Continuing windy conditions have kept anglers away from the more exposed fishing marks on most tides but when the wind drops off sufficiently some anglers have managed decent mixed bags of cod, whiting and flatties from all areas with a night time session again the most productive. A nice offshore swell and lots of colour in the water over the last few days has brought some bigger cod inshore but generally, they are few and far between among the greater numbers of whiting. There are plenty of whiting showing from the Hartlepool piers though a lot are undersize, and there are some big winter flounders among them. The promenade produced a few smaller cod on the recent big tides as did Parton and Crimdon beaches over low water. The Durham beaches have whiting showing after dark; those who can cast at distance have taken the better daylight catches. The many sheltered marks in the upper Wear and Tyne continue to produce lots of mainly smaller flounders to worm and mackerel baits, and both rivers have seen bigger cod move inshore during the recent big tides.
There are still the odd bigger cod to be taken among the smaller specimens, even during calm conditions, for those lucky or wise enough to be in the right place at the right time. Terry Wood won a Cleadon match fishing the rock edges at Whitburn with three cod for a total of 9½lb, Bob Heslop had the heaviest, a nice specimen of 7lb 14oz taken at Marsden. G. Willis won a Bedlington Station match with three cod weighing 14lb 14oz, the best making 8lb 13oz, followed by Darren Shields with a total of 8lb 13oz. Chris Stringer won a Whitley Bay match with four cod for 6lb 14oz, the best weighing 2lb 13oz. Alan Robinson had a good session on Seaham pier taking cod of 8lb 3oz, 5½lb and 5¼lb, Johnny Hepton had cod of 6lb 11oz and 6½lb. Roker pier has been producing large numbers of whiting with some cod among them. Ritchie Carr had a cod of 6lb 10oz, and Trevor Green had three cod for a total of 12lb 10oz in the lower Wear where Stu Carr also had two cod for 9¼lb, the biggest weighing 7lb.
The Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake saw Ritchie Carr win with a cod of 7¼lb from Marsden followed by Paul Richardson with a cod of 6lb 10oz from Ryhope Dene. The Ryhope club match on Sunday saw 69 anglers struggle during daylight hours with most fish coming from the lower Wear. Frankie Terry won with a lone cod of 0.95kg, Aug Win had three whiting for 0.81kg, Wayne Harriman had one whiting and a flounder for 0.75kg, John Robson had the best flatfish at 0.56kg, and top junior Matthew Win had two whiting for 0.74kg.
South of the Tees, Saltburn pier has produced cod to 8lb but most anglers have taken mixed bags of whiting and flatties. Stuart Green won a St. Mary’s match with a 24 fish mixed bag of 16lb 3oz followed by Dale Miller with 16 for 9lb 3oz. Another match saw Alec Gate win with three cod totalling 9lb 2oz; with the best weighing 4lb 10oz. Nick Westgarth only needed a cod of 1½lb to take the heaviest fish in a Saltburn match.
Some anglers are travelling up to the rock edges at Arbroath where the winter season has been very good so far. A recent sweepstake did not produce any of the double figure cod that the area is known for but Stuart Cresswell won with 16 cod weighing 35lb 5oz, Craig Ogilvie had 19 for a total of 32lb 5oz, Kevin Lewis had 12 totalling 32¼lb, and N. Barker landed the heaviest fish of 7lb 2oz.