Whiting continue to dominate catches from all areas with the more sought after cod being a noticeable minority in all but a few locations. The better bags of cod have been from the river Tyne and from the Northumberland rock edges, where the odd bigger double figure specimen has been reported. While the odd cod has been taken most marks south of the Tyne, Roker pier and all marks down to Hartlepool have been overwhelmed with whiting and lesser numbers of dabs and flounder. Many anglers continue to take mixed bags of twenty or more fish with relative ease, and the Durham beaches and Middleton pier art Hartlepool have all been particularly productive. The best chance to pick up a cod among all the whiting has been from the low water marks when there has been at least a little movement on the sea during a night time session.
South Shields pier fished well for the last Cleadon A.C. match producing an 11lb 14oz mixed bag of 15 fish for Steve Gordon. Steve Brown had three nice cod weighing 10lb 2oz from the Tyne to take second. Third placed Andrew Nickerson was on the pier to land five for 7lb 10oz ahead of Paul Smith with 7lb 6oz from the river. Terry Wood had the heaviest fish of 5lb 10oz from the rock edges at Whitburn.
The pier also fished well for a South Shields match where Harry Elliott won with 9½lb, including the heaviest fish of 4lb 8oz. Andrew Nickerson finished second with 8lb 6oz and Mark Wilkinson in third had 3lb 11oz. 14 out of 34 weighed in 39 fish for a total of 41lb 13oz.
The last Seaton Sluice match had a good weigh in with 10 out of 18 bringing over 70lb of fish to the scales. Ivan Stott had a great win with seven cod and a flounder for at total weight of 26lb 11oz, including the fine heaviest fish of 7lb 5oz taken from Lynmouth. Dave Cruddas also fished here to land five cod weighing 19lb dead, and Mick Bell had six whiting and three flounders from Blyth for 8lb 5oz.
An Amble A.C. match produced a nice winning cod of 10lb 7oz for Gary Arkle pushing Tony Cook into second place with his bag of a cod and three flounders which weighed 4¾lb. Third placed Graham Bell had a single cod of 4lb 6oz. A Bedlington Station A.C. match also produced some better sized cod with seven out of 14 weighing in 40lb. Steve Surtees had four cod totalling 18lb 1oz, the best weighing 5lb 1oz, Steve Potts had 11 fish for 10¾lb, followed by Darren Shields with seven weighing 6lb 5oz.
Mick Dellin won an Alberta S.A.C. match with 20 fish weighing 14lb 13oz from the Tyne, Mark Daglish had 15 quality whiting for a total of 11lb 14oz from Roker, closely followed by Paul Farrell with 14 for 11lb 7oz also from Roker.
By contrast a Tynemouth Winter League match saw no cod weighed in at all with whiting, dabs, and coalfish dominating, all taken from the popular Blyth beach. Steve Hardy had seven fish for 6lb 5oz, Glen Campbell had eight weighing 6lb 3oz, and Kenny Patterson had five for 4lb 5oz. Ken Hill had the heaviest fish, a flounder of 1lb 6oz.