There are still plenty of quality whiting showing in the South of the region, and if you are not fed up of catching them by now. Middleton pier continues to produce some nice specimens to 2lb on worm, mackerel, and squid baits. The Pilot pier has also produced whiting but tends to fish better with a little bit of sea running. The Durham beaches have seen the odd cod showing to those anglers who can cast the distance to reach them, mainly on night time tides. Whiting are also present on these beaches, as are lots of small flounders and the odd early plaice. Crab has taken the cod, and ragworm baits are the more productive for the flatties.
The local rivers are seeing the flounders moving in to feed with some nice early specimens up to 2lb or more reported among lots of smaller ones, the upper river marks are producing the bigger specimens. Whiting are, not surprisingly, also present in the rivers with the lower river marks producing the better numbers. Coalfish have also moved into the rivers in recent weeks with some club matches now being won with more coalfish than whiting. Most coalies are around the 30cm size limit but some bigger ones to 2lb have been reported. Fresh crab and mussel baits have taken the better fish and have also produced any quality cod, particularly from the Tyne.
Hartlepool W.M.C.S.A.C. had two recent matches. The first saw Paul Hornsey win with a 14lb bag of whiting, followed by Paul Blair with a similar bag of 11lb 10oz. The next match saw Mal McGeorge win with a mixed bag of flounders and dabs totalling 4lb 5oz, Paul Hornsey had 2lb 1oz, Paul Blair 1lb 11oz, and Andy Boagey 11oz.
The Ryhope Tuesday evening heaviest fish sweepstake saw Darren Donelly take the best fish out of the 22 fishing, a whiting of 0.60kg from Roker pier, just ahead of Bob Surtees whose coalie weighed 0.59kg, and Lee Burton with a coalfish of 0.58kg both taken from the lower Wear. Large numbers of coalfish were reported in the Wear during the match.
A Tynemouth Sunday league match also saw some sizeable coalfish landed amongst the smaller specimens with 15 out of 35 weighing in. Dave Sloan had five weighing 5lb 5oz, Mick Styles had three coalfish, the best weighing 2lb 3oz, plus a dab for a total of 5lb 2oz, and Brad Hill had six coalies totalling 4lb 14oz.