Very heavy Easterly seas for the time of year have scattered the mackerel shoals and brought good numbers of cod up to 5lb inshore, with the best sport being north of the Tyne where club matches are being won with bags of fish into double figures. The Whitley Bay area and the river Tyne have both been especially productive. The Durham beaches have also seen cod landed, as have the local piers but washed out weed has been a problem at times. The rock edges around Roker and Whitburn have not yet seen cod in any great numbers but there are large numbers of coalfish present, and Lee Burton managed a surprise bass of 1lb 5oz during a recent pleasure session. At Hartlepool the Staincliffe has produced smaller cod over low water which is very early for this mark and prospects for cod fishing continue to be extremely good for the coming winter. Some quality whiting, dabs and flounders are present from all areas and most anglers who ventured out over the last few days have had success with double figure mixed bags for those hitting the right spots. The rivers Tyne and Wear are still full of the usual summer species with quality flounders, coalfish, smaller cod and the occasional specimen eel all being taken well upriver where ragworm, mackerel and crab have all produced fish.
Durham Police fished a match in the Wear which produced some nice flounders. Ian Ainsley won with seven for 106 points, Peter Chadwick had two for 75 points and eight year old Calum Stuart had eight for 73 points.
A Tynemouth Sunday League match saw eleven out of the twenty-nine anglers weigh in. Winner Marty Elliott had a wrasse and a cod from St.Mary’s Island for 3lb 2oz. Steve Childs took second spot with a specimen flounder of 2lb 2oz from the Tyne, which was also the heaviest fish. Third placed Steve Harper weighed in a coalie of 1lb 7oz. The next Tynemouth Winter League match saw much better results with twelve anglers bring fish to the scales. Paul Foster had five cod for 10lb 10oz from Whitley Bay beach, best of which weighed an ounce over four pounds, to take first place. In second Paul Gallen had five cod for 7lb from the Harbour ahead of third placed Steve Harper who weighed in four cod and a flounder for 6¾lb from Whitley Bay beach.
Seaton Sluice A.C. had the best possible start to their winter league with bags of cod taken from all areas. Chris Guthrie won with twelve cod for 20lb 10oz taken at Amble where Mal Macintyre weighed in twelve at 16 – 14lb to finish runner-up. In third place was Dave Cruddas who landed ten weighing 14lb 13oz, including the heaviest fish of 3¼lb, taken from Whitley Bay pipe.
S.B.R.A.A.C. also had a double figure winner with Steve Alexander taking seven cod for 10lb 3oz from Whitley Bay. The Whitley Bay sweepstake match also produced plenty of cod, Gary Forster winning with ten fish weighing 13lb 12oz, Dave Cruddas had nine weighing 13lb 1oz and Marty Elliott landed the heaviest fish, a cod of at 4¼lb.
Cleadon A.C. also had excellent bags at their recent match where Mark Weigmann won with eight cod for 11lb 6oz followed by Norman Spour with five for 5lb 13oz.
A reminder that the Newbiggin Open is on Sunday September 26th fishing from 10am till 2pm (low water 11.51am) between Seahouses Breakwater to Tynemouth pier, all estuaries and piers excluded. Basic entry is £10, juniors £3, plus team and pool events. There are cash prizes of £2000 including £500 for the winner plus the usual supporting prize table. See www.newbigginsac.co.uk for details.