With persistent onshore winds keeping a lot of movement on the sea over the last several days the winter season has started for many anglers, with mixed bags of cod, coalfish, whiting, and flatties showing from all across the Region. The better cod catches have been in the north of the area, though the Hartlepool piers have seen cod starting to show amongst the whiting and flatties, mainly from the pier ends, the promenade, and Parton and Crimdon beaches over low water. The Durham beaches have seen similar results with night time tides producing the better results.
There are plenty of cod north of the Tyne where club matches are now being regularly won with double figure bags. Karl McLaughlin won a recent Tynemouth winter league match with three cod for a total weight of 10lb 5oz taken at Lynmouth. Another winter match saw Tony Anderson with a mixed bag of cod and coalfish weighing 7lb 11oz taken from the Pipe End, Dave Hayley had the heaviest fish of 3¾lb. Mick Hardy won a Blyth match with four cod totalling 10lb 15oz, Mark Callender won a Whitley Bay match with five for 10½lb followed by Paul Brown with six weighing 10lb. Kevin Moffat won a S.B.R.A.A.C. match with seven cod for a total of 11lb 2oz, the best weighing 4lb 10oz. South Shields pier continues to fish well for a variety of species and worm baits are taking a lot of fish but the better cod and coalfish are now looking for crab baits. A. Heeley won a Cleadon match on the pier with two cod weighing 8lb 2oz, the best making 5¼lb. A heaviest fish sweepstake on South Shields pier saw Andy Rutherford win with a cod of 2¼lb, Leno Fenech had one of 1lb 8oz, and Mick Bell had the best bag with four for 5lb 7oz.
Down at Seaham the Hollman Memorial match did not quite produce the numbers of cod expected but Gary Ramsden landed one of 3.09lb from the Chemical beach to win ahead of Paul Edwards with one for 1.44lb taken from the South pier, and Dean Ambler with one for 1.31lb.
The river Wear has a lot of small fish showing though the odd better coalie to 1½lb have been reported from the lower river and from Rathouse Corner where similar sized codling have also been taken. The Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake saw most anglers head off in search of cod from the productive rock edges at Marsden, Whitburn and Ryhope. Lee Burton won with a cod of 2lb 11oz taken at the Manholes, Dave Mould had one of 2lb 6oz, and Lee Burton also took third place with a cod of 1lb 7oz. The Blenny Hill sweepstake fished at the White Wall saw Rita Clark win with two flounders for 58cm, Jack Clark had two for 55cm, both tied for the longest fish at 30cm.
The recent Seaton Sluice open fished with a bit of a swell on the sea produced a few big bags of cod as expected. A very good turnout of 220 seniors and seven juniors saw 73 return to the weigh in with 165 fish for a good weight of 379lb. First place for the heaviest bag went to Andy Hooper with 22lb 2oz, James Parker had 171/2lb, Steve Williams had 14lb 3oz followed by Joe Greaves with 14lb 2oz, and Graham Foster with 13lb 14oz. Joe Greaves had the heaviest fish, a cod of 6lb 13oz, and Trevor Ferry was second with a cod of 6½lb. Daryl Ashcroft had the best flatfish at 11oz, Charlie Hall was top junior with 2lb 2oz ahead of Millie Urwin with 10oz.
The Seaham David Guy Memorial Open is on Sunday October 26th with fishing from 12 noon until 5pm between Hendon Groyne (excluded) to Dene Holm pipe at Horden. Register from 10am until 11.30am at the Seaham clubhouse, you can also register prior to fishing at selected local tackle shops. Basic entry is £10 all classes plus various optional pools. The top three prizes for the heaviest fish are £1000, £500, and £350, one prize per angler only. The top lady, junior and disabled angler will each receive £100 and there is a full supporting prize table. Contact Seaham clubhouse 0191 5810321 for details.