The recent rough seas did eventually bring a few better cod inshore, but in the south of the Region down to Teesbay and Hartlepool, you had to avoid the now to be expected hordes of whiting to have any chance of landing any. Whiting and dabs are present in huge numbers whenever there is a slight sea running, and at other times when the sea is settled, the cover of darkness brings the same results. Again, the best chance of finding any cod has been to fish the rock edge and low water marks where cod to 7lb have been reported. North of Seaham the cod are showing in greater numbers with all of the usual marks from Seaham Hall Beach up to South Shields pier and beyond into Northumberland producing at least a few double figure bags of cod with odd lower double figure specimens amongst them.
South of the Tees shore sport has been poor, at least until you get to the Whitby rock edges and further south. Club matches here have been rover matches with many anglers having to travel to the Hartlepool area to take advantage of the ravenous whiting and dabs, which now will take just about any bait presented to them. However when a decent sea was running a few bigger cod were about. A St. Mary’s A.C. all night match saw 12 out of 15 weigh-in. Terry Dalton headed for the Hartlepool piers to land the winning bag of 19 whiting, 13 dabs, a flounder and a cod for a total weight of 27lb 5oz, his lone cod was a nice fish of 7lb. Second placed Phil Smith fished the same area to land 20 whiting weighing 21lb 9oz just ahead of Darren Dalton with nine whiting, three cod, two dabs, and a single pouting totalling 18lb 7oz. News of success travels quickly and many of those 11 out of 16 who weighed in during a Redcar Navy and Gentleman’s Club match also travelled to Hartlepool where Stan Preston won with 11 whiting for 8¾lb followed by Chris Wood with three weighing in at 2lb 15oz.
A Durham Police match saw Peter Chadwick win with a cod of 5½lb from Seaham Hall beach.
A recent Cleadon match saw the 32 members fishing over a wide area with the rock edges and rivers all producing smaller numbers of fish. Neil Cutler had five whiting for a total of 3lb 5oz from South Shields pier, Paul Fenwick took the heaviest fish prize and second place with a cod of 2¼lb from Marsden, and Mark Shotton had two whiting from the Tyne for 2lb. The Bedlington Station match produced the best fish of late when Simon Cunningham won with a single cod of 11lb 14oz, well ahead of Mark Newton whose fish weighed 3lb 1oz and Garry Willis with 2¾lb. Chris Guthrie had three for 5lb 5oz, the best making 2lb 2oz, to win a Seaton Sluice match. Barrie Sanderson won a Tynemouth Winter League match with 4½lb, including a fish of 3lb 1oz, from the nicely named mark called Charlie’s Garden. Marty Elliott only needed a single cod of 1lb 11oz from Castle Rocks for second place.
There are plenty of mixed bags from the Blyth area. Shaun Golightly won a Whitley Bay Winter League match with 10 whiting, two flounders and a dab weighing 9¼lb from Blyth beach, Kev Burton fished the same mark for a similar bag of 6¾lb. K. Smith only needed three fish weighing 2lb 3oz, also from Blyth beach to win a Blyth A.C. match
The Sunderland Shore Angling Festival last Sunday saw 80 out of 246 land fish. First prize of £500 went to Rickie Jackman, who fished Marsden and landed a cod of 3.72kg, or just under 8lb. Phil Wright was second with a cod of 2.72kg and A. Murphy had a cod of 2.31kg for third place. Junior angler James Martin with 0.71kg took best flounder. The next 58 anglers had a selection from a very impressive prize table.
Sunday November 18th is the date for the Bedlington Station Open fished from 9.30am until 1.30pm between Seahouses South pier and Tynemouth pier. Basic entry is £10 plus the usual pools and team events. Register at the Bankhouse Club Newbiggin from 7am. First prize is £500 for the heaviest bag, 100% pools payout for the top three heaviest fish, and £100, £50, and £30 for the top three heaviest flatfish. Contact Steve 07888674873 for details.
Sunday also sees the 28th Seaham Town Council Open being fished from 11am until 4pm between Hendon Groyne to Hawthorne Hive. Seaham North pier will be pegged, weather permitting. First prize is £500 plus prizes for ladies, juniors, and disabled anglers. Register at Seaham club from 9am until 10am. Contact the clubhouse on 0191-5810321 for details.