With plenty of movement in the sea over the last several days there have been some nice mixed bags of cod, whiting, and flatties reported from all areas. Even with the gale force winds being from the west there was still a good swell running onto the sheltered beaches where a nighttime session produced large numbers of quality whiting. The piers at Hartlepool have been overwhelmed with whiting again, some anglers reporting bags of over 30 fish, but when the sea has picked up a little to produce a bigger swell Middleton pier has seen cod to 6lb reported. Odd cod have been taken from the low water marks at the Staincliffe, Parton beach, and Crimdon, but even here, the whiting have been out in force. All of the regions other piers have seen similar results with the better bags of cod generally north of Roker, and the main whiting shoals around the Durham beaches and Teesbay.
Seaham Hall beach, Hendon Wall, and the various rock edge marks north up to South Shields have all seen cod to 6lb or more landed on some tides. South Shields pier has also fished well despite the floodwater coming down the Tyne, and the rock edges north of the Tyne continue to produce the odd double figure specimen cod. Phil Wright landed a personal best cod of 13lb 7oz from the Mud Hole at Whitburn last week, and anglers who are lucky enough to land a bigger fish are increasingly reporting that they were taken on a combination of mackerel or bluey fish baits. Big baits, big hooks, strong line, and a landing net would be suitable tackle to use over the next few months when the big spawning cod should move inshore.
The Big Fred Sweepstake match fished in the Tyne saw Steve Gordon win the heaviest fish prize with a cod of 2lb 5oz and Mick Dellin had the heaviest bag of 11 whiting weighing 9lb 1oz, most fish were taken from the Walkway. Ten out of 17 weighed in during a recent Blyth match won by Ian Greenacre with five cod for a total weight of 17¼lb taken from Amble, which also included the heaviest fish of 7lb 3oz.
The Ship Open saw a few decent cod weighed in, Mick Heslop won with three cod totalling 12lb, the best weighing 9lb, taken from Cullercoats. Peter Stewart had the second heaviest fish with a cod of 7¼lb. The Reg Francis memorial open saw 13 out of 63 weigh in. Paul Moor won with eight fish for 4lb 15oz; Tommy Tate was second with three weighing 4lb 14oz, including the heaviest fish of 3½lb.
Gary Wilson won a Whitley Bay match with four cod for 8lb 7oz, followed by Colin Bell with three weighing 7lb 1oz. Smaller fish dominated a recent Bedlington Station match which was won by G. Sidney with 9 for a total of 15lb 10oz, D. Shields in second had 11 for 14lb 9oz. Kenny Patterson had two cod totalling 10lb 3oz to win a Tynemouth winter league match.
Some cod are still showing south of the Tees where Stan Preston won a Saltburn match with two for 6lb 5oz, the best weighing 4lb 11oz. It was whiting all the way for the last St. Mary’s match; Terry Dalton travelled to fish the Hartlepool piers and landed 13 fish weighing in at 12¼lb, followed by son Darren whose 10 fish weighed 10¾lb.
The ever-popular Amble Open is on Sunday January 13th with fishing from 8am until 1pm between Seahouses South pier and Lynemouth pipe. Basic entry is £12, which includes the heaviest fish sweep. Register at the Radcliffe Club Amble from 6am. All rivers are excluded but disabled anglers may fish from Amble pier. All flounders must be presented for weighing in buckets of water preferably with aerators attached, no plastic bags. Top prizes for the heaviest bags are £400 plus a rod, £300, and £150. Top prizes for the heaviest fish are £300, £200, and £100; the heaviest flatfish gets £150, £100, and £50 while the ladies and junior winners top three will get £50, £30, and £20. There is the usual quality prize table. Contact Jim French on 01665-711007 for details.