The middle Tyne has fished very well recently with quality cod up to 8lb showing again. Tony Ellies had one of 7½lb, Darren Browne had one of 6lb 7oz, Stan Parkin had one of 5lb 6oz and Jim Brook had fish of 4lb 11oz and 3lb 1oz while fishing partner John Powell had one of 6¾lb. Paul Hague and Stephen Brown had five cod to 4¼lb between them. Roker has also fished well when conditions allow, Trevor Green went fishing with just a handline for a bit of fun with the whiting and took 24 sizeable fish, four flounders and a cod of 2lb. Returning with the more normal rod and reel, Trevor and a friend took 12 cod up to 4lb. Cleadon A.C. also found the hordes of whiting feeding on South Shields pier during their first match of 2012, winner Steve Gordon had 35 for 25lb 11oz, well ahead of Colin Mather who had 12 weighing 7lb 7oz, and Adam Johnson with seven totalling 6lb 6oz. Steve Brown fished the Tyne to land a cod of 2lb 5oz and lift the heaviest fish prize.
The Hartlepool Pirates first match of the year saw 10 out of 11 weigh in mixed bags of mainly whiting and dabs. D. Bruce had 18 fish weighing 14¾lb, including a nice cod of 4lb 12oz to win the event. Second placed Steve Swales had 19 for 14lb 6oz ahead of Dave Robinson in third with 13¾lb and J. Watts with 13lb 7oz.
Whiting are also out in force north of the Tyne. Keith Smith won a Blyth match with 20 whiting and four flounders weighing 17lb 10oz from Blyth beach, and Ian Greenacre took 24 whiting for 17lb 3oz, the best weighing 1lb 3oz. Jason French won an Amble match with 15 flounders weighing a total of 12lb 14oz from Embleton, and Ian Harrogate had eight whiting and eight flounders for the same weight from Druridge Bay. Peter Smith won a Blyth match with an 18 fish mixed bag of whiting and flounders weighing 13lb 3oz from Blyth beach well ahead of second placed Chris Kell and Keith Smith had the heaviest fish; a whiting of 1 – 06lb. Mal McIntyre only needed a single cod of 4lb 14oz from Seaton Point to win a Seaton Sluice match ahead of Jim Dunn whose three whiting and one cod weighed 4lb 10oz.
The first Ryhope match of the year saw an excellent turn out and 41 out of the 88 entrants landed fish. John Topliffe took first place with 14 whiting weighing 3.66kg from the Wear while runner-up Alan Burton had three whiting and one cod for 3.19kg from the Tyne, including the heaviest fish of at 2.01kg. Third placed Wayne Harriman also fished the Tyne weighing in two coalies, two whiting, and a flounder for 3.15kg. Top junior was Lauren Haley with 0.91kg. The next match is on Sunday January 15th with fishing from 3pm until 7pm.
South of the Tees it has been the odd bigger cod that has won club matches recently. The last Redcar Navy and Gentleman’s match saw only three out of 16 find fish. Wayne Smith managed a cod of 6lb 13oz from Port Mulgrave to win ahead of Dave Turner whose fish from the same mark weighed 1lb 9oz. A previous match saw five out of 20 weigh in and Bernard Westgarth won with a cod of 6lb 2oz from Whitestones, and Martyn Newbury only needed a flounder of 1lb 3oz to take second place.
The popular Amble Open, sponsored by Greys Tackle, is on Sunday January 15th fishing from 10am until 3pm between Seahouses South pier (excluded), to Lynemouth Pipe. Disabled anglers may fish Amble pier and can be assisted by one helper who may also fish from the pier. All rivers are excluded, and no wrasse are to be weighed in. Basic entry is £12 for all entry classes and registration is at the Radcliffe Club Amble. Those weighing in must be in the queue by 4pm. All juniors with a valid ticket will receive a Greys goody bag at the weigh in. Top prizes are £400 plus a rod, £300, £150 for the heaviest bag; £200 plus a rod, £200, £100 for the heaviest fish; £150 plus a rod, £100, £50 for the heaviest flatfish and £50, £30, £20 for both ladies and juniors, plus a £7000 prize table. Contact Tony 01665 602034 or Jim 01665 711007 for details.