Shore sport is still a bit hit or miss but most anglers have been happy with increasing numbers of quality whiting showing from all areas along with some fat winter dabs and flounders. There are still some decent cod around when the sea is right with specimens to 11lb reported from Steetley pier and one of 12lb 13oz taken by Ben Laws to win the Ship Open fished north of the Tyne last week. Gary Pye reports taking fourteen cod to 8lb for a bag total of 37lb from a Hartlepool mark last week and Jackie Dunnet had cod to 6½lb from one of the local piers. Dan Murray had a personal best cod of 7lb from Middleton pier during a midweek session. South Shields pier has been producing plenty of smaller cod on the flood tide and the lower Tyne has seen similar results. There have also been a few better cod from the rock edges between Roker and the Tyne with Bobby Charlton taking four cod from Hill 60 during a recent session. There should be a few more double figure specimens showing now, particularly from the Teesbay area where the big female fish move inshore to spawn.
Most marks have seen the odd fish to 6lb reported at some time, Steetley pier produced a few better bags into double figures though most anglers only had whiting. The Durham beaches have seen similar results, and at Newbiggin an unknown angler reported a bag of cod for 42lb. Staying north of the Tyne, Barry Tweddle won a Seaton Sluice match with six cod for 23¾lb, best 7½lb and 7lb 3oz, all taken from Needles Eye. Scott Davison only needed a single cod of 5lb 13oz from the Tyne for second place. Paul Gallon had six cod in six casts from Whitley Bay beach, best an ounce over 4lb, for a total of 17lb 3oz. Neil Pringle had four cod for 12lb 7oz from Hartley while Neil Parker had a single cod of 8lb 9oz from Newbiggin. Gordon Grear landed five cod for 18lb from Blyth pier and Ritchie Douglas won a Bedlington match with seven cod for 14lb.
The Whitley Bay Evening Open saw a good weigh in with thirty-four out of one hundred and five landing eighty-seven fish, nearly all small cod, for 185lb 2oz. Chris Stringer took the £300 first prize with nine cod for 17lb 7oz from Whitley Bay beach. Phil Skinner in second had seven cod for 16lb 13oz from Blyth followed in third by Keith Smith who weighed in eight for 16lb 2oz from Blyth. Fourth placed Peter Smith had five for 12lb 7oz and Barry Tweddle in fifth finished with five cod for 10lb 1oz. Pat O’Hagen took the heaviest fish with a cod of 5¼lb followed by Tony Gray with one of 3lb 9oz and Colin Bell with a 3½lb fish.
The County Durham Open was fished on Sunday in good conditions with a nice swell running onto the beaches but the better sized cod stayed away and with a top prize of £2000 a disappointing turn out of three hundred and seventy anglers fished. Gary Blanchard took the top prize for the heaviest fish with a cod of 6.20lb from Horden. Runner-up Wayne Harriman had a cod of 5.75lb from Boaties Bay and George Wilkinson landed one of 5.49lb from a peg on Seaham pier. D. Swan had the heaviest bag with 13.75lb with Gary Pye in second on 11.30lb. Third place went to Gary Blanchard with a weight of 10.38lb, Wayne Harriman flowed in fourth with 9.66lb and fifth placed Rob Newton had 7.13lb. Top junior was Matthew Win with 3.12lb.
Hartlepool W.C.S.A.C. fished last week and were confined to the Pilot pier in heavy seas where Paul Blair won with a single cod of 2lb 10oz followed by Paul Hornsey with a flounder of 10oz.
Hartlepool O.M.A.C. fished on Saturday with eleven out of fifteen weighing in forty-eight fish for 48lb 8oz, mainly whiting. Dean Athey had the heaviest bag of 9lb 15oz, including the heaviest fish of 5¾lb. Brian Crowe had a mixed bag of 7lb for second and Dave Sanderson in third had a similar bag for 5lb 8oz. Next match is Saturday January 23rd fishing from 6pm till midnight.
Cleadon A.C. fished last week with seven out of thirty-three landing fish. Norman Spour fished Whitburn to take two cod for 6lb 7oz for top spot and Phil Turnbull fished South Shields pier to take second with 5lb 11oz. Third placed Stan Hailstone also fished the pier to land two for 4lb 11oz and John Newcombe finished fourth with three cod for 4lb 9oz from the Tyne.
S.B.R.A.A.C. fished last week and only one angler weighed in, Steve Alexander taking a single cod of 2lb 10oz.
The Ryhope A.C. have a match next Sunday fishing from 2pm till 6pm, and the Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstakes restart this week, contact Bob Surtees on 0191-5237272 for details.