WITH a big northerly sea running, there have been plenty of cod caught.
The majority of codling have been between 1lb and 1½lb in size, although some have been in the region of 3-4lb.
The beaches on the East Durham coast have been off-limits as have the piers at Seaham, but last Monday night, before the sea came away, a group of anglers took seven lesser spotted dogfish from Seaham North Pier, with Ken McCoy also taking a 3lb spotted ray – all were taken on sandeel bait.
The Rat House Corner has fished well with bags of up to 14 codling going up to 3½lb caught on the ebb and flood tides.
Due to the rough weather, anglers have been successfully fishing in the bay between Roker Pier and the Old North Pier, with bags of up to 10 codling being taken. Hendon Prom has also given up good bags of fish, with the best around 8lb.
The Ryhope areas at The Target, Hill 60 and The Dene have fished well for those willing to endure the weather, with bags of up to 10 fish to 4lb being caught.
The bottom end of South Shields Pier has also given up codling, with the marks just inside the first gate being very popular.
The Groyne and The Walkway have fished very well for codling as well as coalfish and dabs, with bags of up to 13 codling taken up to 5lb.
Further north, Whitley Bay Beach has been one of the top marks, for good bags of codling up to 6lb.
Blyth West Pier has given up codling, with Anth Constable taking four fish for 10lb 10oz – the best one weighing 4lb 2oz.
Boat anglers have struggled due to the bad weather, but local charter boat The Sapphire did manage to put to sea last Tuesday for an uptiding session off Hendon in which two anglers took 30 sized codling up 4lb, fishing in 30ft of water. Black lug tipped with squid was the top bait.
Last Tuesday’s Ryhope SAC sweepstake had 12 of 22 anglers weighing in 30 codling and two whiting, with three of the first four places coming from Marsden.
Paul Hossack (5lb 7oz) won from Davy McCready (4lb 3oz) Davey Mould (4lb 2oz), who chose The Walkway, and then Chris Hossack in fourth place (3lb 12oz).
That same night, Richie Carr caught nine sized cod on nine casts from The Walkway all ranging around the 2lb mark.
Only seven anglers turned out for Saturday night’s Blenny Hill Open, with only four catching fish.
Jim Dobie won with two fish for 71cm, which also included the longest single fish at 36cm.
Runner-up Geordie Heron had two fish for 67cm, followed closely by Paul Edwards’ two for 66cm.
Ryhope SAC had 61 anglers fishing their club competition on Sunday and, despite the small tide and fishing down to bottom water, they still found fish.
Chris Hossack took top spot with seven codling and a pouting for 5,415g. Tommy Tate was second with six for 4,555g.
Both anglers chose The Walkway.
Andy Rutherford fished the Rat House Corner to take third place with five codling and a flounder for 3,600g.
W. Callaghan braved the weather at the Broken Steps at Ryhope to take the heaviest round fish – a codling of 1,790g, while the heaviest flat fish fell to the rod of S. Harriman at 435g.
The junior winner was Michael Winn (230g).
Monday night’s Cleadon SAC match saw eight out of twenty eight competitors weigh in fish.
Neil Cutler triumphed with six codling (7lb 8oz), caught from The Walkway.
Paul Wastell was runner-up with a mixed bag of four codling and whiting (5lb 8oz) taken from Marsden, with Stevie Taarland third place thanks to four codling (4lb 6oz) from South Shields Pier.
Marsden provided Rob Wells with a codling which was the heaviest single fish (2lb 4oz).
This Sunday sees Sunderland SAC fish their club competition (noon-5pm) and there are a choice of two open competitions that same day.
The big one is Seaham’s 46th Open Championship (noon-5pm), with a first prize of £1000, second £300 and third £200.
The top three cash prizes are for the heaviest single fish. Tickets are available in tackle shops. More information is available from Seaham SAC on 0191 581 0321.
The Newbiggin Open in Northumberland (9am-1pm) has a first prize of £500. Competition HQ is the Bank House Club – more details from 01670 365980 or 01670 812214.
Ryhope SAC’s Tuesday sweepstake (7-10pm), takes place as usual next week with registration at the Village Tavern.