There has been little change for the shore angler with whiting dominating in all areas, but when there has been a bit of a sea running some nice cod are moving inshore. The odd specimen up to 10lb was reported from the Hartlepool piers last week with John Redman taking one of 9lb 9oz. Lots of small, undersize codling are also evident when the sea is not too rough, and these smaller fish are moving inshore all along the North East shoreline. The river Tyne in particular has many smaller cod in residence. Roker pier fished well early last week, as did the marks around Rathouse Corner in the lower Wear when the sea was running, with cod to 6lb reported amongst lots of quality whiting to 2lb. Colin Copeland had a cod of 7½lb from Ryhope and Ken McCoy had six cod to 6lb from Hendon, all taken on lugworm. The upper Wear has good numbers of fat winter flounders to 2lb or more showing, but other than the occasional sweepstake matches few anglers are bothering to fish this far upriver. Ken McCoy won a recent match in the river with eight flounders for 270cm, best a lovely specimen of 43cm. Mick Newton won a recent Ryhope sweepstake with a cod of 6lb 10oz taken from the inside of Roker pier, Bob Surtees had one of 3lb 1oz from Ryhope, and Ritchie Carr had one of 2lb 7oz from Roker pier. The last Ryhope sweepstake saw Mick Rich win with a cod of 5lb 10oz from Marsden, followed by John Lovett with a cod of 2lb 3oz from South Shields pier.
Seaham A.C. fished a Friday night Badger Open in poor conditions with only two out of the 25 anglers finding fish. G. Appleby won with a cod of 4.19lb followed by Gary Pye with a whiting of 0.84lb. Steve Elliott won a Sunderland S.A.C. match with a cod of 4lb 9oz with second placed Gary Conlin weighing in two for 4lb 5oz. Sport was a bit poor midweek with club matches being won with low weights. Daryl Bell only needed a mixed bag of cod, whiting, dabs, and flounder for a total of 4lb 10oz to win a Tynemouth winter league match. Steve Harper won the last Tynemouth Sunday match with five whiting and a dab weighing 3lb 11oz. Dave Milne only needed a single cod of 4lb 7oz to win a Whitley Bay match. Across the river at South Shields results were a lot better for a South Shields A.C. Match on Sunday with the top five anglers all weighing in mainly whiting bags into double figures. Mick Jewitt won with 17lb 7oz, runner-up M. Wilkinson had 13lb 14oz, and third placed R. Lees had 13lb 9oz. The Ryhope Sunday match also saw the whiting return in huge numbers with the lower Wear full of quality specimens to 2lb taking fresh mackerel baits. Forty out of the 73 entrants weighed in with winner Colin Smith taking 25 for 11.89kg. Ken Hayley finished second with 23 weighing 11.58kg and third placed Bill Bell weighed in 7.37kg. John Porteous had the heaviest fish, a cod of 2.05kg, Barry Robson had the best flatfish of 0.52kg, and top junior Daniel Tate weighed in 2.43kg.
South of the Tees whiting and rockling seem to be the main species to expect but Rob Osborne did manage a cod of 10½lb from Runswick Bay taken on a big squid bait.
The wet and cold weather has resulted in several rock falls and land slips on the cliffs between Roker and South Shields and anglers should take great care along this stretch of shoreline, and from similar areas along the Durham beaches and north of the Tyne.