With relatively settled conditions over the last few days whiting have been the main species to expect with all of the Region’s piers and clean ground marks producing plenty of double figure bags both during daylight hours and night time sessions. Any bait tipped off with mackerel or squid has been taken by the greedy whiting.
The odd dogfish continue to be reported from the Durham beaches and there are good numbers of dabs and flounders among the whiting. The best cod sport has been after dark along the beaches and rock edge marks where a moderate surf has brought at least a few fish inshore. The Hartlepool piers are full of whiting but cod to 8lb have been reported from the Promenade during the right conditions.
Horden Surfcasters A.C. had a good result recently with just the right amount of movement along the beaches producing cod for most of those who fished. Mark Thompson had a fine heaviest bag with nine cod weighing 21½lb just ahead of Grant Watkins with six totalling 19lb 10oz, and Ron Smith with seven for 18lb 15oz. There were some nice specimens among the cod with Graeme Peart having the best at 9¼lb, Paul Milburn had one of 6lb 7oz and Grant Watkins one of 5lb 10oz. The Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake saw Mick Davison win with a cod of 3lb 8oz, Barrie Stowells had one of 2lb 8oz and Lee Burton one of 1lb 10oz.
The Ryhope Sunday match was dominated by whiting with Roker pier and the Wear full of whiting all the way up to the mid river marks. However, the end of Roker pier did produce cod up to 6lb on the day for pleasure anglers. Liam Prest won with a single cod and seven whiting for a total weight of 5.48kg, Stan Longhorn had 16 whiting weighing 4.08kg and Ken Hayley had 14 whiting for 3.71kg. Stu Bland had the best flounder of 0.71kg, Mick Telford the best cod of 2.58kg, and top junior Ryan Taylor had 12 whiting totalling 3.46kg.
The Tyne has good numbers of various species present and is popular for those wanting to get out of the gale force westerly winds. Cod are spread all along the tidal range with some fish reported as far upriver as Scotswood. The lower river marks from Jarrow downwards have been the most productive with odd specimens to 6lb landed amongst the inevitable whiting.
Chris Watson won a Tynemouth winter league match with a typical mixed bag of seven whiting and two dabs weighing 7lb 1oz and Dave McLaughlin had the heaviest fish, a cod of 2lb 6oz. An S.B.R.A.A.C. match produced another typical weigh in with 11 whiting, 10 flounders, six cod, and one coalie being weighed in. Dave Crudace won with two cod for 7lb 12oz and Gary Hall had two for 6lb 8oz. A. Naisby won a Bedlington Station match with three cod for 6lb 14oz. A Blyth match produced one of the better results, again right place at the right time fishing the clean ground beach marks on a night tide which produced a nine fish winning bag of 21lb 7oz for P. Smith, the best weighing 4lb 13oz.