Despite a bit of a swell offshore the weekend didn’t produce as many cod as expected with fish few and far between. The odd fish to 2lb have been reported from the Hartlepool piers and the Durham beaches. Whiting have shown on some tides after dark, there are the odd better specimens among them but most are on the small side. The reliable flounders and dabs have made up the bulk of the club match catches from the piers, beaches as well as marks on the rivers Wear and Tyne where there are a few bigger specimens present.
The Barry Tweddle Memorial Open fished on Sunday saw 108 out of 427 weigh in 270 fish, mainly flounders, for 260¼lb. The £1000 first prize for the heaviest bag went to Trevor Ferry with 11 flounders weighing 11lb 1oz taken from Warkworth. Second placed Tony Rutherford had eight flounders totalling 9¾lb fishing at Blyth including the heaviest flatfish; a superb monster flounder of 2lb 6oz. The top three juniors were Ross Landsbury with 2¾lb, Ayton Stewart on 2lb 7oz and Conor Sprat who weighed 2lb 2oz. Top lady was Dawn Hood with 1lb 14oz. There were a few cod weighed in also with Ian Hall taking the heaviest fish prize with one of 5lb 1oz from Beadnell. Adam Johnson had the second heaviest with one of 3lb 15ox ahead of Mike Brown who weighed in one of 3lb 9oz.
The Ryhope club match on Sunday also saw flounders dominate with 27 out of 92 weighing in 60 flounders and 6 cod. Mark Ganley fishing Roker Pier did well to land three cod for 2.94kg, including the heaviest fish of 1.80kg, to take first place. John Hutchinson was runner-up with a cod and a flounder for 1.29kg taken from the Tyne. Third spot went to junior angler Nathan Stevenson who weighed two flounders for 1.14kg, including the heaviest flatfish of 0.61kg. The junior prize went to Matthew Winn with two flounders for 0.90kg.
The last Cleadon A.C. match saw 24 fishing but only Steve Williams managed to weigh in with a single cod of 1lb 3oz fishing the Tyne. The last Whitley Bay match also only produced a single weigh in when Russ Smith managed to land a coalfish of 13oz. Tynemouth A.C. saw exactly the same results as well, with Syd Elliott landing a dab of 6oz. S.B.R.A.A.C. saw four out of 10 weigh in; Phil Smithson won with two cod and a single pouting weighing 2¾lb, ahead of Gary Wilson with a cod and a pouting for 2lb 5oz.
With generally poor reports from the rock edges the last Northumbria Police match was fished at Druridge Bay in anticipation of a few flounders which kindly cooperated on the day. Fishing an 18cm limit Ian Ainsley won with eight for 187 points which included the two longest fish at 38cm and 30cm. Ray Archbold had five for 130 points to finish second and Fred Douglas in third had five for 89 points.
South of the Tees shore sport is also poor with flounders and rockling again providing the best chance of a size fish. Sherm Hambley won the Saltburn Jack Frost trophy with three flounders weighing in at 3lb 1oz from Upgang followed by Mike Whincup with two flounders for 1½lb. A Redcar Navy and Gentleman’s Club match saw two out of 15 weigh in each with a single flounder, James Moore had one of 1lb 7oz from Sandsend and Ged McMahon fish weighed 14oz. Craig Dalton won a St. Mary’s A.C. match with four fish weighing 2lb 7oz followed by Terry Dalton in second with four at 1lb 7oz. Third placed John Fairbridge had five rockling weighing 1lb 1oz.
Saturday February 5th and Sunday February 6th sees the Sunderland Fishing Festival. Fishing is from 1pm till 5pm both days from the north side of Ryhope Dene to South Shields pier (excluded), and all public areas in the Wear up to the A19 Bridge. Basic entry is £10 each day, plus optional pools etc with top prizes of £500, £300 and £200 for the heaviest fish each day and a prize table valued at £2000 each day.