Northern Bites – 21-12-2015

by Steve Walker

The flood water in the rivers last week quickly subsided and at least brought lots of whiting inshore from the piers at Roker and South Shields. The Ryhope Christmas match saw 51 out of the 63 entrants weigh in, mainly whiting, from Roker pier, Roker beach, and the lower Wear. Barrie Stowells won with 12 whiting and one cod weighing 4.68kg, Stu Bland had 12 whiting for 3.91kg, and Chris Hossack had three whiting and a single cod for a total of 3.64kg, including the heaviest fish with his cod of 1.81kg. Top junior was Matthew Winn again with 1.21kg, and Gary Taylor had the best flatfish with a flounder of 0.45kg. The previous Tuesday evening sweepstake saw Chris Hossack win with a cod of 2lb 5oz followed by Steve Cummins with cod of 2lb 2oz and 2lb. A good sea running last midweek was a bit disappointing, though odd bigger cod were taken mainly from the beach and rock edge marks, the promenade at Hartlepool, and the various low water marks along the Durham beaches. The sea dropped off very quickly, and it was back to fishing for the usual whiting and flatties again by Thursday.

A view of Roker pier

Roker pier and South Shields pier continue to produce cod to around the 5lb and 6lb mark amongst the whiting. The rock edges between the piers, particularly at Marsden have seen cod to 9lb landed on night time tides. Micky Rich had one of 8lb at Whitburn and Dave Ratcliffe had one of 9½lb from Marsden. The River Tyne has seen an influx of cod with specimens to 4lb taken in the lower river at the Walkway.

The unusual mild weather continues to produce surprises. Seaham North Pier and some of the Durham beach have seen large numbers of dogfish showing, the North Pier has seen the best results with bags of over 10 fish taken on night time tides. All baits have taken fish with sandeel, squid, and lugworm the most productive. Thornback and spotted rays should also be expected, though none have been reported this week. Further north, anglers continue to fish lures for pollack from the rock edges at Eyemouth where mackerel have also been landed. The boundaries between summer and winter species seemingly no longer exist.

The Seaham George Mullholland Memorial Boxing Day Open will be fished from 12 noon until 5pm between Hendon Groyne (excluded), to Saddleback Rocks at Hawthorne Hive. Top prizes are for the heaviest fish with a 75% pay-out. £1 from each entry donated to the R.N.L.I. Basic entry is £10 plus optional sweeps and team events. Register at the clubhouse from 10am until 11.30am. Tel. 0191 5810321 for details.

The Newbiggin Christmas Open is on Tuesday December 29th fishing from 9am until 1pm with open boundaries excluding rivers piers and estuaries. Basic entry is £10 with 100% pay-out for the top three heaviest fish and top three heaviest bags. No flatfish allowed, maximum two hooks, bass minimum size now 42cm, cart and edible crab now allowed due to change in law. Register at the BankHouse Club from 6.45am until 7.45am.

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