Continued settled conditions mean that cod are generally few and far between from all areas, but the ever-reliable whiting are present in large numbers along the Durham beaches and from the Hartlepool piers where mixed bags of over 20 fish continue to be taken on mixed worm, mackerel, and squid baits. Nighttime sessions have produced the inevitable mass whiting invasion with some bigger specimens now starting to show, and there are some nice big winter dabs among them. As with previous weeks, the odd cod has shown from the low water marks, and those anglers who can cast distance have taken the better fish to 4lb from the clean ground beach marks. Heavy seas should be evident by early this week and some good bags of cod are expected to be taken over the next few days.
Match anglers have mainly headed for the Region’s rivers during the recent calm spell for mixed bags of whiting, coalfish, flounders, and the odd smaller but in size codling as a bonus. Roker pier and South Shields pier have both been productive on some tides for bags of whiting over 20lb in total, and South Shields has produced the odd better cod to 6lb. North of the Tyne Blyth beach is always a popular venue for anglers with whiting often the main species. There have been a few decent match-winning bags however for those in the right place at the right time but most have been below the 10lb mark.
Ryhope SAC’s Sweepstake last Tuesday night saw 26 anglers fishing with only eight weighing in 14 fish. First place went to Graham Lund with a cod of 2.08kg from Roker Pier. Andy Rutherford fished Roker Beach to land a cod of 0.98kg, and Steve Rackstraw was third with a cod of 0.83kg from Souter Point.
Newbiggin A.C. had a good weigh in for their last match with 20 out of 29 landing 26 whiting, 22 cod, four flounders, and a single dab for a total weight of 59lb 7oz. John Bell had four cod totalling 7lb 11oz from Bondi Carrs, ahead of Anthony Eke with four weighing 5lb 14oz from Dulce Carrs. Joe Lindsay had the best of the day with a fish of 4lb 1oz from the Beacons. Barry Smith won a Blyth match at Amble with two cod for 7½lb, the best weighing 4lb 9oz, ahead of Nigel Howitt with three for a total of 7lb. Alan Naisby won a Bedlington Station match with 9lb 11oz, followed by Chris Potts with 9lb 2oz. Geoff King had two cod weighing 9lb 3oz, including the heaviest fish of 6lb 9oz, to win a Northumberland Sea League match at Limpet Rocks, which saw 21 out of 30 weigh in 48 fish for a total of 58lb 2oz.
Ken Hill won a Tynemouth match with a mixed bag of whiting and flounders for 6lb 5oz from Blyth. Andy Stanford won a Seaton Sluice match with four totalling 4lb 13oz from Blyth. Kev Burton also fished here to land 11 fish for 6¾lb to win a Whitley Bay match, as did Paul Roper who won an S.B.R.A.A.C. match with two cod for 3lb 10oz.
David Carrick had two cod from the Tyne weighing 2lb 15oz to win a Cleadon match. Paul Rogers had the best, a fish of 2lb 6oz.
A recent Bedlington Station match is indicative of what to expect north of the Tyne during prolonged settled conditions. Darren Shields had one of the better recent winning bags with 8lb 3oz, including the heaviest fish of 1¾lb and Bill Jacobs only needed 1lb 14oz for second place.
The recent Northumberland open last weekend saw 240 fishing with some reasonable bags of cod weighed in thanks to a slight swell putting a bit of colour into the water. Winner D. Swan had six for 11lb 13oz from Beadnell, P. Embelton had a single cod and the heaviest fish, a nice specimen of 10¼lb taken from the Doctors House, W. Foster had two weighing 9½lb, and S. Hepple had four for 8lb 6oz. Top juniors were Mason Taylor with 14oz and Lee Nyberg with 10oz. S. Sherman had the second heaviest fish, a cod of 6lb 11oz followed by Chris Stringer with 5lb 14oz. Relatively calm conditions saw some nice flounders showing for the flattie specialists. G. Appleton took the prize for the heaviest with a good winter specimen of 1lb 11oz taken from Blyth, followed by S. Davis with flounders of 1½lb and 1lb 7oz.
The Redcar Navy and Gents A.C. Open is on Sunday December 16th fishing from 10am until 2.30pm between South Gare Paddy’s Hole and Whitby East pier including the river up to the Swing Bridge. Basic entry is £8 for adults and £2.50 for juniors plus pools and team events. Register from 8.30am at the Redcar Angling Centre, High Street, Redcar. Top prizes for the heaviest fish are £500, £200, and £100 plus junior and ladies prizes and a full supporting prize table. One prize per entrant only. Weigh in at the Priory Club, Lord Street, Redcar from 3.15pm until 3.45pm. Contact Tony Barker 01642 503049 for details.