With some of the biggest tides of the year last week anglers would have expected some decent sport, even if there was just a slight swell on the sea some days, and conditions were not exactly perfect, there should still have been at least a few bigger cod showing. With big low tides also, there was plenty of opportunity to collect some decent baits, but unfortunately fish were few and far between. Even the whiting where in short supply and a lot of club matches have been won with just the odd smaller size cod that seem to have moved inshore over recent weeks. Those big double figure specimen cod that often show up at this time of the year may have to wait until next year to be caught. Double figure cod are still being landed from around the Arbroath area, a popular venue for visiting north east anglers, sport has been very good lately though the vast majority of fish are only around the 2lb to 3lb mark, however, some anglers report taking these smaller fish just about every cast.
Some early spring and summer species are starting to show from the clean ground beaches with turbot showing amongst good numbers of flounders, all looking for worm baits tipped with mackerel or bluey. The upper Wear also has a good population of winter flounders; again worm baits tipped with mackerel or bluey will take plenty of mainly smaller fish on most tides, with the odd better specimen around the 2lb mark reported.
One of the best match winning bags of late was a six cod bag weighing 14.50lb taken by D. Browne during a Cleadon match. A. Brotherton had three for 8.40lb, including the heaviest of 5.10oz. Elsewhere, Bob Wilson only needed a single cod of 2lb 7oz to win an S.B.R.A.A.C. match at King Edwards Bay. Paul Brown had two cod for a total of 2lb 13oz in the Tyne to win a Whitley Bay match. Phil Skinner won a Tynemouth match with two cod totalling 3lb, Chris Guthrie won a Seaton Sluice match with two cod for 3lb 7oz, and Keith Smith had 10 flounders weighing 6lb 1oz to win a Blyth match.
The European Open Beach Championship is a three day event held on Friday February 27th, Saturday February 28th, and Sunday March 1st. Friday is a flattie match fishing from 12 noon until 3.30pm, basic entry is £7. The main two day event is fished from 10am until 4pm each day. Basic entry for seniors is £20 per day or £30 both days. Juniors pay £10 per day. Tickets and full details can be ordered online at www.eyevents.co.uk/events/open or on the day at competition H.Q. Sand-le-Mere Holiday Village.