to be taken from the rock edge marks between Roker and South Shields pier, though the pier has fished well on some tides, and the rock edges north of the Tyne have been unusually quiet. The river Wear has plenty of mainly smaller flounders showing, and the Tyne has smaller fish in the lower river, and flounders upriver of the Tyne Bridge.
A recent Ryhope heaviest fish sweepstake saw Barrie Stowells win two in a row with a cod of 2lb 4oz taken from Roker pier where Bob Surtees also had a cod of 1lb 6oz, and Karl Dylon a whiting of 1lb. Fifty three members fished a Ryhope club match last Sunday and with just a nice swell on the sea there were good numbers of those smaller cod that have moved inshore lately taken mainly from the round end on Roker pier. Lee Burton had four cod and two whiting for 4.75kg just ahead of Andy Rutherford with four cod and one whiting for 4.49kg. Ryan Taylor had four cod and one whiting for 3.98kg, best 1.53kg, and Paul Hossack had the best flatfish with a flounder of 0.58kg.
The Seaham Lawson Trophy match also produced cod, with a slight northerly swell helping things along. Twelve out of the 47 anglers weighed in 17 cod and 12 whiting for 36.8oz. Danny Swan fished the Blast Ledge to win with 11 fish for 10.49lb well ahead of Peter Appleby with three fish weighing 5.39lb taken at the Falls, and Dave Bond with three totalling 4.67lb from the North pier. Peter Appleby and Gary Blanchard shared the heaviest fish prize each with a cod of 2.24lb. The 17 anglers who fished the South Shields monthly sweepstake match on the pier also took advantage of the slight swell with 11 weighing in some nice bags of cod. R. Oliver had six for a total of 14¼lb, the best weighing 4lb 5oz. D. Carrick had six for 9lb 10oz, and M. Robson had four for 5lb 13oz.
The lower Tyne continues to produce mixed bags but with the recent small tides results have been poor. Cod, whiting, dabs, flounders, and the odd early plaice have featured in catches. Only seven out of 18 weighed in for a recent Tynemouth Sunday match won by Mick David with a six fish mixed bag of 3lb 1oz, Chris Robson had a similar four fish bag totalling 3lb , and Paul Foster had three weighing 2lb 11oz. Steve Harper had the heaviest fish, a cod of 1lb 7oz. A Tynemouth retired members match saw slightly better results when Bob Gascoigne won with a six cod bag of 13lb 15oz, including the heaviest fish of 6¼lb. Arthur Smeaton had two cod and one whiting for 4lb 14oz, and Dave Scrimgeur had two cod and one whiting weighing 3lb 2oz. Cleadon A.C. fished in the Tyne and M. Daglish only needed to land a cod of 2lb 6oz to be the best out of six who weighed in.