The heavy seas of late continue to produce some nice bags of cod for those who have braved the snow, but catches are increasingly becoming hit or miss even in perfect conditions. The prolonged sea conditions have almost certainly washed a lot of natural bait out and the fish will be preoccupied with this easy source of food rather than anglers baits. Some of the more sheltered marks have fished very well with cod to 6lb reported from the North Gare, Middleton and Pilot piers, Rathouse Corner and Roker beach in the Wear together with the marks at the first gate on South Shields pier and the Frenchman’s Bay.
James Sanderson had 17 cod from South Shields pier and Bob Grant had seven cod to 5lb from Seaburn. Club matches have also produced some nice mixed bags of cod, whiting, dabs, flounders and the odd bass. Gary Wilson won a Whitley Bay match with five cod for 9lb 2oz from Blyth when he was the only member to weigh in.
A Tynemouth A.C. Sunday League match saw Steve Harper win with an excellent bag of eight cod, the best weighing 4lb 3oz, seven whiting and three dabs weighing 25lb 9oz. Steve was followed home by Paul Foster with six cod, a whiting and a dab for 14¾lb. Garry Appleton won a Seaton Sluice match with a nine cod catch weighing 18lb 6oz taken from Blyth. Second placed Chris Guthrie took six cod for 13½lb, including the best fish at 4lb 3oz.
The Tynemouth Winter League match saw Paul Wright fishing at Blyth to win with eight cod and one whiting which tipped the scales at 14lb 5oz. Dave McGloughlin finished second with five cod weighing 11lb 2oz and third placed Steve Harper had six cod and a flounder for 10lb 5oz. Peter Smith won a recent Blyth match with three cod catch of 10lb 10oz the best of which weighed 6lb 3oz. Ronnie Forest won a Bedlington Station match with eight cod weighing 21lb14oz from Tynemouth Beach followed by Darren Shields with ten cod for 18lb 11oz taken from the productive Blyth.
A Cleadon A.C. outing saw the Tyne and South Shields pier back on form for their last match won by Gav Hall with four cod for 6lb 15oz taken from the Tyne, Andy Grieff had two weighing 5lb 9oz from the pier and Norman Spour landed two for 4lb 5oz from Whitburn.
The river Wear has small cod present with the odd bigger specimens to 6lb reported. A recent Eastenders sweepstake saw Ernie Hunter win with a cod of 2lb10oz taken from the Glass Centre. Their last club match saw Barrie Wright win with a cod of 6½lb taken from Roker beach while the Club’s Saturday afternoon Open match saw Chris Hossack win with seven cod for 10lb taken from the High Ledge and runner-up Steve Rackstraw beached six weighing 9lb.
Horden Surfcasters located smaller codling during their last match which was won by Jim Dobie with five for 7lb 5oz. Second spot went to Ron Smith with three codling weighing 5lb 3oz, including the heaviest fish of 2lb 3oz, followed in third by Paul Peacock with three for 4lb 13oz.
The Saltburn Open was fished in heavy snow with 26 out of 63 braving the weather landing 49 cod, three rockling, one bass, one whiting and a flounder for 144lb. Paul Medd finished in first place when he landed five cod weighing 13lb 2oz ahead of closest rival John Nixon who had one fish less for 11¼lb. Third placed Martin Jackson beached three for 10lb 13oz and Mark Smith had the heaviest fish, a cod of 6lb 9oz.
The last Saltburn club match was won by Steve Coverdale who landed three cod and a bass for 8lb 6oz to pip Mark Smith who had two weighing 8lb 4oz. James Moore weighed in the heaviest fish, an excellent cod of 7lb 11oz. The Redcar Navy and Gentleman’s Club match was not so productive and only Frank Harrison weighed in bringing two whiting to the scales for 1¾lb taken from the Tees.
The 34th Amble Open is on Sunday January 9th fishing from 10am till 2pm between Seahouses South pier to Lynemouth Pipe, excluding all piers and rivers. Basic entry is £12 which includes the heaviest fish sweep. Top prizes for the heaviest bags are £600, £300, and £150; the first three heaviest fish will receive £300, £200, and £100. The top three heaviest flatfish receive £150, £100, and £50; the top three ladies receive £50, £30, and £20 with the same monies for the top three juniors. There is a supporting prize table of £4000. Register at the Radcliffe Club, Amble from 7.30 in the morning and the weigh in from 2pm till 3pm prompt. No wrasse or eels are allowed and the size limit for flounders is 27cm. Bait can be ordered from the Amble Angling Centre, contact Norma on 01665 711200. Details Jim French 01665 711007
The Sunderland shore angling festival which was due to take place on Saturday and Sunday 4th and 5th December was cancelled due to the weather and is now expected to be fished on February 4th and 5th 2011.