A slight swell offshore improved shore sport considerably over the last few days with a few more cod starting to show around the Durham beaches, Hartlepool and the Teesbay marks. Whiting however, are out in force again, and if you are fishing a nighttime session from any of these areas, you will find them difficult to avoid. Most of them are larger enough, averaging over the 1lb mark, to keep the match anglers happy, and Middleton pier has been particularly good for big whiting. Most of the cod are small but the odd bigger ones to 4lb are starting to show, the clean ground beach marks at low tide seem to be the better choice to find a cod and avoid the whiting.
Once again the best place to go for the better bags of cod is to travel north of Roker and beyond the Tyne where the cod have moved onto the clean ground in big numbers, and catches have been spectacular in some cases with just the slightest bit of movement bringing the cod inshore.
A recent Whitley Bay match saw David Airey win with 17 cod for a total weight of 22lb 13oz, Colin Bell had eight weighing 13lb 9oz, including the best at 4¾lb, and Paul Brown had seven for 10lb 11oz. A Bedlington Station match fished in flat calm seas saw over 100lb of cod weighed in, J. Bell winning with seven totalling 17lb 14oz. Runner-up S. Davis had a bag of 10 weighing 15lb 15oz and Martyn Pygall had the heaviest fish of 5lb 3oz. A Blyth match also saw a 100lb plus weigh in, K. Smith winning with eight cod for a total of 16lb 9oz. P. Smith had a mixed eight fish bag weighing 15lb 6oz, including one of 5lb 13oz to take second ahead of J. Patterson with 13lb 15oz, and there were several other double figure bags taken on the night.
A Tynemouth match saw over 140lb of cod landed with winner Brad Hill taking 17 weighing in at 23½lb, Dave Rae had nine for 14lb 9oz, Ken West had eight totalling 14lb 3oz, and Dave Milne had the heaviest fish of 5lb 11oz. A Seaton Sluice match also broke the 100lb barrier with winner Chris Guthrie having a superb bag of 11 cod and three bass for 29lb 5oz. Second placed Andy Stanford had 12 for a total of 21¾lb, and Callan Stevens had the heaviest of 5¾lb. The rock edge marks between Roker and S. Shields are producing some bigger cod; Paul Wastell won a Cleadon match with one of 6lb from Marsden. Malcolm Charlton had a surprise catch of a turbot weighing 4lb 10oz during a recent Lynemouth match that is a new N.E. Record. Best cod reported lately was one of 9lb taken by Adam Johnson from Cullernose Point.
The South Shields Open last Sunday saw 64 out of 281 weigh in 136 fish for a total weight of 185lb 5oz. The calm conditions attracted a lot of anglers away from the rock edges and into the Tyne where there were reasonable mixed bags of cod, flounders, coalfish, and whiting. First place for the heaviest fish went to Lenny Rundle Jnr. with a cod of 7lb 11oz from the Shelf. Runner-up for the heaviest bag was Alan O’Neil with five fish totalling 8lb 13oz taken at Hebburn. Pauline Ferry was third and best lady angler with eight fish weighing 7lb 3oz from the Tyne and Graeme Lund was fourth with 7lb 1oz also from the Tyne. Trevor Ferry in fifth had 6lb 11oz including the best flatfish of 1lb 11oz, and together with Pauline won the team event. No junior angler weighed in.
The Whitley Bay Night Time 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, £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.