With persistent northerly winds and a lot of movement on the sea, shore sport has been good on some tides, but hit or miss on others. Several anglers who braved the cold and snow have taken bags of cod into double figures; with the Hartlepool piers, the promenade, the Durham beaches, the rivers and the rock marks north of the Tyne producing cod to 8lb, plus a few low double figure specimens. John Wilson had a cod of around 10lb during a recent session at Hartlepool and Brian Lee reports taking five nice cod during a midweek session on the Hartlepool piers. Steetley Pier has also been reported to be producing plenty of fish, with quality whiting and dabs making up for any lack of cod.
Darren Farrow had a cod of 9lb 6oz from Blyth pier, John Bell had one of 9lb from Sandy Bay and Paul Harris had one of 6lb 6oz from the Wherry at South Shields. Best club winning bag reported was seven whiting, three cod, best 5lb 3oz, and a coalfish for 19lb 14oz taken by Steve Harper on Tynemouth pier during a recent B.O.T.A.C. match. Another B.O.T.A.C. Match saw Dave Hayley win with three cod and a coalfish for 5lb 10oz taken from Slatey Gut.
Unusually the heavy seas over the weekend did not produce much at all with the Pilot pier and Middleton pier at Hartlepool being particularly unproductive despite perfect conditions. The only mark that seemed to produce fish was Rathouse Corner in the Wear. Hartlepool O.M.A.C. fished Saturday night and they managed to find a few fish with nine cod and five whiting weighed in. Paul Lee won with two cod for 10lb 7oz, best of which weighed in at 5lb 2oz, followed by Jay Kelly with two cod for 7lb 5lb, best 5lb 5oz and Mark Brallisford had a single cod of 5lb 1oz for third place.
Hartlepool W.C.S.A.C. had two recent matches; the first saw ten weigh in a total of 17lb 50z. Paul Hornsey won with a bag of whiting and dabs for 3¼lb. Runner-up Mal McGeorge had three whiting for 2lb 10oz while third placed Alan Howe had two whiting for 2lb, best 1lb 2oz. Marc Wallace finished fourth with two whiting for 1lb 14oz. The second match saw everyone huddled in the corner of the Pilot Pier in gales and snow where Paul Hornsey landed the only fish; a whiting of 1¼lb.
The Horden Buffs Sweepstake saw Ron Smith win the heaviest fish prize with a cod of 3lb 5oz. Steve Moyle had the heaviest bag weighing 6lb 11oz. Steve Lawson won a recent Horden Mechanics match with a cod of 4lb 10oz.
Norman Spour won a match with a cod of 6lb 2oz from Whitburn. Steve Surtees had five cod for 6lb 11oz from Hauxley to win a Bedlington Station A.C. match. John Bell had three cod for 6lb 5oz from Silver Carrs to win at NewCleadon A.C.biggin. The Amble sweepstake match saw Barry Tweddle win with five cod and a coalfish for 10lb 15oz taken at Foxton; with Darren Swan landing the heaviest fish. with a cod of 5lb 1oz at White House Sands.
The Amble Open last Sunday saw sixty out of three hundred and three weigh in with most of the cod coming from the Bog Hall Rocks and Lynemouth area. Phil Tworkowski had three cod for 14¼lb from Bog Hall, which included the second and third heaviest fish of 7lb 11oz and 5lb 7oz. Rob O’Hagen was second with a single cod of 9½lb, which was also the heaviest fish and Peter Stewart was third with three cod for 8lb 6oz. The top heaviest flatfish prizes went to Elaine Scott with a flounder of 1lb 6oz, Rob Henderson followed with 1lb 3oz and Elaine Scott and Norma Urwin tied for third place with fish of 1lb 1oz. Norma Urwin took the ladies prize with four flounders for 3lb 13oz followed by Elaine Scott with three for 3lb 1oz. Top junior was Ryan Armstrong with a single cod of 4lb 9oz, which also put him well up in main the prize table.
South of the Tees, Bernard Westgarth won the Saltburn A.C. Spencer Cup with a cod of 6lb 10oz and at Whitby Ian Vickers had a great session on the East Pier taking excellent cod of 10lb 1oz, 7¼lb and 7lb 1oz.