The cold weather and a nice bit of movement in the sea have brought huge numbers of whiting inshore all along the north east shoreline. The greater numbers are showing in the south of the region along the Durham beaches, and from the Hartlepool piers, where some anglers have been taking bags of up to 50 fish a session. Among the whiting there are some fine fat specimen winter dabs, and if you are lucky, the odd cod that has managed to find the bait before the hungry whiting pounce. It does not matter what bait you use, as even supermarket bought mackerel, herring and squid will all take fish at the moment. Worm baits tipped off with any of the previous mentioned baits will easily take fish two or more at a time. A low water night time session may be the only time when any cod can be expected with any certainty.
The piers at Seaham and Roker have seen cod landed even in calm conditions, the rock edges between Roker and South Shields have seen cod to 6lb reported. South Shields pier and the lower Tyne have also produced cod, and the same two venues have also seen some nice specimen coalies to 3lb being taken. The river Wear seems to have a lot more smaller specimens present, but the lower river is still producing reasonable bags of whiting, flounders and the odd codling.
Hartlepool Pirates found plenty of whiting and dabs during their last match with six out of 10 weighing in. Bill Bradley had a 49 fish mixed bag weighing 36lb 10oz to finish first followed by S. Corrigan who did very well landing two fine cod totalling 11lb 3oz. Third place went to P. Shields with 10lb, and A. Dendrickson travelled to Roker to land a mixed bag of cod and pouting for 7lb 1oz. The club finish their year with an AGM and presentation night in the Stranton Club at 7.30pm on Thursday December 22nd.
The Ryhope Christmas club match on Sunday saw 72 out of 74 weigh in huge numbers of whiting. Andy Rutherford won with 19 weighing 5.59kg while runner-up John Porteous had a cod and 10 whiting for 5.43kg, and Keith Johnson had a cod of 2.5kg, plus six whiting for a total of 4.87kg. Colin Smedley had the best flatfish at 0.47kg, and top junior was Thomas Rutherford with 1.31kg. Gordon Russell fishing Roker pier had a surprise pollack of 2½lb.
North of the Tyne Steve Hardy won a Tynemouth match with three whiting, two dabs and a cod for 4¾lb from the ever popular Blyth beach, Glen Campbell had five whiting and a single flounder for 4lb 5oz from the same venue. Mick Clark won a Whitley Bay Winter League match with a single cod of 6lb 3oz from St. Marys Island, followed by Colin Bell with eight whiting weighing 5lb from Blyth. A previous match saw Gary Wilson win with a five fish bag of 10lb from Whitley Pipe, Mick Wood had a nice cod of 8¼lb from Haven Rocks, and Don Nicholson had a single cod of 5lb 13oz from Crab Hill. Bedlington Station A.C. had a good result recently when Gary Willis won with a three cod total of 16lb, the best of which weighed in at 6lb 14oz, followed by Steve Potts with 13 whiting weighing 12lb.
Gary Appleton won a Seaton Sluice match with nine fish from the Tyne weighing 5lb 9oz ahead of Michael McGonigal whose two cod from the Beacons weighed in at 5lb. Third placed Peter Stewart had six whiting for 3lb 15oz from Blyth. An Alberta S.A.C. match saw most members fish the sheltered Wear where Darren Browne won with an 18 whiting bag of 13lb 14oz from Rathouse Corner, Stephen Coyle had 16 for 13lb 9oz from the same venue, and Mark Daglish had 20 smaller whiting weighing 12lb 14oz from Roker pier. Rob Wells won a Cleadon A.C. match with a single cod of 5lb 7oz landed from South Shields pier, Stephen Brown had one for 4lb 3oz from the Tyne, and Norman Spour had three for 3lb 6oz from Roker pier
Sunday December 18th is the date for the 14th Saltburn Sea Angling Open Shore Angling Championships with fishing from 11am until 3pm between Paddy’s Hole South Gare and Whitby East Pier, (pier included), all rope access to rock edge marks are prohibited and Skinningrove Pier is prohibited. Basic entry is £10 all classes which includes the heaviest fish pool. Register at the Spa Hotel Saltburn from 9am and the weigh in is from 3.30pm until 4.15pm. Details B. Westgarth 01325-720113, P. Race 01642-478351.
The popular Amble Open, sponsored by Greys Tackle, takes place on Sunday January 15th with fishing from 10am until 3pm between Seahouses South pier (excluded), and Lynemouth Pipe. Disabled anglers may fish Amble pier and can be assisted by one helper who may also fish from the pier. All rivers are excluded. Basic entry is £12 for all entry classes, register at the Radcliffe Club Amble, and those weighing in must be in the queue by 4pm. All juniors with a valid ticket will receive a Greys goody bag at the weigh in. Top prizes are £400 plus a rod, £300, £150 for the heaviest bag; £200 plus a rod, £200, £100 for the heaviest fish; £150 plus a rod, £100, £50 for the heaviest flatfish; £50, £30, £20 for both ladies and juniors, plus a £7000 prize table. Contact Tony 01665 602034 or Jim 01665 711007 for details.