Persistent gale force westerly winds continue to cause problems for shore anglers with few getting any chance to fish any of the Region’s piers with any level of comfort. Some days have seen a slight northerly swell pushing inshore, and at this time anglers have managed to land some decent bags of cod into low double figures with the lower Tyne and South Shields pier producing fish up to 8lb on night time tides. Elsewhere shore sport is poor with small tides only seeing mainly undersize cod, whiting, dabs, and flounders showing from the piers and beach marks from Hartlepool up to Seaham. Hendon Wall and the rock edge marks up to the Tyne have all produced cod around the 2lb to 4lb mark, as has Roker pier if you can tolerate the more windy days. Nearly all marks have fished better on night tides, and a good northerly sea is now needed to get the cod feeding in any numbers.
The Seaham Coronation Cup match was fished in a northerly swell which pushed a few cod inshore and 22 out of the 57 anglers weighed in 50 fish for 63.44lb. Darren Swan fished the Blast Ledge to land six for a total of 7.88lb just ahead of Gary Pye whose seven weighed 7.74lb from the same mark. Gary Blanchard had four for 6.23lb from Featherbed Rocks and John Charlton had the heaviest fish, a cod of 5.20lb from the Blocks. The Ryhope Tuesday Evening Sweepstake produced a cod of 6lb 2oz for Andy Rutherford fishing at Marsden, Derek Ross had one of 4¾lb from Rathouse Corner, and Chris Hossack had one of 3lb 10oz. Ritchie Carr had a bag of six smaller cod on the night, all taken at Marsden.
A Tynemouth Sunday league match saw most anglers head to the Tyne with Tynemouth pier closed due to the gale force winds. The river was not on form on the day, Chris Robson only needed three flounders weighing 1½lb to win ahead of Mick Davis with a single flounder of 11oz. Cleadon A.C. has slightly better luck in the Tyne on a night time tide which produced three cod totalling 6lb for D. Browne and R. Wells had two for 4lb 5oz, the best weighing 2lb 6oz.
The Whitley Bay evening open fished in very windy conditions did benefit from a slight swell on the sea which produced a few decent fish on the night, although only 22 out of the 105 anglers managed to catch anything. First place went to Frank Oldham with three cod for 10lb 9oz just ahead of Peter Stewart with six weighing 10½lb, and Trevor Ferry with 12 fish for a total of 8lb 3oz. Mick Watson had the heaviest fish with a cod of 7lb 10oz, and top junior was Kieran Riches with a cod of 2lb.
The Seaham Friday Evening Badger Open also saw similar conditions pushing the occasional cod inshore again for those who braved the wind with seven out of 17 weighing in 26 fish for 35.51lb. Mick Davison won with a cod of 4.95lb, Gary Pye had one of 4.90lb, and Darren Swan had one for 3.40lb. Gary Pye had the heaviest bag with 17 fish total of 20.98lb.
A reminder that the popular Amble Open is on Sunday January 25th with fishing from 9.30am until 2.30pm between the South pier at Seahouses (excluded) and the Pipe at Lynemouth. Basic entry is £12, register at the Radcliffe Club Amble from 7.30am on the day. The top three prizes for the heaviest bag are £400, £300 and £150. The top three heaviest fish win £250, £150, and £100, and the best flatfish win a Yuki rod, £100, and £50. The top ladies and juniors receive £50, £30, and £20, and there is the usual comprehensive prize table that make this open event one of the best in the country. All flatfish must be presented in buckets of water, preferably with aerators attached, and edible crab bait in any form is banned as it is now illegal. Contact Craig on 01665 604577 or Tony 01665 602034 for details.
Blyth S.A.C. have the Dave Jobson Memorial Open on Sunday February 8th with fishing from 9.30am until 1.30pm between the Ice House in the Tyne to Seahouses South pier (excluded). Basic entry is £10, juniors are free, and those under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Register from 7am until 8am at the Sea Horse, Plessey Road, Blyth. Top prizes for the heaviest bag are £200, £100, £50, 100% payout for the heaviest fish and a tackle voucher for the junior winner. Contact Nigel 07988 465416 for details.