A prolonged period of northerly winds put a big lazy swell onto the sea, and the best conditions so far this winter certainly produced cod, with plenty of good mixed bags reported from all along the northeast shoreline. Down at Hartlepool the cod have moved in at last and have replaced the whiting, albeit only temporarily, so make the most of it before the bait robbers return in greater numbers. Middleton pier fished very well with cod to 7lb reported over several tides during the middle of last week. Jay Kelly had one of the better bags taking six cod to 7lb on frozen crab bait during his midweek session. Elsewhere the Staincliffe was also productive, and a nice deep hole along the promenade at the Twin Steps should be capable of producing similar results as the sea drops off. The North Gare however, normally a good spot in such conditions, is so overwhelmed with floodwater and debris coming down the river that it is best avoided until the water clears. Parton beach has produced fish but Crimdon beach, normally a hot spot, is washed out with no holes in the seabed to fish into. Hartlepool Pirates had a match just before the sea got up and whiting dominated as expected. Bill Bradley had 30 for a total weight of 21lb 2oz to take top spot, J. Watts was just behind with 29 fish for 20lb 1oz. Third placed Adam Dendrickson had 24 weighing 15¼lb and Steve Swales was fourth with 10lb 2oz. The heaviest fish was landed by P. Shields of 1lb 5oz.
The rock edges between Roker and South Shields continue to be productive for some bigger sized cod. Paul Hossack had two totalling 4.3lkg, best 3.24kg (7lb 5oz), taken from Whitburn to win the last Ryhope match. Paul Riley had five cod for 3.94kg; Anthony Lowther had two weighing 1.72kg. Tommy Tate had the best flatfish at 0.29kg, and top junior was Daniel Tate with 0.31kg.
Bob Surtees won the Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake with a cod of 2½lb, also landed at Whitburn. Cleadon A.C. saw a few cod showing in their last match fished before the rough seas built up, with the rock edges North of Roker once again the top marks to fish. Steve Riddell had three weighing 11lb, the best was 4lb 13oz, from Marsden, and Geordie Stobbs had two for 3lb 3oz from Seaburn. Steve Riddell had a later pleasure session taking cod to 8½lb at Marsden. The popular Hendon Wall area is reported to be covered in sewage after the recent rains and anglers are being advised to avoid the area until it has cleared.
Alberta S.A.C. saw most of their fish come from Roker or the Tyne with 21 out of 26 weighing in. Darren Browne headed for Roker to target the whiting and landed 35 of them for a total weight of 20lb. Mark Daglish fished the Tyne to find 15 fish weighing 14 – 01lb, and Mick Dellin had the heaviest fish, a cod of 4lb 10oz. Marty Elliott won a productive Tynemouth match with three cod for 15 – 01lb, including one of 6lb 3oz, taken from the Barge Bottoms. Runner-up Dave Hayley had three weighing 11lb 12oz from Slatey Gut and Callum Stevens had a nice double figure personal best cod of 11½lb from the same mark. Fourth placed Richy Muir had four for 7lb 3oz. The Amble area produced some big bags of cod earlier last week with some anglers reporting bags of over 10 fish a rod. All the 12 anglers who weighed in during the last Blyth match fished at Amble where D. Carss won with five cod weighing 14lb 1oz. T. Barton finished second with a single cod of 8lb 3oz which was also the heaviest fish. Third placed M. Hardy had four totalling 5lb 14oz and C. Hopkins who fished as a guest for the match had six cod for 13 – 11lb.
The Redcar Navy and Gents A.C. Open takes place on Sunday December 16th with fishing from 10am until 2.30pm between South Gare Paddy’s Hole to Whitby East pier including the river up to the Swing Bridge. Basic entry is £8 for adults and £2.50 for juniors plus pools and team events. Register from 8.30am at the Redcar Angling Centre, High Street, Redcar. Top prizes for the heaviest fish are £500, £200, and £100 plus junior and ladies prizes and a full supporting prize table. One prize per entrant only. Weigh in at the Priory Club, Lord Street, Redcar from 3.15pm until 3.45pm. Contact Tony Barker 01642 503049 for details.