With the recent very heavy seas set to continue for a few days yet, anglers who want to get out and fish the expected cod bonanza have had only a few safe, sheltered marks to fish. The inside of the North Gare at Hartlepool, the Pilot and Middleton piers, and the lower river marks in the Wear and Tyne have all produced a few fish but nothing of any great size. Once the sea drops away, the more exposed marks should fish very well as long as there is not too much washed out natural feed in the water. Several sources are predicting that the coming winter will be the harshest for 100 years, and with the associated storms that go with it anglers may be the only people looking forward to such a scenario. With the cod population seemingly at a peak along the North East coast the prospects for the coming winter continue to be very good, as long as you can get out to find bait and go fishing that is, and many anglers are already stocking up on bait in anticipation. Meanwhile club matches and pleasure anglers continue to find double figure bags being landed.
The Bedlington open fished in a nice moderate sea saw 66 out of the 237 entrants weigh in, with many anglers who had single fish not returning to the scales. The winner, Chris Bell, had five cod in a bag weighing 19lb 10oz taken from Marden while runner-up Rob Thirlwell had four cod for a total of 18lb 2oz, also from Marden Third placed Peter Ramsdale had the heaviest fish of 7lb 6oz in his two fish total of 10lb 15oz taken from Howdemans. Mick Hardy had the second best fish at 6lb 9oz, top junior B. Hall had three flounders weighing 1lb 11oz and Anthony Dunn took the best flatfish of 15oz. The last Bedlington club match on Sunday saw the sea drop off just enough to get onto the rock edges and the results were outstanding with over 100lb of cod landed. Winner Darren Shields had 12 cod totalling 23lb 14oz, P. Gee had four weighing 10lb 10oz, and K. Armstrong had four for 8lb 14oz, including the day’s best of 4lb 15oz.
Those matches fished in heavy seas saw the lower Tyne being the favoured mark to fish. Kevin Moffat won a S.B.R.A.A.C. match with two cod weighing 6lb 14oz, followed by Ian Galbraith with two for a total of 6½lb. Alan Heeley won a Cleadon match with a three fish bag of 6lb 6oz taken from the Groyne and Paul Wastell had the best of 5lb 6oz. Steve Harper won a Tynemouth match with eight totalling 8½lb from the Middens sandbar, Dave Hayley had a mixed bag of 10 fish for 7lb 13oz. Ken Robinson won a Tynemouth retired members match with a six fish mixed bag of 4¼lb and Tony Taylor had the best fish of 1lb 15oz.
The Ryhope Tuesday sweepstake saw the top three heaviest fish come from the rocks at Marsden. Paul Hossack had a cod of 5lb 3oz, Dave McCready one of 4lb 10oz and Dave Mould one of 4lb 2oz. The top two weights in the Ryhope club match came from the lower Tyne where Chris Hossack won with nine cod weighing 5.91kg, and Tommy Tate had eight for 4.55kg. Andy Rutherford fished the lower Wear to land five cod totalling 3.60kg. Steve Harriman had the best flatfish at 0.43kg, Wayne Callaghan the best cod of 1.79kg, and top junior Mathew Win had 0.23kg.
Seaham A.C. fished for the Dillon Cup in more settled conditions and managed to get onto the North Pier where Jim Dobie won with a cod and a pollack bag of 2lb 15oz.
The Bedlington Station Mini Night Time Open is on Friday October 18th with fishing from 7pm until 11pm between Tynemouth pier and Amble pier. Basic entry is £10 with full payout. First prize for the heaviest bag is a guaranteed £250, £100 for the heaviest fish, and 20 prizes on the table. Register at the General Havelock, East Sleekburn.
The Seaham David Guy Memorial Open is on Sunday October 20th with fishing from 12 pm until 5pm fishing between Hendon Groyne and Dene Holme at Horden. Seaham North pier will have 100 pegs available weather permitting. Basic entry is £10 all classes plus additional team events, sweepstakes, and sealed weight draws. First prize is £1000 for the heaviest fish, one prize per angler only. There are junior, ladies, and disabled prizes plus a full supporting prize table. Tickets are available in advance from Rutherford’s Angling and North East Tackle. Register on the day at Seaham clubhouse from 10am until 1pm. Tel: 0191 5810321 for details.
The next two Seaham Badger Friday evening opens will be on November 29th and December 20th fishing from 7pm until 11pm. Basic entry £10 plus optional team and pools. Contact Seaham club on 0191 5810321 for details.