This is a rugged area where high cliffs and rocky terrain are the norm.

It is a high water venue regarded as a winter cod mark, although it can produce fish at any time. The best catches are taken just after a good northerly blow in coloured water. Fish two hours either side of high water; the first of the ebb is often best.

Take care when fishing from the top of the cliffs. It is possible to get down to the water’s edge if a good fish is hooked, but this requires a half-mile walk, so a fishing pal comes in handy.


Cod and coalfish are the dominant species and are taken in good numbers during colder months. The only other type of fish landed with regularity are three-breaded rockling that can grow to over 2lb. Very occasionally dogfish, pollack and various types of flatfish are also landed.


Peeler crabs, lugworms, ragworms and various shellfish baits are often used together as a cocktail.


Use a strong 13ft beachcaster and 7000- type multiplier reel, 30lb mainline, 60lb shockleader, single hook trace and a 6oz wired sinker incorporating some form of rotten-bottom system.

You need a strong forged hook, such as a Mustad Viking, in size 3/0. Your hooks need to be sturdy because the fish are hauled up the cliffs.


Take the A183, which hugs the coastline between South Shields and Sunderland. Just north of Whitburn, you will see the lighthouse with plenty of car parking facilities nearby.


ID Fishing, 206/208 Ocean Road, South Shields, tel: 0191 456 3953.
Rutherford’s Tackle, 125 Roker Terrace, Sunderland, tel: 0191 565 4183.

Directions : Take the A183 between South Shields and Sunderland. Just north of Whitburn you will see the distinctive lighthouse with plenty of car parking nearby
Season : Winter