As with last week most anglers are overwhelmed by the huge shoals of whiting that are evident all along the north east coast. The south of the region, from Roker pier down to Teesbay and the Hartlepool piers, has seen the greater numbers of whiting with bags of over 30 fish still to be expected, particularly from Middleton pier. Even the heavy seas of last week seemed to have little effect on their numbers. There are signs however that the whiting are starting to thin out a little the further north you travel, and some bigger cod continue to be reported from the marks North of the Tyne.
Best angling achievement of the week was when five year old Kier Dodds fishing with his father Paul at the Glass Centre in the Wear for flounders using mackerel strip, saw his rod tip pulled over when a cod of 7¼lb took his bait, when the fish was cleaned it had evidently been feeding on lots of small flounders. The Tyne has also seen a few better cod where the best reported was one of 7lb taken from Church Bank by Steve Anderson.
Best of the recent doubles was a specimen of 15lb 11oz taken by Mick Johnson, a visiting angler from Scotland, whilst fishing at Whale Rock Newbiggin. His fishing friend Steve landed a rare mullet of 3lb 2oz. Ken McCoy reports cod of 8lb, 6½lb and 6lb during a recent session on Roker pier. Gary Pye had a cod of 2.16kg to win a recent Easington Welfare A.C. Match.
Hartlepool W.C.S.A.C. saw plenty of whiting during their last match won by Mal McGeorge with 11lb 13oz, just ahead of Paul Blair who had 10lb 1oz. Paul Hornsey had 6lb 13oz but was unlucky to find that his cod of 5lb 6oz was foul hooked and therefore ineligible for weighed in. Marc Wallace took the heaviest fish with a cod of 2lb 2oz.
Tynemouth A.C. had a few matches recently. Their Sunday match saw 47 fishing with 27 weighing in whiting, coalfish, flounder, dabs, early plaice and a single cod. Brad Hill won with 16 fish totalling 14¼lb while second placed Steve Harper had seven weighing 7½lb. Tird placed Alan Norman had eight for 7lb 7oz, Curtiss Dunn had the lone cod of 2½lb and David Harper had a coalfish of 1lb 11oz. A winter league match in heavy seas saw fewer fish present with only seven out of the 28 entrants weighing in. Steve Hardy only needed three whiting, best 1lb 3oz, for a 2lb 11oz total taken from Blyth, to win ahead of David Harper whose three whiting weighed 2lb 1oz, also from Blyth. Their retired members match saw slightly better results when Dave Scrimageur won with six whiting, a cod of 4lb 3oz, a dab and a coalie for a total of 11lb ahead of Tony Taylor with 17 whiting weighing 10lb 13oz and Ken Robinson with 10lb 3oz.
Blyth beach provided the winning weight for Chris Stringer in the last Whitley Bay match with six whiting, a cod and a dab for 9¼lb, followed by Dave Milne fishing the Boat Station with a single cod of 3lb 3oz. The last S.B.R.A.A.C. match suffered a rare result these days with a full blank, although conditions were very rough at the time.
South Shields A.C. also fished in heavy seas with 16 out of 18 weighing in. Paul McIntyre had 23½lb, Robert Lees had 8lb 7oz and Andrew Nickerson had 3lb 8oz. Cleadon A.C. found fish showing from South Shields pier and from the Tyne. Steve Brown fished the pier to win with four whiting and a cod weighing for 5lb 5oz, Mark Shotton fished the river to land a cod and a coalie for 3¼lb, and Norman Spour fished the pier to take a single cod of 3lb. Lots of very small undersize cod were reported to be present in the river.