Cod are now well established all along the north east shoreline and it only takes a slight bit of movement on the sea to bring them within reach of the shore angler. A decent surf during the hours of darkness can ensure a very successful session. The Teesbay and Durham beaches continue to produce double figure mixed bags of whiting, flounders, dabs and the odd bass, and when conditions are right, double figure bags of cod. Most cod remain around the 1lb to 2lb mark, but bigger specimens to 5lb or 6lb are starting to become more evident, particularly from the low water marks. Fresh or frozen crab is producing plenty of fish but increasing numbers of anglers are reporting taking good bags on worm baits now that colder weather is upon us.
Hartlepool O.M.A.C. fished the first three matches of their winter league and Jay Kelly took the top bags and heaviest fish in all three of them. In the first outing Jay had four cod for 6½lb, best of which weighed 2lb 6oz, followed by Dave Littlewood with a mixed bag of 3lb 9oz. The second match saw Jay land 10 cod for 18lb 3oz, heaviest this time making 3lb 2oz, ahead of second placed Paul Lee who had nine weighing 12lb. The last of the three matches resulted in a win again for Jay win with three weighing in at 8lb 9oz, the best of which tipped the scales at 5lb 2oz. Runner-up Paul Lee weighed 8lb 7oz, and Steve Sweeney had the second heaviest fish, a cod of 2lb 15oz. The club have a meeting in the Pink Domino at 7pm prompt on Saturday October 30th.
Horden Surfcasters had another productive match recently, this time fishing at Lynburn. Ron Smith landed six cod for 9lb 11oz to win ahead of John Bellingham who landed five weighing 8lb 9oz. Third place went to Jim Dobie with 7lb 3oz and in fourth was Mick Elliot with four for 6¾lb.
Cleadon A.C. also had another productive match fishing the Tyne with 15 out of 33 weighing in. John Newcombe had a super bag of cod, 14 fish weighing 20lb to take top spot. Stephen Brown finished second with 11 for 14¾lb ahead of third placed Peter Seymour who had 11 for 13lb 10oz. Gav Hall in fourth had eight for 12¼lb, three pound ahead of fifth placed angler David Carrick. Ian McLaughlin took the heaviest fish prize with a surprise pollack of 2½lb.
Bedlington Station also had a productive match weighing in over 100lb of cod, and not a single one from the Tyne. K. Burn had 10 for 16lb taken at Amble to finish third while second placed D. Walker had eight for 15¼lb, also from Amble. K. Armstrong fished at Cambois to land seven weighing 14½lb to finish third pushing Alan Naisby who had 10lb 2oz into fourth. Gary Willis had two for 8lb 13oz from Hartley, which included the heaviest fish of 7lb 1oz.
The best club winning weight reported so far however was during a Tynemouth Winter League match when 19 out of 25 weighed in. Top rod Brad Hill had a very nice bag of 16 cod and one coalfish for 29lb 6oz taken from Blyth. Steve Hardy also fished Blyth and finished runner-up with four cod, four whiting and a flounder for 12lb 10oz. Third placed Colin Atkinson landed six cod and one whiting for 9lb 9oz and Marty Elliot had the heaviest fish, a cod of 3lb 15oz.
Ryhope A.C. found the codling in the Wear during their last match with 40 out of 77 weighing in. John Porteous had seven cod for 5.655Kg, Bob Surtees had three cod and two flounders for 2.735Kg, including the best flounder at 0.625Kg, Wayne Harriman had four cod for 2.125Kg. The heaviest fish went to Frank Terry with a cod of 1.340Kg and top junior was Dominic Mould with 0.53kg.