The better cod fishing is still in the north of the region where some anglers continue to take decent bags from the Northumberland and Tynemouth rock edge marks, the river Tyne, and occasionally, from South Shields pier. The cod are feeding even when conditions are settled and the weather is more like late spring than winter. Elsewhere it is whiting that are the dominant species with large numbers moving inshore during late evening and night time tides. On some days the Durham beaches and Hartlepool piers are overwhelmed with the bait nabbing masses. Some nice fat winter dabs and smaller flounders are among them, but the hordes of hungry whiting are nearly always getting to any bait before any other species has a chance. Any worm baits tipped off with mackerel, herring or squid will certainly produce plenty of fish, and bags of over 30 fish in a four hour session are not unusual.
This is the time of year when Ray’s Bream are often found stranded on the shoreline, and any silver coloured fish that looks like a large piranha type fish with an upturned mouth is a Ray’s Bream. They are nice to eat if you can find a live one, and returning them to the sea is rarely successful as they nearly always beach themselves again. As a bit of an experiment a fresh one cut up into strips can also be a good bait for whiting.
Alberta S.A.C. had a good result in the Tyne with all but one of the 21 anglers weighing in the expected mixed bags of whiting, cod, coalfish and flounders totalling 116 fish weighing 89½lb. D. Graves had 10 totalling 12lb 5oz, M. Dellin had 18 for 10lb 9oz and E. Bell had 14 weighing 10¼lb.
British Rail S.A.C. fished at Walker in the Tyne, and on a measure and release basis Alan James had four coalies, three whiting and one cod measuring 292cm, the best a coalfish of 44cm; Harvey Keithlow had three totalling 91cm, and Les Park two for 65cm.
Cleadon A.C saw most of their fish taken from the Tyne during their last match but results were well down on previous weeks with only 10 out of 34 finding fish. Mark Shotton managed four cod totalling 5½lb from the Tyne, Ian McLaghlin had two weighing for 4¾lb, including the heaviest fish at 2lb 11oz, from Boaties Bay, and Gav Hall had a mixed bag of cod and whiting from the Tyne weighing 3lb 12oz.
There are plenty of flounders and whiting along the clean ground Northumberland beaches after dark where Ian Harrogate won an Amble match with seven whiting and six flounders for a total of 9lb 7oz, Ashley Gray had seven weighing 6lb 11oz, and Craig Taylor had six for 6lb 3oz.
Sunday November 27th is the date for the Sunderland Shore Angling Festival, organised by Ryhope A.C., Eastenders A.C., East End and Hendon A.C. and Rutherfords Angling Ltd. Fishing is from 1pm until 5pm between South Shields pier (excluded), the river Wear up to the Queen Alexandra Bridge, and down to Seaham North Pier (excluded). Basic entry is £12 for all classes; register at the Eastenders pub, High Street Sunderland, or in advance from selected tackle shops. This is a heaviest fish match, anglers can only weigh in one single fish, and all prizes are for the heaviest fish with £500, £300, and £200 for the top three, plus a £3000 prize table, and special prizes for the heaviest flatfish. Contact Bob Surtees 0794056594, Ernie Hunter 07984306120, or Rutherfords Angling 0191-5654183 for further details.