The biggest proportion of shore anglers are still struggling to catch other than a few flatties or whiting. What cod there have been appear very localised.
Some good fish were reported early last week from the Seaham piers and the Blast Beach. Roker Pier and Whitburn also produced a few cod but westerly winds have since flattened the sea off and killed the fishing. Even the usually productive rivers Tyne and Wear have slowed right down. Some clubs are now fishing measure-and-release matches in the rivers just to find a bit of sport with a size limit of 20cm.
North of the Tyne: Gary Wilson won a South Beach A.C. match with a cod of 4 – 10lb from Blyth pier, followed by Phil Smithson with a cod of 4 – 04lb. Mick Langwell won a Longbenton match with a bag of whiting for 5.14lb – best 1 – 08lb.
Amble anglers having to rely on whiting and flounders for any sport. The last Amble A.C. match saw Ian Harrogate win with 5 whiting -best 1 – 02lb, for 3 – 11lb; Gail Oliver had 5 flounders for 2 – 08lb; C.Dawson had 2 flounders for 1 – 07lb -best 1 – 00lb. Junior angler R. Oliver had 3 flounders for 1 – 00lb.
South of the Tees sport is also poor. A recent Redcar Navy and Gentlemans Club match only saw Dave Allinson weigh in out of 20 fishing with a cod of 1 – 12lb taken from Runswick.
Hartlepool O.M.A.C. fished Saturday night and only 2 out of 12 managed to find anything of size. Ian Palmer Jnr. did very well to weigh in 4 fish for 4 – 02lb – best a cod of 2 – 10lb, and Dave Littlewood had a single fish of 1 – 03lb.
The Ryhope Tuesday Sweepstake saw 4 out of 35 weigh in a mixture of flounders and whiting. Mick Hamilton won with a flounder of 440 grammes from Rathouse Corner, while John Morrow had a whiting of 325 grammes from Seaham Hall beach. There was a tie for third place with Bob Hamilton and John Morrow both with whiting of 295 grammes.
The Eastenders h.s.f. Sweepstake on Wednesday evening saw 5 out of 14 weigh in 5 cod, 2 whiting, and 1 flounder. Steve Rackstraw took first and fourth places with cod of 6 – 06lb, and 2 – 09lb from Marsden, and Dave Mould was second and third with cod of 3 – 01lb, and 3 – 00lb, also from Marsden.
The East End and Hendon Sweepstake on Thursday saw 2 out of 12 land fish with Gareth Gardner taking the top two places with a cod of 4 – 10lb, and a whiting of 0 – 15lb, followed by Geoff Moon with a whiting of 0 – 10lb.
The Eastenders Open match on Friday evening saw an unexpected good weigh in with 12 out of 15 taking 29 cod, 3 whiting, 2 flounders, and 1 rockling. Gary Pye fished the Blast Beach to win with a cod of 6 – 02lb, and he also took third place with a cod of 4 – 14lb. Dave Short fished Roker Pier for a cod of 5 – 00lb, and Lee Burton was fourth with a cod of 4 – 10lb. There were several other cod around the 4lb mark taken on the night.
The Seaham Badger Open on Saturday also managed a reasonable result with 10 out of 43 weighing in 13 cod, 6 whiting, and 2 flounders. Colin Bell won with a cod of 4.91lb from the North Pier, while Chris Stringer fished the Blast to take second and third places with cod of 3.71lb, and 3.07lb.
Sunderland S.A.A. fished Sunday with 2 out of 10 finding fish. Alan Walker had a flounder of 0 – 14lb, and Bill Gamblin had a flounder of 0 – 12lb, both from Roker Pier.
The Eastenders club match on Sunday saw 4 out of 30 weighing in 2 whiting, 1 cod, and 1 flounder. Neil Cutler won with a cod of 1 – 05lb from the Tyne Walkway; Darren Welsh had a whiting of 1 – 01b, also from the Walkway; Chris Stringer and Dave Raymond tied for third place, each with whiting of 1 – 00lb.
East End and Hendon had a measure-and-release match in the Tyne on Sunday and all 12 members found fish. Barry Robson won with 11 fish for 245cm; Tommy Tate had 8 for 188cm; and George Tyzack had 5 for 119cm.
Cleadon A.C. fished early last week with 4 out of 25 managing to weigh in 4 fish. Mark Shotton had a single whiting of 1 – 03lb from the Tyne; John Taylor had a flounder of 1 – 02lb from South Shields beach,;Paul Smith had a coalfish of 0 – 14lb; and Gavin Hall had a flounder of 0 – 13lb.
Coming up: Sunday March 1st is the 14th New Hartley Open, fishing from 10am till 2 pm between Amble pier and Tynemouth pier (piers excluded). Register from 7.30am at the New Hartley Social Club. Basic entry is £8 plus additional pools and team events. Juniors under 16 are free but must be accompanied by an adult, and all juniors who return to the weigh in will receive a prize. First prize is £500 plus the usual full supporting prize table sponsored by John Laidler of Sports and Leisure at Blyth.