The recent and continuing heavy seas have been productive with some bigger cod showing among the inevitable hordes of greedy whiting. All areas have produced fish with the sheltered marks at Hartlepool and inside the rivers proving popular when the sea has been at its roughest. The Hartlepool piers continue to be hotspots for quality whiting but they are starting to overwhelm all marks along the north east shoreline.
There have been a few double figure cod showing from the Northumberland rock edges. Best fish reported were taken at Beadnell by Adam Mulgrue, whose fish weighed 16lb, and one of 12½lb landed by Craig Miller. Colin Dawson won an Amble match with seven cod and a whiting for a total weight of 17lb 14oz, the best weighed in at 5lb 3oz.
John Hepton had a couple of decent cod of 6lb 14oz and 6½lb taken from Seaham. Seaham Hall beach has produced mixed bags to over 20lb, the Durham beaches have seen similar results with some bigger cod showing from the Hawthorne area where Dean Turnbull had one of the better cod at 7lb.
Roker pier continues to be productive for whiting when conditions allow with plenty of specimens around the 2lb mark reported together with cod around 6lb. At other times Rathouse Corner and other lower river marks in the Wear have seen similar catches with whiting dominating throughout all tides. In the upper Wear good numbers of flounders are looking for worm baits tipped off with mackerel, with some of the better fish topping the 2lb mark. A recent sweepstake at Claxheugh saw Phil Wright win with eight flounders for 255cm. Second placed Ken McCoy had seven for 210cm, and Steve Rackstraw had the longest at 38cm. Alan Walker won a recent Sunderland S.A.C. match with five whiting, a dab and a dogfish weighing 6lb 15oz. Rod Gilmour took first place in a Cleadon match with 13 whiting for a total of 12lb 6oz, and second placed Neil Cutler had 12 weighing 11lb 2oz, including the heaviest fish of 1lb 12oz.
There are a lot of small undersize cod in the Tyne but the lower river marks at the Walkway have produced lots of whiting with cod to 3lb also showing. South Shields pier has seen the same mix with lots of whiting from the pier end. Cod to 6lb have shown from the heavier ground and there is always the chance of a good double from this pier.
Cod are also showing south of the Tees where the piers at Whitby are productive. Paul Lobley had three cod to 7lb during a midweek session and the pier has produced good numbers of cod to 5lb recently. Richie Cope had cod to 6lb at Cowbar and during recent St. Mary’s A.C. match Terry Dalton travelled to the relative shelter of Middleton pier where he landed the winning bag of 19 whiting and a dab totalling 15lb 13oz. Runner-up Dale Miller stayed on the other side of the Tees at South Gare to land 18 whiting, two dabs, and a single flounder for 12lb 9oz.
A weekend trip to the productive rock edges at Arbroath continues to be a popular choice for those anglers wanting a whiting free experience. Seaton Sluice A.C. had a recent match there which was won by Scott Davison with seven cod weighing 18lb 5oz on Saturday. Steve Sherman had a single cod of 9lb 5oz on the Sunday when guest angler Karl McLaughlan landed a cod of 11lb 3oz.
Boat anglers continue to get some big cod when they can get out, uptiding is the favoured method for these big inshore fish. Best reported was one of 23lb 5oz landed by Darren Briggs on his own boat Samson 2 when fishing just off from Whitburn. The fish took a cocktail of worm and bluey, anglers are increasingly reporting that a lot of the these bigger cod are looking for fresh fish baits. The Sapphire also out of Sunderland took 20 cod to 6lb mainly on worm baits fishing the same area.