There were a few decent bags of cod taken just after the sea settled down; most of them however, were taken in the north of the region. Darren Shields had a dozen cod for 23lb 9oz from Foxton, Ivan Stott had eight weighing 16lb from Blyth beach, Alan James had six for 14¼lb from Cambois, Anthony Eke had six totalling 12½lb from the North Hole. Nigel Howitt had six for 11- 09lb taken at Boulmer, and Tony Anderson won a Tynemouth match with a nine cod bag weighing 12lb 13oz from West Bay. The small beach between Rathouse Corner and Roker pier, effectively Roker Bay, has fished well all winter for those who knew about it, and once the secret was out the beach became quite crowded on some nighttime tides, two anglers fishing together are reported to have landed 57lb of cod to 8lb.
Once the sea had settled down it was whiting all the way for just about every angler who ventured out to fish the piers or beaches. Large numbers showing on nearly all tides from the Hartlepool piers and Durham beaches, and similar numbers evident from the lower Wear, Roker pier, and from the Tyne and South Shields pier. Ken Hayley had 23 for a total of 18.7lb at Rathouse Corner in the Wear. Peter Moir won a Sunderland match with18 for 15lb 9oz followed by Paul Robinson with 17 totalling 15lb 6oz. The sea picked up again later in the week and the cod were straight back inshore, P. Smith winning a Blyth match with eight cod weighing 14lb 10oz, including one of 3lb 10oz. A Cleadon match midweek was not quite as productive but it was the ever reliable rock edges at Marsden and Whitburn that produced the fish. Ian McLaghlan had a single cod of 5¼lb, Rob Wells had one of 4lb 6oz, Louis Kellett had two totalling 3lb 9oz, and Mark Shotton fished the Tyne to land two for 2lb 9oz. John Robson was the best of the 20 anglers who fished the Ryhope Tuesday evening sweepstake taking the top two places with cod of 2lb 5oz and 1lb 9oz from Hendon Wall, followed by Mick Davison with one of 1lb 3oz.
Hartlepool O.M.A.C. fished on Saturday with nine out of the 14 weighing in mainly whiting and flatties but with some decent cod amongst them. Steve Corrigan had the heaviest fish, a cod of 4lb 9oz in a bag total of 8lb 11oz, Steve Sweeney had a cod of 2lb 11oz in a total of 4½lb, Mick Robinson had a cod of 2lb 5oz for the third heaviest fish, and Chris Smith had the third heaviest bag with three cod weighing 4lb 6oz.
Cod and whiting are also showing south of the Tees where Andy Clark fished Cowbar Jetty to land five cod for a total of 16lb, including one of 7lb 5oz, to win a Redcar N&G match followed by Mal Dennis with 14 whiting weighing 9lb 13oz taken at Skinningrove. Chris Wood won a Saltburn match with three cod for 11lb 14oz, the best weighing 5lb 1oz, at Runswick Bay.
The upper Wear and Tyne both have a good population of winter flounders present, several years of catch and release matches have made a big difference with the upper Wear in particular now holding a large number of fish. Some anglers report bags of over 20 quality flounders taking worm and mackerel baits with specimens up to 2lb amongst them, on other tides however only very small specimens have made an appearance.
Arbroath continues to be a popular late winter destination. Arran Stead, Keith Ryder, and Mark Igo took 26 cod to 8¼lb in a short three-hour session.