what's on offer?
The local area - and beyond...
20-mile long Aberystwyth-Tywyn stretch of the Cardigan
Bay coast (outlined in map R) has a rich variety
We have beautiful, almost snag-free sandy beaches where
bass, rays and flatfish hunt among the surf-tables.
Steeper shingle beaches give access to deeper water.
Mixed and rough
ground offers a challenge but the rewards can be
spectacular, while the extensive shallow reefs that dry
over low tide reward the angler prepared to travel light
and who doesn't mind a bit of rock-hopping.
Such a diversity of marine environments not only attracts
a wide range of fish and other marine life to this part
of Cardigan Bay but also offers plenty of opportunities
for anglers keen to get away from the crowds and explore
more remote sections of coastline.
fish right around Cardigan Bay and have done so ever since taking up
sea-angling, so I'm quite happy to guide anglers further afield from my
main twenty mile section of coast, so long as customers understand that
travel time outside of the main area counts as work time. It's another
hour, for example, down to the Cardigan district or up to Pwllheli,
which for the return journey equates to a surcharge of £20 on the total
fee. Travel time for local marks between Aberystwyth and Tywyn is, in contrast, covered within the
overall cost of the trip. The main difference in terms of fishing is
that NW and SW Wales have good deep-water rock-marks where sizeable
pollack may be caught. This sort of fishing involves travelling light
and using lures from steep rocks, so I would only take those who are
fit, agile and who can handle steep scrambles. Such venues are also far more
weather-sensitive, needing not only light winds but dry weather and no
swimming around and when?
Hereabouts, the shore fishing season begins in earnest in
the spring. From some point in April onwards (it varies
from year to year depending on sea temperatures), we see the arrival of the bass, rays and
turbot. In most seasons, weather and sea conditions permitting,
mackerel (and garfish) are present in good numbers by
mid-summer. They come close-in on evening tides during settled weather when they
hammer the baitfish, making the water appear to boil in
the process. Larger predators feed on them in turn.
July and August see the sand beaches busy with holidaymakers, but we
can find peace and quiet along more remote shorelines. This is an ideal
time for novices to learn the basics, for visitors to have an explore,
for targeting various more obscure shore species and for species-hunts.
Autumn sees the beaches quieter again and the fish come back into the
surf. Night tides also start to produce whiting, dabs and codling. Some
years see an intense, late run of mackerel especially if we get an
The whiting, dabs
and codling are present through to the New Year and until
early February except in very cold winters. Late February
to late March is the quietest time of year and the ideal
time to sort out and maintain the tackle. With all such factors in
mind, I operate from the middle of April or early May through to late November (into
December and beyond if conditions are bearable).
Getting to the venues is straightforward, and I will meet you there at
an arranged time. Anybody booking a trip will be emailed a map with
precise directions and information about parking which is either free
or a nominal expense at the majority of the locations. Minimising the
number of cars by car-sharing is a seriously good plan as it will make
parking more straightforward on busy days. Some venues require walking
a fair way, over uneven ground, but others are very close to parking.
Please let me know your preferences (bearing in mind the easier the
access the busier the venue during the main summer holidays). For Llyn
Peninsula rock-fishing, the climbers' cafe under the crags at
Tremadog is an ideal rendezvous for those unsure of the route down to
the trips on offer
Quick taster-sessions for families: 2 hours
Cost: £30 per family.
Venues: Borth beach
Day/night: Afternoons or evenings (the latter recommended), depending on tides, daylight and weather.
Season: April/May through to late autumn.
short sessions are an ideal activity for holidaying families. They are
simply about experiencing shore fishing in a relaxed way, without
having to work hard to develop the required skills - if you find you
like it, that can come later! Ideal, too, for the youngsters as it's
not too demanding on a young attention-span! We fish two or three rods,
depending on conditions. I look after the stuff like rig selection,
baiting up, casting etc and you get to bring in any fish that might
come along! I will also point out and tell you about any other marine
life that we might see. Tackle and bait are provided as part of this
Shore fishing: a comprehensive short course for complete
beginners: 6 hours
Cost: £65 per person, including all tackle and bait. Max. 4 persons.
Aberystwyth and Tywyn.
Daytime through to dusk. Between 1pm and 9pm, depending on tides, daylight and weather.
Season: April/May through to late November, December
too if weather stays mild.
To newcomers to shore
fishing, it can seem that there's a daunting
amount of things to learn, but
it's not that bad really! Learn about the right tackle to use, how to
tie a few critically important knots, how to
treat the marine
environment responsibly, understanding the
basics of the weather and tides and how they
can affect the fishing, choosing appropriate
rigs, bait selection/presentation and the
basics of casting.
tuition is divided into two parts and can even be split over two
separate days by arrangement. Once you (and your friends) have booked,
we start by arranging to meet for a couple of hours for a briefing
about tackle. This could be at the fishing venue itself or in
Machynlleth. Machynlleth has the distinct advantage of being a
transport hub, equidistant from both sections of coast either side of
the Dyfi Estuary and with various venues we can use and which sell
refreshments. The briefing will include making your own rigs (such as
the one illustrated R). Once I have checked each rig to make sure it
has been tied correctly, you hang onto them because the next step will
be to use them.
The second part of the course
will be a four-hour session at the beach. We fish
venues that can produce a variety of species in
daylight, over mostly clean ground with
few snags and where long casting skills are not necessary.
Beginner-friendly places, in other words. Here, with rods and reels
provided by me, you will learn how to bait-up your rig, basic casting
and how to respond to bites, and about the marine environment and how
to work with it. With a maximum of four participants for each course,
one-to-one tuition will be possible throughout and by the end you
should feel confident about giving it a go on your own.
Targeting individual species, improving your fishing and
exploring the area: bespoke trips
Cost: £10 per person per hour plus bait. Travel surcharge applies for venues south of Aberystwyth and north of Tywyn.
Max. 4 persons.
Venues: Cardigan Bay Coast
Day/night: Any time between 2pm and 10pm depending
on tides and weather.
Season: April/May to late November as tides
These bespoke trips are for a) anglers who are new to the area and
would like to be shown a few popular marks, b) those who have been fishing (including coarse or fly but not sea)
but would like to branch out into sea-angling, c) relatively inexperienced sea-anglers who want to
improve or develop specific skills or d) those who are seeking to add
certain species to their list. Tackle can be provided but most of you
will have your own. Bait can be supplied at cost if required.
part of the Welsh coast is rightly well-known for highly desirable species such as
small-eyed rays, bass and turbot but there's a lot more to it than
that. The Species page shows just what's possible around here: I even have a greater weever mark, believe it or not!
By shore standards the turbot run to a good size. The Welsh record of 10lbs came from
the Tywyn area and I've had several in better
years in the 4-6lbs range. Smaller specimens in
the 1-2lb bracket are reported most years.
Both small-eyed and the less frequently seen thornback rays run to
double figures, although smaller specimens are most frequently
encountered. In 2017, another angler and I caught nine small-eyed rays
in a single evening trip. Good-sized bass are caught every year, with
spring, early summer and autumn providing the best surf-fishing.
Smaller school-bass can be abundant at times.
For the small-eyed rays and turbot, both day and night tides produce
though you will be relieved to know that I've
done just as well in broad daylight as I have by
sacrificing an entire night's sleep. Sea-conditions and tactics are far more important.
settled conditions in July and August, the more
popular beaches can get very busy. But that's not a problem: there are
literally miles of more remote reefs and mixed ground extending from
the north of Tywyn to the south of Aberystwyth, so that
there is plenty to explore, even at the busiest
time of year.
also offers two jetties to fish from when conditions are settled; their
bouldery skirts are home to a wide range of species that respond to
small baits fished close-in - this is blenny/goby/wrasse country.
ground beaches are well worth fishing: in June 2012 an experimental
trip for tope at one such venue, with two of us fishing whole mackerel
fillets, yielded a double-figure bass to me. Bull huss are another
frequent catch and provide a lot more entertainment than dogfish!
offer interesting and varied ground with deeper water and clean ground
within casting range, with the range of species that such ground offers. Closer
in, when sea-conditions permit, there is the chance to indulge in the
traditional local technique of
float-fishing for bass with crab and/or prawn
pleasant method that
involves travelling light and keeping on the
move. You do the fishing while I concentrate on bait supply with my prawn-net!
Night-fishing? An Introduction: 4 hours
Cost: £40 per person plus bait. Max. 4 persons.
Venues: Tywyn to Aberdyfi, Borth and
into darkness, depending on tides, weather
and time of dusk.
Season: September, October, November, December and January too if the weather stays mild.
If you have done a bit of fishing, know your
knots, are happy with your casting but have never
fished at night this is for you. Night tides,
especially in the autumn and early winter months, are often very
productive. Venues have been chosen that
produce a range of species in darkness and at
various stages of the tide. Expect to catch from
the following list: whiting, codling, flounders,
dabs and dogfish plus odd bonus species. Don't
forget your headtorch, though. We set up before
darkness to make things easy - it's worth it for
last light at Tywyn, waiting for the
whiting to appear. They did!