Northern Bites by Steve Walker

by Steve Walker

Movement and some colour in the water over the last few days resulted in double-figure bags of whiting and flatties from the clean ground on worm, mackerel, and squid. Hartlepool’s Steetly pier has been the most consistent mark and gave a few reasonable cod too. Shore sport generally is still very hit or miss however, and a recent Tynemouth A.C. match saw no one weigh in.

Commercial boats continue to report good numbers of cod just offshore, and the Sea Otter 2 from Whitby reported good numbers of cod to 19lb from the offshore wrecks last week. The next several weeks will see bigger spawning cod moving into the Teesbay area with a 20lb plus specimen easily possible. Some big fish have already been reported lost.
Ritchie Douglas with a cod

Roker pier and the lower Wear have both fished well for whiting to worm and mackerel, with the odd cod amongst them. And the rocks at Whitburn have produced cod to low double figures – best so far weighed 13 – 08lb for Keith Johnson who also had cod of 7 – 08lb and 5lb.

Rob Wallace had cod of 10 – 12lb and 7 – 03lb from the lower Tyne. Darren Taylor had a cod of 8 – 04lb from Amble, and Ron Forest had cod to 7lb from Whitehouse Sands. Cresswell Beach has produced cod to 6 – 08lb.

The last Cleadon A.C. match was won by Lance McVey with a cod of 7 – 03lb. Billy Lea fishing the same match from the cliffs at Whitburn lost a big fish on the lift… it was recovered at low tide and weighed 10 – 02lb. Neil Pringle won a Seaton Sluice match with a cod of 9 – 00lb. Paul Fenech had a pleasure session at Beadnell to land 3 cod for 15lb, best 6 – 13lb. Paul Green fished Marsden to land cod to 6 – 14lb.

The last Whitley Bay Winter League match was won by Dave Milne with a cod of 4 – 14lb. Colin Bell had 4 fish for 3 – 06lb, and Mick Clark had a single cod of 2 – 03lb.

The Eastenders Open on Sunday saw 18 out of 30 weigh in, with all the top weights coming from the rock edges at Marsden. Andy Rutherford had the top two h.s.f. with cod of 3 – 03lb, and 2 – 06lb. Paul McKintyre was third with a cod of 1 – 13lb, and Colin Smith was fourth with a cod of 1 – 09lb.

Size fish were hard to find in Ryhope Tuesday Evening Sweepstake where only 6 from 38 weighed in. Joe Grieves had a cod of 700 grammes from Souter Point; Darren Welsh took second and third place with whiting of 505 grammes and 395 grammes; and Grahame Peart was fourth with a whiting of 385 grammes.

The first Ryhope club match of the year had a good turn out with 108 members fishing, but only 12 managed to weigh in 14 fish. Worthy winner was junior angler Lliam Prest with a bass and flounder from Whitburn for 1490 grammes. Liam’s is bass was the h.s.f. at 1200 grammes. M.Telford had a cod of 870 grammes from Souter Point; Joe Wilton had 2 flounders from the Wear for 695 grammes; Keith Wilcox had the h.s.flatfish with a flounder of 590 grammes.

Hartlepool O.M.A.C. fished on Saturday, with 10 out of 18 weighing 75 fish, mainly whiting. Ian Palmer had a good night taking 23 whiting for 17 – 05lb from Steetly. Dave Littlewood had 12 whiting for 9 – 02lb; Jordan Salvan had 10 for 7 – 02lb; Steve Gibbins had the h.s.f. with a cod of 2 – 01lb.

The last Redcar Navy and Gents match saw Ian Fenton win with a cod of 3 – 11lb taken from S.Gare, Frank Harrison had a flounder of 0 – 13lb from the Gare, and Vanessa Barker had a flounder of 0 – 12lb from Cliff House.


In last Sunday’s Amble Open, 84 out of 423 weighed in 165 fish for 200 – 07lb. It was the flounder specialistwho made the most of the conditions to dominate the prize table. First place went to junior angler Mathew Holdroyd who had 10 flounders for 10 – 02lb. Matthew took flounders of 1 – 07lb and 1 – 04lb on his first cast, and then flounders of 2 – 00lb and 1 – 05lb on his next cast to get off to a flying start. Stephen Smith was second with 8 flounders for 8 – 05lb, and Andy Little had a single cod and the h.s.f. for 7 – 10lb. M.Harrison had the second h.s.f. with a cod of 7 – 09lb; I.O’Hagen had a cod of 5 – 05lb; M.Heslop had a cod of 4 – 14lb. B.Clennell had the heaviest flatfish with a flounder of 2 – 01lb; Mathew Holdroyd had one of 2 – 00lb; D.Halliday had one of 1 – 01lb. Top junior was of course Mathew Holdroyd; R.Oliver had 6 flounders for 4 – 02lb; C.Robinson had 1 cod of 3 – 09lb. Top lady was Gail Oliver with 3 flounders for 2 – 08lb, and Norma Urwin had a single flounder for 0 – 08lb.

Coming up: The Easington Open is on Sunday January 25th with fishing from 11am till 4pm between Ryhope Dene to Crimdon Dene. Al- in entry is £12, tickets are available from selected tackle shops or on the day from Seaham Leisure Centre from 9am till 12 noon. Top prize for the h.s.f. is £2000 plus a full supporting prize table.

Sunday February 1st is the 14th Dave Jobson Memorial Open organised by Blyth S.A.C. with fishing from 10.30am till 2.30pm between the Tyne Bergen Quay and Pattersons Garage Beadnell. Basic entry is £10 plus optional pools etc. Juniors under 16 are free if accompanied by a paying adult, and juniors under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Register at the Ridley Park Hotel Blyth from 8.30am till 9.30am. First prize for the heaviest bag is 50% payout and 100% payout for the h.s.f.

Pictures by Alan Charlton

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