PORTHCAWL is a traditional
seaside holiday town. It has a pier, harbour and promenade, all of which are central to the venue. There are rocky outcrops to the east and west, and they make ideal fishing platforms. There’s only one word of caution here though, as the sea can become rough and dangerous very quickly, so always keep an eye on the weather and on the sea itself.
The area produces excellent sport with mackerel, dogfish, bass, mullet and the occasional smoothhound during the summer months, and there are some very big cod to be caught during the winter.
It’s relatively easy to get to. Follow the M4 and take junction 37 onto the A4229 towards Porthcawl. Once on this road, simply follow signs to the seafront. There is ample parking available at the pay and display car park near the esplanade and pier.
1 Hutchwn’s Point
This rocky point lies to the west of the town. It provides easy fishing straight onto broken ground with patches of clean sand. You can fish here over high or low water for bass in the surf during summer, or in the calmer water further out in the winter for cod and whiting.
There is often a run of spring codling here, but getting through the dogfish can be a problem at times. There is also a very good chance of a ray here, but you’ll have to use frozen sandeel for bait and that spells dogfish, too! Peeler crab will take the odd smoothhound, and you can try float fishing with live prawns for the bass.
2 Irongate point
Moving east in front of the Grand Pavilion is a rocky area that has a reputation for throwing up double figure bass. You need to fish it over low water on a big spring tide, when the gullies and sand bars are exposed. Use big peeler crab or fresh mackerel baits on rotten bottom pulley rigs here.
As the tide rises you will often pick up a strap conger eel, and in winter there is a very good chance of a big cod, providing you use a livebait rig.
3 The Lighthouse Pier
Always check the weather conditions before venturing onto this stone pier, because large waves often crash over the top of it in adverse conditions. Fish three hours either side of high water for rays to sandeel baits, but be prepared to be plagued by dogfish. The mackerel sport can be hectic here in late summer, and you can have great sport on light gear.
During the autumn months you can encounter some huge whiting to lug and squid cocktails, plus a fair few codling, too.
4 The East Pier And Promenade
Providing it is calm, the smaller east pier and inner wall are the ideal places for youngsters to try their luck with mackerel. The best time is two hours up and over high water. The more experienced anglers catch rays on sandeel baits here. Whiting are abundant in autumn, and there are a few codling to be had then too.
There is a good chance of a mullet or two near the harbour entrance. Try mashing up some bread and using it as groundbait to attract the fish close to the wall.
5 Newton Point
This is a great low water mark that is best fished during the winter for a big cod. The ground here is extremely rough, so rotten bottom rigs are essential. You are fishing onto ledges that drop away into some very deep water, and fishing here in summer can produce conger eels, dogfish and the occasional smoothhound.
There is ample parking at the end of the caravan site.
6 Newton Beach
During the summer the sea off this beach can become very crowded with speedboats and jet skis, so you’re better off tackling it at first light or late evening. When there is a good surf running you can expect some excellent bass sport to fresh crab baits.
Further along the beach it becomes quite rocky in places and these are the marks to try for a codling or whiting during the winter. Fish the smaller neap tides if you’re having a go on the rocks.
Porthcawl Angling Centre, 10 Dock Street, Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan, CF36 3BL, Tel: 01656 772404.