Word gets around quickly in the undersea world where survival of the fittest rules supreme, and it seems that all of the species around our area know that there is a sandeel and sprat shoal three miles wide and 30 miles long just off the coast offering an abundant food supply, and that is where most fish now are. Takeable fish are few and far between from the open shoreline with even the normally reliable flounder and dab moving offshore. Only the local rivers offer any real chance of catching and even then only for the odd smaller cod, coalfish or flounder. If the sandeel shoal really is as big as commercial boats report it will take a very prolonged rough sea to shift them and bring the cod back inshore.
Some of the better club results include Steve Elliott who won a South Shields match with two cod weighing 3lb 3oz when fishing on the Tyne. Gav Hall took first place in a Cleadon match when he landed a single cod of 1lb 11oz again from the Tyne, and Nigel Howitt won a Blyth Match with a cod of 1lb 11oz from Boulmer. Whilst prospects for the New Year might improve quickly those fishing the following open matches might also struggle.
The 34th Amble Open takes place on Sunday January 9th fishing from 10am until 2pm between Seahouses South pier to Lynemouth Pipe, excluding all piers and rivers. Basic entry is £12 which includes the heaviest fish sweep. Top prizes for the heaviest bags are £600, £300 and £150 while the first three heaviest fish will receive get £300, £200 and £100. The top three heaviest flatfish receive £150, £100 and £50 and the top three ladies prizes are receive £50, £30 and £20 with the same monies for the top three juniors. There is a supporting prize table of £4000. Register at the Radcliffe Club, Amble from 7.30am weigh in from 2pm till 3pm prompt. No wrasse or eels are allowed and the size limit for flounders is 27cm. Bait can be ordered from the Amble Angling Centre, contact Norma on 01665 711200. Details Jim French 01665 711007
Sunday January 16th is the County Durham Open Sea Angling Championship fishing for five hours from 11am. Basic entry is £15 with a first prize is £2000 in a total prize list of £5500 to win. There are also ladies, junior and disabled prizes. Register at Seaham Leisure Centre on the day from 9am until 12 noon. You can also pre-register at the following tackle shops; Friarage Tackle Hartlepool (01429 273145), Coast Road Fishing Tackle Horden (0191-5180742), North East Tackle Hartlepool (01429 272581), North East Tackle Seaham (0191 5817915), North East Tackle Ryhope (0191 5103573) and Rutherford’s Sunderland (0191 5654183). For more information contact the Sports Development Team on 0191 5270501
Sunday January 23rd sees the Barry Tweddle Memorial match fished from 9.30am till 1.30pm between Tynemouth pier to Amble pier. Basic entry is £10 plus the usual pools. Juniors are free but must be accompanied by a paying adult. First prize is £1000 for the heaviest bag, and £500 for the heaviest fish plus a full supporting prize table including a one week fishing trip to Iceland. Register at the Bank House Club Newbiggin from 7.30am, weigh in same venue until 3pm. Tickets are also available from selected tackle shops. Contact Mick Bell 07974 369897