A FEW weeks ago Callan Stevens was celebrating catching a personal best cod of 11lb 8oz, but after putting in the hours he not only shattered that record but also took the biggest shore-caught cod this season.
After taking a few small codling fishing Knacker Hole, Beadnell, in the early hours of Tuesday, with cocktails of bluey, razor, and mussel, Callan struck into a real monster, and it needed all his strength and expertise to get the fish through the weed and rocks before the prize was his.
When officially weighed at Lewis Tackle it slammed the scales down to 18lb 8oz, only beaten this winter by Ed Harvey’s pier-caught fish of 19lb 1oz.
There has also been an unverified report of one of 14lb from the Target at Ryhope, which has given good bags of codling to 4lb, Darren Donnelly taking one of 7lb 10oz from Hill 60.
Billy Foster took a nice fish of 9lb 9.6oz in a three-fish bag of 13lb 13.5oz from the Beacons to win Newbiggin’s match, Rob Thirwell taking five for 9lb 2.9oz from Druridge Bay.
Blyth beach has produced a few decent catches. Kev Moffatt won South Beach residents’ match with two for 10lb 1oz, the best 6lb 13oz.
Peter Smith took a mixed bag of 6-13-14 to win Blyth’s match, George Absalom taking the best of 3-15-4 from Tynemouth. Brad Hill won Tynemouth’s match with five codling, the best 2lb 12oz, and a coalfish for 12lb 1oz.
Only seven out of 65 caught fish in the weather-affected John Wylie Open, P Appleby taking the winning fish of 7.13lb from the north pier.
Gary Pye took the heaviest fish at 4lb 7oz and bag at 8lb 7oz in Easington Welfare’s match fishing from Hawthorn.
All the top bags in South Shields’ match came from the pier, Billy Bell winning with six nice whiting for 6lb 6oz. David Maughan took codling of 3lb 9oz and 4lb during a pleasure session. David Carrick won Cleadon’s match with two codling for 4lb 13oz, Paul Rogers taking the best of 4lb from Marsden Beach.
Boat anglers off Sunderland are still doing well. Six anglers on Samson 2 took 31 codling to 8lb, returning 14, and whiting to 2lb 8oz.