A decent northerly sea last weekend brought good numbers of cod inshore in the south of the region, along the Durham beaches and into Teesbay. Some anglers fishing the Hartlepool piers had double figure bags of cod well over 20lb, plus quality whiting as a bait snatching bonus. On the tides when the whiting are dominating catches, a lot of them are well over the 1½lb mark and all areas other than the rock edges continue to produce bags of 30 fish or more. Middleton pier has been particularly productive for the whiting with odd cod to 6lb also reported. All baits will take whiting with bigger worm, crab, and shellfish baits having a better chance of producing that sought after cod.
Lee Burton had a pleasure session at the Targets and landed four cod for 16lb, and similar bags have been reported from Seaham Hall beach.
Hartlepool O.M.A.C. saw 12 out of 17 weigh in, mainly whiting, but with 10 cod also landed. Paul Lee had the heaviest fish, a cod of 4lb 15oz, Steve Sweeney had one of 4lb 1oz and Jay Kelly had one of 3lb 11oz. Dave Littlewood had the heaviest bag of 17lb 6oz, Ian Palmer Jnr. had 18 fish weighing 14lb 1oz and Ian Palmer Snr. had nine totalling 10lb 5oz.
The last Hartlepool Pirates match saw a few cod taken among the whiting with seven out of the 10 anglers weighing in. The winner, Syd Burtcher, had a total bag of 14lb 7oz which included the heaviest fish, a cod of 6lb 1oz. Bill Bradley took second with a mixture of dabs and whiting weighing 5lb 10oz and Steve Swales had a mix of cod, whiting and flounders for 4lb 10oz.
Tynemouth A.C. fished a match in the recent gales when only four out of 11 weighing in. Steve Elliott had three whiting, two coalies and a single dab weighing 4¼lb from Cullercoats, Glen Campbell had two whiting from Blyth for a total of 1lb 10oz and Marty Elliott had a cod of 1lb 7oz to take the heaviest fish prize.
The Tynemouth Christmas match saw 37 out of 58 land fish from Tynemouth pier. Glen Campbell won with two whiting, a pollack and a cod for a total weight of 7lb 2oz while runner-up Billy Davison had two whiting, a pollack, which was the second heaviest fish at 3½lb, and a dab for 4lb 6oz. Third placed Norman Douglas had five whiting for 4lb, lady winner Lyndsey Storey had 12oz and junior Curtiss Dunn fished well to land five whiting weighing 3lb 7oz. The heaviest fish was landed by Paul Scott; another increasingly common winter Pollack of 3lb 9oz.
Bedlington Station also found some nice cod feeding with 29 out of 101 weighing in 70 fish for 180lb. Darren Shields won the event with four cod totalling 19lb 1oz, including the heaviest fish of 7lb 10oz from Cresswell. Ron Smith finished second with four cod for 18¾lb from Blyth. Third spot went to Peter Stewart with 17lb 3oz, also from Blyth and Dave Cruddace had four weighing 15lb 12oz from Lynemouth. Ivan Stott won the club’s Christmas match with three fish weighing 5lb 2oz from Craster and Mick Burke’s cod of 4lb 10oz from Foxton was the heaviest fish.
Mick Bell won a Seaton Sluice match with three cod totalling 7lb 15oz from Hartley Skeer followed by Peter Stewart with seven whiting and a cod for 7¼lb taken at Blyth. Colin Bell had seven for 8lb 15oz from Haven Rocks to win a Whitley Bay match followed by Ian Galbraith with a nice cod of 8lb 6oz from Hartley.
South Shields pier has also produced fish, the last South Shields match saw Paul Smith win with eight weighing 10lb 6oz, Andrew Nickerson had seven for 9lb 9oz, and Robert Lees had three for 5lb 7oz. Ten out of 29 found fish in the last Cleadon A.C. match when Andrew Nickerson won with a mixed bag of cod and whiting from the afore mentioned pier weighing 5½lb, followed by Paul Harrison with a cod of 3lb 11oz and a make weight dab for a total of 4lb 4oz, also from the pier.
The popular Amble Open, sponsored by Greys Tackle, is on Sunday January 15th fishing from 10am until 3pm between Seahouses South pier (excluded), to Lynemouth Pipe. Disabled anglers may fish Amble pier and can be assisted by one helper who may also fish from the pier. All rivers are excluded. Basic entry is £12 for all classes; register at the Radcliffe Club Amble and those weighing in must be in the queue by 4pm. All juniors with a valid ticket will receive a Greys goody bag at the weigh in. Top prizes are £400 plus a rod, £300 and £150 for the heaviest bag. £200 plus a rod, £200 and £100 for the heaviest fish. £150 plus a rod, £100 and £50 for the heaviest flatfish. £50, £30, £20 for both ladies and juniors, plus a £7000 prize table. Contact Tony: 01665 602034 or Jim: 01665 711007 for details.