For the most part shore angling was poor over the Christmas week, with only odd whiting, pouting, flatties, and cod reported. Most of the early Christmas matches where won with just a few pounds. Those anglers who had quality bait and could fish at longer range generally came out best, while those with patience and prepared to fish short for flounders also managed to weigh in.
A bit of sea movement at the end of last week saw a vast improvement in catches, with large numbers of quality whiting moving inshore and some double figure cod from several marks. Steetly pier fished well for whiting on some tides with cod to 6lb among them. Mark Potts got a surprise ling of 4 – 07lb from Roker Pier which had taken a small whiting. Roker also produced cod of 6 – 04lb and 5lb for David Foster, while Trevor Green reported cod of 5lb, 4 – 10lb, and 1 – 08lb among whiting over 1lb also from Roker. The Tyne inevitably giving small cod showing, but sport has been slow. S.Shields Pier for only odd whiting and flatties.
Better numbers of cod from north of the Tyne, and in the south of the region around Humberside. Stephen Atkinson took a cod of 10 – 08lb from Beadnell, while son Christopher cod to 5 – 08lb. John Watson managed a cod of 11lb from Craster, while fishing partner Andrew Timpson had fish to 5 – 02lb. Lee Bright won an Amble A.C. match from seaton Point with a cod of 7 – 06lb; Dave Dodds had cod to 7lb from Alnmouth; Paul Dodds had a Pollack of 3 – 08lb from Dunstanburgh. There were a few bigger cod elsewhere however: Gary Pye had a 14lb cracker from Hawthorne, and the biggest cod of the winter so far was a monster of 22lb taken by Ron Crosby from Hendon… the fish was photographed and sportingly returned alive.
The Hornsea Christmas Open saw 114 fishing and a few decent cod showed up with a nice Easterly sea running. John Ward had the h.s.f. with a cod of 3.04kg from Tunstall. Phil Linguard had the best bag with 7 cod for 6.74kg, and the second h.s.f. of 2.96kg taken from Aldbrough, while Rich Wiley had the third h.s.f. with a cod of 2.84kg from Hilston.
Cleadon A.C. fished last week with only 2 out of 24 weighing in. Gavin Hall had 1 cod and 1 whiting from the Tyne for 2 – 06lb – best 1 – 13lb cod, and Paul Smith also had a single cod and whiting from the Tyne for 1 – 15lb. Their last match of the year was not much better with 4 out of 27 weighing in. Paul Harrison had 2 cod from Hendon for 3 – 15lb – best 2 – 03lb; John Taylor had 2 cod for 2 – 14lb from the Tyne; Chris Brash had a pouting of 0 – 15lb from S.Shields Pier; Gavin Hall had a whiting of 0 – 12lb.
Hartlepool Pirates fished last week with all their fish coming from S.Shields Pier. Bill Bradley had 6 whiting for 4 – 03lb – best 0 – 14lb; Dave Robinson had 4 whiting and 1 dab for 3 – 03lb; Darren Dixon had 1 whiting for 0 – 06lb.
Bedlington Station A.C. saw 5 out of 12 weighing in. Brian Hurrell had 4 fish for 5 – 10lb; Martyn Pygall had 2 for 5 – 03lb – best 3 – 14lb; Alan Naisby had a single cod of 3 – 03lb.
The last Tynemouth match of 2008 only saw a single fish weighed in by Steve Elliott who had a pouting of 0 – 11lb from Whitley Pipe.
The Eastenders Sweepstake at the Glass Centre in the Wear saw 31 out of 50 weigh in 15 flounders, 14 whiting, 12 cod, 12 coalfish, and 3 blennies. P.Smith had 4 fish for 94cm; Neil Cutler had 4 fish for 90cm; Alan Burton had 3 fish for 75cm; Chris Hossack had the longest fish with a flounder of 32cm.
The Geoff King Sweepstake saw some decent cod taken from the Amble area. Bob Ferguson had the heaviest bag and h.s.f. with a cod of 7 – 02lb from Amble rocks. John Taylor had 3 cod for 6 – 15lb from Foxton, and Phil Tworkowski had 2 cod for 6 – 11lb – best 5 – 06lb, from Amble rocks.
The last two Ryhope Sweepstakes saw small cod landed in both events. In the first 8 out of 35 weighed in. Paul Richardson had a cod of 985 grammes from Roker Pier; Mick Davidson had one of 835 grammes from the Manholes; Sean McAvoy had one of 745 grammes from Hall Beach; Gordon Ord had a flounder of 730 grammes from the Wear. The second match saw 25 fishing. Top rod was Mick Davidson with a cod of 3 – 02lb. Peter Brennan took second with a cod of 3 – 00lb, and Mick Davidson also took third place with a cod of 1 – 04lb.
The CD Open saw 17 out of 101 weigh in 27 cod, 10 flounders, and 1 pouting for 88 – 09lb. Once again a single big fish took the top prizes. Ken West had a single cod of 11 – 07lb from St.Marys Island; Dave Turnbull had 4 cod for 9 – 12lb from Souter Point; Paul Westmoreland had 4 cod for 9 – 05lb from Newbiggin. The second h.s.f. went to Ritchie Douglas with a cod of 6 – 09lb taken from Boulmer, and Gordon Scott had a cod of 4 – 15lb from Craster. Top junior was Matthew Holdroyd with 5 flounders for 4 – 14lb, and runner-up Albert Johnson had a cod of 1 – 15lb from the Private Beach.
The Easington Colliery Rovers Open saw 29 out of 189 weigh in. Steve Coverdale fished the promenade at Hartlepool and took a cod of 3 – 07lb on his first cast to take the h.s.f. first prize. Gary Pye had the heaviest bag with 7 fish for 6 – 14lb from Hawthorn Point; Lee Douglas had a single cod of 3 – 04lb; Paul Westmoreland had 4 fish for 2 – 11lb. Top junior was Micheal Ashcroft with 1 – 01lb. The Blackhall Navy Club Get Carter Open was won by Gary Pye with a cod of 2 – 11lb.