There were a few decent cod landed over the New Year period, when the anglers could avoid the masses of whiting present in large numbers around the Region. The better cod catches are in the north of the area again with the Durham beaches and Hartlepool piers full of whiting and only really producing the cod when there is a heavy sea running. Biggest cod reported lately was a specimen of 15½lb taken by Johnny Loftus from Marsden Rocks where the fish took a big squid and mussel bait. Slightly further along the beach Tommy Tate had cod of 7lb, 6lb, 5lb and others to 4lb. Jeff Lowther had one of 13lb from Newbiggin, Mal McIntyre had a cod of 10lb 1oz from Beadnell. Mick Cave had cod to 9½lb from the lower Tyne and angling partner Richard had the best of the session at 13lb. Ross Walton had cod to 8lb 2oz from the Tyne. Stephen Atkinson and son Christopher both had five cod each to 6lb during a session at Old Hartley. Ken Bowmaker had seven cod for 27¼lb from Souter Point, and Phil Neesham had six for 20lb 7oz from the same venue. Roker pier has produced plenty of mixed bags, with whiting dominating, but there is still a good chance of some bigger cod, best reported from here was one of 10lb taken by Trevor Green.
Hendon Wall has been productive all winter and continues to produce cod to 8lb among the whiting, most fish taking worm, razorfish, and bluey baits. Best reported was a fish of 8lb 1oz taken by Mark Green. Jim Brooks took a cod of 11lb 11oz from South Shields pier on lugworm bait, other anglers report cod to 6lb among the whiting, coalfish, and dabs.
There have been a few smaller cod in the lower Wear from Rathouse Corner up to the Glass Centre but most fish taken here have been flounders that are present in good numbers from the upper river marks. A sweepstake measure and release match at Claxheugh in the Wear saw many winter flounders showing with all 28 anglers catching fish. Ken McCoy won with 452cm, Andy Rutherford had 323cm, and Sean Golightly had 274cm.
North of the Tyne Rob Newton won an Amble match with two fish weighing 13lb 12oz, the best weighed 7¾lb, taken at Cresswell. Mick Bell had five for 11lb 14oz from the Bibbles. A Seaton Sluice match saw mixed bags of cod, whiting, coalies, flounders and dabs weighed in. Gary Wilson had a single cod of 6lb 15oz to win ahead of Mick Roper with 2lb 5oz, and Ken Hood on 2lb 2oz.
Lots of whiting and dabs were evident during the last Tynemouth A.C. match when all 12 anglers weighed in mixed bags. Tony Anderson had 16 whiting, the best weighing 1lb 11oz, for a total of 12½lb, Tom Sawyer had 14 whiting and a dab weighing 12lb 4oz, and Bob Gascoigne had 9lb 13oz.
The popular Ryhope A.C. have their first match of 2013 on Sunday January 13th fishing from 2pm until 6pm, details and new members contact Bob Surtees 0191 5237272