The recent big heavy seas did finally bring a few cod inshore but only if you were in the right place at the right time. The days of widespread spring cod catches during a heavy sea now seem to be well gone. Middleton pier was the place to be when the sea was at its heaviest, with some nice specimens reported. John Wilson had one of the better sessions taking several cod to 8lb and loosing bigger fish, those big spring spawning cod are obviously still there to be caught. North Gare, the Pilot pier and the local Hartlepool beaches all produced a few cod when fishable, but generally the bigger fish were still few and far between, and with whiting in short supply any cod would have had a good chance of finding any baits. As with previous results, these bigger fish seem to be looking for suitably big crab baits and worm with bluey cocktails.
Prior to the heavy seas codling from the open shore were very scarce. Billy Foster won a Newbiggin match with two for a total of 2½lb from the Beacons and Gary Young their next one with one of 1¾lb from Cambois Rocks. Kev Burton had one cod of 2lb 6oz from Whitley Pipe to win Whitley Bay’s match.
Cleadon A.C. fished at the weekend with only four out of the 22 anglers weighing in. Mick Adams had two cod totalling 6lb 6oz, including the heaviest fish of 4¼lb, from Tynemouth followed by Mark Weigmann with a single cod of 2lb 6oz taken from Marsden. Northumbria Police had a match in the Tyne with anything over 18cm eligible for measure and release. Ian Ainsley had 16 fish for 150 points, followed by B. Smith with eight fish for 105 points.
The South Shields monthly sweepstake match fished in the heaviest of seas saw Mark Robson win with two cod weighing 6lb 3oz, the best making 4lb 13oz. A sweepstake match in the Wear at Claxheugh saw John Stead win with seven fish for a total of 183cm, Ross Carr had six for 176cm, and Dave Steel had five measuring 130cm. The Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake saw Mick Davison take the top two places with cod of 2lb 3oz and 1lb 14oz, both from the Targets. Sport was a bit quiet for the Ryhope club match on Sunday with most of the few fish caught coming from Roker pier where Tommy Tate won with three whiting and a flounder for a total weight of 1.62kg, John Robson had two flounders for 1.19kg, Chris Hossack had a flounder and a cod totalling 1.09kg, and top junior was Daniel Tate with two flounders weighing 0.86kg.
A few anglers are starting to travel over to the Solway marks around Port Carlisle where spring flounders to 2lb are evident in good numbers, all taking worm, mackerel, and crab baits.
Hartlepool anglers Paul Blair, Paul Grylls, Kevin Conner, and Graham Stockton had a recent trip to Norway fishing from the shore at Flatanger they took cod, coalfish, wolfish, jumbo haddock, and coalfish, best fish, a cod estimated at well over 30lb, was taken by Graham on bluey and herring bait, all fish were returned alive.