As with most east coast fishing, the Northumberland and Durham shores produce their share of the cod and if these are mainly small fish there is the welcome consolation that the fish are numerous.
Cod are, in fact, in residence throughout the area during winter and summer although the biggest catches are made in the period from October to January.
Such is the popularity of shore fishing here that contests are frequently fished by 1,000 or more anglers, with one Northern Federation event even producing a really staggering entry of 3,500.
The best results follow north and north-east winds that colour the inshore water and attract the cod and other fish to move inshore in search of displaced food.
Most of the Durham fishing is from colliery beaches, where the foreshore is composed of waste from coal mines. If this is not the most attractive of localities it nonetheless provides good fishing.
Since the sea is often coloured and the bottom generously supplied with rocks, the long casting rated essential off East Anglian and Lincolnshire beaches is not necessary here. A 70-yard cast puts the bait among the fish, whereas further south distances of 100 yards or more are often necessary to get fish.
The bulk of the angling is carried out in the area from Blythi to Hartlepool but similar fishing extends northward to the border.
As a general rule the beaches facing deeper water produce more fish in daylight than their shallower counterparts but night fishing is again the most productive. The best of the sport is on incoming tides on moderately rough seas.
Other species to contribute to the fine fishing include coalfish, pollack, whiting and flatfish. The Tyne Estuary contains substantial numbers of flounder as well as cod and plaice in season.
It would be impossible to name all the productive cod marks, but the following rank with the best: Seaham, Easington, Hartlepool, Whitley Bay, Newbiggin, and Cullercoats. Hawthorn Point, four miles south of Seaham, is perhaps the most favoured by locals and it is here that many of the big shore competitions are won.
Boat fishing has been slow to develop but is at last getting into its stride. Most of thefishing is carried out on inshore marks and if cod dominate there are many other species adding to the sport.
Here too there is great potential for offshore fishing 12 miles or more from land but as yet there seems little demand for it. Offshore pros-pects for bigger cod, ling, conger and coalfish remain untapped but the next decade will see a marked increase as anglers become more ambitious.
Several good marks on the adjoining coastline for cod and flatfish -the Spinal Beach, undercliff rocks at Bears Head and Huds Head and sites around the ‘ North Breakwater are the most productive. Some sand fishing for flounder in the mouth of the estuary.
Most of the boat fishing is to the north from Eyemouth (where the shore fishing is also worthwhile), but half a mile out from the Spittal Beach, codling, flatfish and whiting can be taken in reasonable numbers. Plentiful lug around the North Breakwater.
Seahouses: Fishing from the main pier and harbour for coaffish, codling, flatfish, mackerel and whiting. Good rock fishing venues at Snook Point, the Tumblers, Saltpan Rocks and Skerrs. Good beach fishing at the northern limit of Cherwick Sands for coalfish, codling, flounder, plaice, pollack as well as for whiting.
Flshi ng from a boat close by the Fame Islands can give catches of coalfish, cod, conger, dogfish, flatfish and gurnard. Eastward of the Longstone, at a depth of over 20 fathoms, large cod, haddock, monkfish and ray can be taken.
Good and extensive beach fishing for cod, flatfish and mackerel. The River Aln outlet can yield flounder and the occasional sea trout. Offshore marks in Ainmouth Bay can be reached by boat (launching from Ainmouth itself orfrom Amble). Lug from the estuary sand.
Main sport is from the two local piers. Good catches of dab, flounder, mackerel and plaice recorded. Both piers are very exposed, and can be dangerous when the sea is rough. Bait available from the harbour sand. Good shallow water rock fishing for winter codling from the sand strip between the headland rocks and Hauxley Point. Prime offshore sites for coalfish, codling, dogfish, flatfish, haddock, mackerel, pollack ‘ andthornback ray can be reached by boat.
The staithes upriverto beyond the ferry can produce coalfish, codling, eel, dab, flounder and plaice. The exposed West Pier fishes well for codling, dab, eel, flounder, gurnard, plaice and whiting. Blyth beach is also a favourite site for codling, coalfish and flatfish. Worm bait available locally.
Sunderland: Shore fishing marks extend from South Shields to Lizard Point, Lizard Pointto Whitburn Bay, Whitburn Bay to Roker Pier, all along the RiverWear estuary and Grangetown. Main species caught from the shore are coalfish, cod, dab, flounder, haddock, mackerel, plaice, pouting and whiting. Boats are scarce, but when available can give access to good offshore sites. Lug and rag from Whitburn Bay.
Variedfishing off the beaches, groynes and piers running from Ryhope Dene in the north to Hawthorn Point inthesouth. Shore catches include cod, dab, flounder, haddock, mackerel, plaice, pollack, pouting and whiting. Seaham and Ryhope are among thefew beaches in the area which can fish well for ray.
Numbers of coalfish, cod, conger, dogfish, haddock, ling, mackerel, pollack, ray and whiting can be reached by boat. Worm bait available locally.
Hartlepool offers fishing facilities from five accessible piers, the Heugh Breakwater, Lighthouse Corner, Carr House Sands, Staincliff and North Gare. In addition, boats are available to take anglersto offshore fishing grounds for cod, dogfish and haddock. Main shore species include coalfish, cod, dab, flounder, mackerel, plaice, pouting and whiting. Lug and rag readily available.
The Tees estuary and the adjoining coastline fish well for coalfish, cod, dab, flounder, gurnard, mackerel, plaice, sole and whiting. The beaches east to Warrenby have proved particularly productive. Rich offshoregroundsasfarsouth as Skinningrove can be reached by boat. Lug and rag from the estuary and basin sands.
Iforkshire and Lincolnshire
Cod are the main species found off the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire coastline. These come within shore casting range from September onwards, although the rocky section of the north Yorkshire shore holds some cod throughout the year.
From September to early May cod are much more numerous and while they lack the size of fish taken off East Anglian beaches they are big enough to give good sport, backed by their considerable numbers.
Any cod over 10 lb. Is rated a good fish and although occasional fish top 18 lb. The main run is of cod in the 2-61 b range.
The Lincolnshire shoreline faces generally shallow water, which means that anglers with the ability to cast long distances take the best catches. The Wash section, in the Boston area, is rated poor.
The Humber Estuary, with its powerful flow, attracts the cod and its coloured water is another factor in keeping the cod in residence and feeding.
Sandy beaches extending from Spurn Head to Bridlington are the easiest to fish, but some of these face water too shallow to contain many cod. The best area is from Skipsea to Withernsea.
North of Bridlington the shore fishing changes character. Sandy beaches give way to rocky foreshores and although there is the occasional sandy beach these are of limited length. The area between Flamborough and Filey has an imposing cliff line and spectacular rock fishing is practised by local anglers. This cannot be recommended to visitors since the climbs can be dangerous and the fishing unre- warding for those who lack local knowledge.
From Scarborough, through Whitby to Saltburn-by-the-Sea the shoreline is mainly rocky but with the occasional sandy patch. The rock marks generally attract the bigger cod but novices are likely to be more at ease fishing from the piers or sand.
The shoreline softens at Redcar where sand predominates and the fishing is therefore more attractive to visitors.
Whiting come inshore in quantity in September with the biggest numbers showing in the southern section of the area.
Summer shore fishing includes cod from the rocky areas and some thornback ray are caught from the shore south of Filey. Bass are showing up more consistently and big fish, 8 lb. And better, come from the Spurn ground. Generally, the bass taken further north tend to be smaller fish.
Mackerel and conger are at their best late in the summer, with pollack and coalfish, although small, showing in the rocky areas.
Much of the boat fishing has traditionally been over inshore marks. Cod are the mainstay of winter sport but summer fishing produces plaice, dab of a better quality than is found further south, cod, whiting and some tope and thornback ray.
Boatmen at Whitby are venturing further offshore and have already been rewarded with numerous ling over 14 lb., some weighing in the middle twenties. The seabed contains a large number of wrecks that have never yet been fished with rod and line and these are expected to become increasingly popular targets in the coming years.
Shore fishing marks at Redcar Sands, Redcar and Coatham Rock Formations, South Gare Breakwater and several marks for drift fishing. Species caught from the shore include cod, conger, dab, flounder, mackerel, plaice, pollack, sole and whiting. Worm bait available locally.
Saltburn-by-the-Sea: P Apart from Saltburn Pier, which fishes well for coalfish, codling, flounder, mackerel and whiting, the most notable fishing mark is at Penny Hole-where Saltburn sands join Saltburn Scars. This area is a popular venue for codling. Further north along the coast, casting from the sandy beaches at Marske-by-t he-Sea can give catches of codling and flatfish. Bait is always easily available locally.
Sand fishing from Happy Valley westwards as far as Sandsend Ness, including the East and West Piers. Catches are of bass, cod, dab, flounder, mackerel, mullet and whiting. Boat fishing off Whitby can add conger, dogfish, haddock, ling, plaice, pollack and ray. Lug from sand and mud at the east side of the harbour at lowtide.
Good rock fishing marks at The Basin, The Horseshoe and East Pier. Species to be caught include bass, coalfish, cod, dab, flounder, mackerel, plaice and whiting. Flatfish from the West Pier on the sandy bottom, with both rock and sand marks along the Marine Drive. Boat fishing in the South Bay off Marine Drive for flatfish and off the rocks at Scalby Mills for bass, coalfish, cod, conger, dogfish, haddock, ling, mackerel, pollack and whiting. Lug available locally.
Good sand fishing for dab and other flatfish in the bay (notably at Coble Landing) and superb rock fishing marks along Filey Brigg at The Pulpit, The Spittles, Crab Hole, High Brigg, Binks Gulley, Ling Rock, Green Rock, High Nab and Black Rock. Main species from these rock marks include coalfish, cod, dab, mackerel, pollack, whiting and wrasse. Plentiful lug available locally.
Most boat fishing is by drifting over rocky marks in a line with Flamborough Head or close inshore beneath Bempton Cliffs. Coalfish, cod and haddock are the main species. Flatfish predominate on the sandy bottom of Filey Bay.
Beachesand rocky marks within Bridlington Bay providegood shore fishing sites for cod, flounder and dab. All three species can also be taken from the North Pier (available October-March) and the South Pier.
Excellent boat fishing in sheltered water to the south of Bridlington Bay in the water off Holderness and Flamborough Head. Species caught include bass, coalfish, cod, dogfish, flatfish, mackerel, pollack, thornback ray and whiting. Good lugworm beds in South Bay and black lug on the outer banks.
The generally poor shore fishing locally can be relieved by the occasional catch of cod and thornback ray. Offshore fishing can produce flatfish, mackerel, thornback ray and tope. Lug obtained from nearby beaches.
Wrthernsea and Spurn Head
Shore fishing marks along local beaches and the River Humber at Spurn Peninsula, Kilnsea Corner, John’s Point and East Bank. Main catches from the shore include bass, cod, conger, dab, flounder, mackerel, pollack and skate. More cod, conger, dab, dogfish, mackerel, pollack, pouting and thornback ray can be reached by boat. Worm bait obtained from local beaches.
The Humber (Grimsby and Hull):
The estuary of the River Humber has first-rate shore fishing marks as does Killingholme East and Halton. Mainshoresportiswith cod, conger, dab, flounder, plaice and pouting. Main centres are at Hull and Grimsby, both of which have piers. Good fishing from Ebb Corner at Spurn, North Wall, Skeffling Flood Dyke and Welwick Creek.
Boats from Hull or Grimsby take anglers to coalfish, cod, conger, dogfish, mackerel, ray, both in the estuary and beyond. Lug from the estuary shore.
Shore fishing from Gibraltar Point to Seacroft beach, Skegness pier and the sea wall at Ingoldmellsand Chapel-St-Leonards for bass, cod, dab, flounder, mackerel, silver eel and sole. Boat fishing off Skegness and to the south in the Boston Deeps can yield cod, dogfish, mackerel, ray, tope and whiting. Plentiful lug from local beaches.