No surprises this week as whiting continue to overwhelm all of the fishing marks along the NE coast with the better results again being in the south of the region, from the Durham beaches and Hartlepool piers where whiting are present in unprecedented numbers. As reported last week Dave Littlewood’s winning bag of 65 fish for 55lb during a recent Hartlepool O.M.A.C. match was a local record, and even Chris Smith in second place with 57 fish for 47lb 10oz was a quite spectacular achievement. However the record did not last long as Jay Kelly won the next O.M.A.C. match with an almost unbelievable 72 fish bag of 83lb 7oz, mainly quality whiting plus a few dabs, well ahead of any other recent winning weights. In years past 83lb would have been a high winning total for the entire year. Chris Smith was second again with an equally impressive bag of 71 fish totalling 65lb 6oz. Steve Sweeney took the heaviest fish prize with a specimen whiting of 1¾lb, and Chris Smith had one of 1lb 11oz. It should be mentioned that all of the 432lb of fish were cleaned, prepared, and then distributed amongst the local community. Forget about digging bait, just go to Morrisons for some fresh mackerel and squid and you simply cannot fail to catch whiting in large numbers. Even the Pilot pier and Banjo pier, rarely fished these days except during heavy seas, have produced bags of over 50 fish, and on tides when there has been a bit of sea running the whiting have been pushed well into the dock channels and the aforementioned piers have actually been the hotspots to fish from.
Hartlepool W.C.S.A.C. had a recent match but did not quite reach those levels of whiting. Paul Blair had a mixed bag of 12lb to win the event ahead of Paul Hornsey on 4lb 9oz and Mal McGeorge with 4½lb.
The Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake saw Steve Swinhoe and Gordon Russell tie for the heaviest fish each with an inevitable whiting weighing 0.39kg, followed by Terry Mann with one of 0.37kg. The Ryhope club match on Sunday saw 30 out of 79 weigh in, mainly from the Tyne where most anglers went to try to avoid the whiting on Roker pier, and hopefully pick up a few cod. Paul Richardson won with six coalfish and a single cod for 3.44kg, his cod was the heaviest fish at 1.12kg. Tommy Tate in second place had four coalies and two flounders for 2.72kg, Wayne Harriman the same bag make up to weigh in 2.13kg, John Bryan had the best flatfish at 0.55kg, and top junior was Jordan Lowes with two nice flounders weighing 1.12kg.
Not many whiting showed during a recent Cleadon A.C. match which was won by Bill Lea with eight totalling 6lb 3oz taken from Roker, Gary Parker had the heaviest fish and second place with a cod of 4¾lb from Marsden, and Albert Gray had four whiting from the rock edges at Marsden for 2lb 15oz.
Hartlepool has a new charter boat, the Evelyn Jane will replace the older version, experienced skipper Jason reports that it will be ready for sea from April 1st. It is a fully licensed and insured for 12 passengers, Offshore 105 cruising at around 12 to 15 knots; top speed 25 knots, so it can get to the offshore fishing marks much quicker than the boat she has replaced. Costs are £35 per head weekends, and £32 per head midweek. Contact Jason 07754-563737 or Paul 07790-550112 or 01325-460822