Although shore sport in general dropped off during last week, and the better catches of cod were restricted to north of the Region, decent bags of whiting and flatties were showing in the south from the Durham beaches and Hartlepool piers. In addition, increasing numbers of smaller cod are moving into the Tyne and the Wear still has a good population of flounders, whiting, and coalfish.
A nice lazy swell picked up over Friday night and into Saturday, which brought a big improvement with smaller cod moving within reach of the shore angler as soon as the lift stirred thing up. The fish could not have been far offshore during the lull, as boat anglers had reported many smaller fish just several hundred metres out, on the hard ground areas. The more traditional marks for these smaller cod such as the beaches at Parton, Durham and Blyth together with the river Tyne have all fished very well during this time for those anglers quick enough to get out and take advantage of the best tides and conditions.
Hartlepool Pirates fished in very windy conditions just prior to the sea picking up and encountered lots of undersize dabs from the local piers. Steve Swales managed to find a couple of codling, including one of 2¾lb, as part of a mixed bag total of five fish weighing 4lb 14oz to win. Second placed Adam Dendrickson also managed a small cod in his bag of 3½lb, and J. Watts had five fish totalling 2lb 10oz.
There was just enough movement in the sea for fish to feed during the Ryhope Tuesday Evening Sweepstake. All of the top fish were taken from Roker pier where Ritchie Carr landed first and third places with cod of 5¼lb and 4lb 10oz respectively. Chris Hossack was second with a cod of 5lb.
The latest Cleadon A.C. event saw 10 out of the 27 anglers find fish during the match, mainly whiting, flounder, and small codling from the rivers and the piers at Roker and South Shields. Steve Gordon had eight fish weighing in at 6lb 7oz, including a pollack of 2lb 7oz from South Shields pier. The pollack are no longer considered a surprise catch, as they seem to be present all year round now. Norman Spour had five fish for 5lb 10oz to finish second, and Graham Slesser had four for a total of 3lb 14oz.
A Seaton Sluice match saw Ivan Stott win with six cod for a weight of 12lb 5oz, the best weighing 4lb 3oz, from Lynemouth. Peter Stewart finished second with eight for 5lb 13oz from Blyth, and Chris Guthrie was third when he also fished at Blyth and weighed in 5lb 6oz.
The Tynemouth winter league match last week saw Whitley Bay and Blyth produce the cod on Saturday with winner Kenny Patterson landing six totalling 12lb 5oz from Whitley Bay. Brad Hill had seven weighing 12¼lb, Glen Campbell had four for 9lb 6oz, and Ken West had the heaviest fish, a cod of 5lb 6oz.
Chris Robson took nine cod for 20lb from Cambois, as his fishing partners Shaun Brennan and Karl Laughlin had six for 17lb, and six weighing 14lb respectively.
The Bedlington Station night open was fished with a productive outside swell, and with numbers of cod just starting to show in the lower Tyne and Whitley Bay beach the day before, hopes were high of a good weigh in. The predictions proved correct when 35 out of 102 weighed in 129 fish for a total weight of 260lb. The heaviest bag prize went to Shaun Brannon whose nine cod weighed in at 19½lb, fishing from Hadston. Runner-up Kenny Bowen fished Whitley Bay and found six better cod for a total of 19lb, and third placed Geoff King also fished at Hadston to land 11 fish weighing 15lb 13oz. The expected double figure specimen cod turned up when Nicky Robson took the heaviest fish prize with a cod of 13lb 7oz from Whitley Bay and Hartley produced one of 9lb 13oz for Jimmy Steward.
Sunday October 28th sees the South Shields open fishing from 11am until 4pm. Basic entry is £10 plus pools and team events and registration is at the New Crown Hotel, Coast Road, South Shields from 8am until 10.30am. First prize for the heaviest fish is £600, heaviest bag £300, heaviest flatfish £50, top lady £50, top junior £25 plus tackle, and a prize table of over £2000. Selected local tackle shops will sell tickets prior to the event.