Recent windy conditions have kept many anglers off the more exposed piers and beach marks and the more sheltered river marks have been a popular choice to fish. Sport in the rivers has been fairly good with both the Wear and Tyne producing double figure bags of cod, coalfish, whiting, flounders and dabs. The lower river marks have generally seen the bigger fish showing, and fresh crab bait has been most productive but worm baits are now starting to take fish, the upper rivers have been popular with anglers using worm and mackerel baits, mainly for some big autumn flounders amongst the many smaller specimens. Those who have braved the piers have managed to land a few sizeable cod among the more plentiful whiting and dabs. With just a little bit of movement along the beaches some of the more obvious low water marks have seen cod taken during night time sessions with some big specimen cod starting to sneak inshore under cover of darkness. Stephen Corner had a cod of 11lb 7oz from Tynemouth and Callan Stevens had four cod for a total of 20lb from the same area. As with previous weeks most of the better cod are north of Seaham with greater numbers of whiting showing from the Durham beaches and Hartlepool areas.
A Cleadon match saw the mid Tyne marks the favoured choice of venue where Gareth Gardner won with four cod weighing 5lb 10oz, ahead of Andy Brotherton with two for 4lb 14oz, the best at 2lb 15oz. Those fishing a Blyth match struggled to find any cod with the usually productive Blyth beach giving up a few whiting where B. Smith won with 10 whiting and two flounders totalling 6lb 1oz, including the heaviest fish, a flounder of 11oz. Similarly, Andy Robson won an East End match with 12 whiting and one dab weighing 6lb 6oz. An S.B.R.A.A.C. match produced one of the better weigh in's of late with a little bit of movement pushing the cod onto the low water marks just north of the Tyne. Stephen Atkinson won with two cod weighing 10lb 5oz, the best a nice specimen cod of 9lb 1oz, Peter Stewart had four cod totalling 9lb 4oz, and Mick Marshall had another nice single cod of 8lb 13oz for third place.
The Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake saw Andy Rutherford take first and third place with cod of 4lb 5oz and 3lb 5oz, Peter Moir was second with a cod of 3lb 10oz, all taken from the Cat and Dog steps. Fifty one members fished the Ryhope Sunday match. Mick Telford won with two cod weighing 3.02kg, the best of 1.51kg, Keith Carter had a cod and a whiting for 1.73kg, Ralph Stevenson had four whiting for a total of 1.61kg, Paul Riley had the best flatfish at 0.57kg, and top junior Mathew Win had two fish for 0.64kg. Karl Dylan fishing Roker during the match had a pollack of 3lb.
The recent South Shields Open saw 81 out of 269 weigh in a total of 284lb. The better sized fish generally came from South Shields pier and the rock edge marks, while the better bags came from the productive river Tyne marks as far upriver as Jarrow. First prize for the heaviest fish went to Alan Heeley with a cod of 4¾lb taken from the Blocks on South Shields pier, Mark Daglish had a cod of 4lb 5oz, and Richard Oliver one of 4lb 3oz. Gareth Griffiths had the heaviest bag with a 13 fish total of 15½lb taken from the Tyne, Gareth Gardner had 11 for 14lb 3oz from the Tyne, and Mark Wilkinson had nine totalling 13lb 14oz also from the Tyne. Pauline Ferry was top lady with five fish for 5lb 2oz, Dan Robertson was top junior with six for 4¾lb, and Mark Shotton had the best flatfish of 1lb 4oz.
The Sunderland Shore Angling Festival is on Sunday November 29th with fishing from 2pm until 6pm between South Shields pier, (in bounds only if the pier gates are open, and you must leave if instructed to by the pier watchman), and Seaham North pier, (not included). You may fish the Wear as far up as the Queen Alexandra Bridge in public areas only. Various tackle shops will have tickets, register on the day at the Welcome Tavern, High Street, East End (next to Dock Gates). Basic entry is £12 plus pools and team events etc. Juniors are free but must be accompanied by a paying adult. Top prizes are £500, £300, and £200 for the heaviest fish, a percentage of the entry fee will be paid out for the heaviest bags and there is an excellent supporting prize table worth £6000.
The next Seaham Friday evening Badger Open is on Friday November 20th with fishing from 7pm until 11pm. Register at the clubhouse from 5pm until 6pm, basic entry is £10.