Several days of fresh westerly winds have settled the sea down and shore sport is mainly reliant on the ever-present whiting and flatties from the clean ground beaches and piers. Daytime sessions have generally been unproductive but some better bags of cod have been landed from the rock edge marks during a night time session, mainly from the various marks between Ryhope and South Shields, and from north of the Tyne. The exception is the river Tyne where smaller cod continue to be taken on fresh or frozen crab baits during daylight and nighttime tides. Most are around the 1lb to 2lb mark with the odd better ones to 4lb reported from the lower river at the Fish Quay and Walkway. The Wear has a few small cod showing from the lower river marks, as well as some sizeable coalies and whiting. Flounders continue to be taken from the upper reaches of both rivers where ragworm and mackerel baits have taken the majority of mainly smaller specimens. However, northerly winds forecast for this midweek in conjunction with big tides should change all that, and the piers at Hartlepool, particularly Middleton and the North Gare could produce some bigger cod.
All of the better club results have been taken on nighttime tides. A Whitley Bay winter league match saw most of the fish taken from the clean ground at Blyth, and some cod are now starting to move onto the sandy beaches under cover of darkness. Seven out of the ten weighed in mixed bags of flounders, whiting and cod. Colin Bell had seven for a total weight of 12lb 6oz, the best making 3lb 6oz, and Dave Craig had five weighing 9lb 7oz.
The cod were back on the rock edges for a Blyth match with Cresswell Carrs producing some big bags of fish on the night. Nigel Howitt had 14 cod and a single flounder weighing 23½lb, including one of 3lb 11oz, Chris Kell had 10 totalling 13lb 1oz and P. Kell had eight for 11lb 9oz. Nigel was also on top form for the latest Blyth match, taking more cod in two matches than some anglers land all winter, this time winning with a 13 cod bag of 22lb 10oz. Second placed P. Smith had 10 cod and a bass for 17lb 13oz, B. Smith was third with a mixed bag of 12 fish for 16¾lb and fourth placed P. Critchley had five cod weighing 10lb 1oz. Mick Hardy had the heaviest fish of 5lb 1oz.
Nicky Robson fished the Tyne to win an East End match with two cod for 2½lb. Chris Potts won a Seaton Sluice match with three cod totalling 6¼lb. Dave Collins won a Tynemouth match with a single cod of 4lb 1oz and Glen Campbell needed a mixed bag of whiting and flounders weighing 3lb 5oz for second place. Mark Shotton had one of the better results from the Tyne, fishing a mid-river mark he took eight cod for a total of 11¾lb to win a Cleadon match. Darren Shields also had a good bag of eight cod for 16lb 14oz to win a Bedlington Station match; ahead of J. Bell whose five fish weighed 7lb 14oz. Walter Yardley won the Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake with a cod of 2½lb, followed by Paul Riley with one of 1lb 7oz.
Fifty anglers turned out for the Ryhope club match on Sunday with most of the fish coming from the Tyne where Paul Richardson won with three cod and three whiting for 2.71kg. Steve Moore had a wrasse of 0.92kg, which was the heaviest fish, Stuart Bland had the best flatfish at 0.45kg and top junior was Tony Smith with two flounders for 0.70kg.
The Whitley Bay nighttime open is on Saturday November 16th with fishing from 6.30pm until 10.30pm between the Ice House in the Tyne to Cresswell Carrs inclusive. Main prizes for the top three heaviest bags are £250, £150, and £100. There is £150 for the heaviest fish, and £50 each for fourth place to tenth place, a nice idea that should attract plenty of anglers. Basic entry is £12, register at Whitley Bay clubhouse, behind the mini golf course, from 4.30pm until 5.30pm, weigh in from 10.30pm until 11.30pm.