After the productive cod fishing following recent heavy seas, as expected most fish moved offshore when the sea settled down. However a nice surf running onto the Durham beaches brought them back inshore again in good numbers, a good indicator that there are plenty of fish present this autumn. Night tides have been the most productive with anglers still reporting double figure mixed bags of cod, whiting, flounders and the odd bass; even in relatively settled conditions. All of the popular marks between Hartlepool and Seaham have been fishing well, as have marks around Hendon, Whitburn and the piers at Roker and South Shields. Whiting have been dominating some catches, but when the codling have shown they have been present in large numbers with good bags reported from various low water marks. The Tyne has had decent numbers of cod present for several weeks now and bags of fish into the teens continue to be reported. The river Wear has also seen an influx of these smaller cod during the recent big tides and club matches are now being won with double figure bags from here also.
The Ryhope club match on Sunday saw most of the fish coming from the Wear where John Topliffe had eight cod for 4715 grams to take first place. In second Andy Rutherford had four for 2320 grams and was followed home by John Wilson who had a cod and two flounders for 1695 grams including the best flatfish at 785 grams. Alan Burton had the best round fish at 1300 grams and top junior was Thomas Rutherford with a cod of 885 grams.
Horden Surfcasters had a productive recent match with plenty of codling weighed in. Ron Smith won with 13 cod weighing 16lb 9oz with second placed Jim Dobie landing six weighing 14¼lb, best of which tipped the scales at 4lb 14oz. Third place went to Darren Thompson with nine for 11lb 14oz. Mark Thompson and Eric Williams weighed in 11lb 3oz and 8lb 10oz respectively to finish fourth and fifth. The club also fished at the weekend just before the easterly sea picked up but still managed to find fish. Sean Hildrew won with five cod weighing 6½lb, with Paul Robinson in second with a bag of three cod and two whiting for 6lb 1oz, best weighing 2lb 3oz, Third placed Ron Smith had four cod for 6lb.
An easterly sea is always more productive north of the Tyne and this was reflected in the catches on Sunday during the Seaton Sluice Open when those seemingly ever present small cod obliged in large numbers with 85 out of 302 anglers weighing in 174 fish. Tommy Tate had a good win fishing Bog Hall Rocks to land 12 cod for 19lb 11oz ahead of runner-up Graham Foster who fished Headagee to land five weighing 14lb 9oz. Paul Medd had seven cod, a pouting and a rockling for 11lb 6oz from Dulce Carrs to take third. Stan Preston had the heaviest fish, a cod of 7¼lb from the Private Beach, and top junior was Ross Lansbury with two cod for 2lb 3oz from Amble.