Sea fishing in North Wales really does offer anglers some of the best fishing in the UK.
No matter what type of fishing discipline you are into the North Wales coastline has you covered. Moreover the seas around the shores are teeming with marine life and an abundant amount of species too. There are plenty of minis species to hunt out as well as more prestigious fish such as Tope and Rays. Shore fishing is great but there are also many charter boats that operate in North Wales. Skippers head out into deeper waters to fish the many reefs and wrecks that are available.
When sea fishing in North Wales the area can be broken down into 3 different sections. The mainland north Wales coast, Anglesey and the Llyn Peninsula. Each section is different in its own way due to the topography of the area. Not only that but the tides and the prevailing westerly winds play a big part here too.
We’ll split the area into the 3 sections and cover them in more detail.
North Wales mainland coast
There are many venues or fishing marks as us anglers refer to them as apposed to fishing spots here. When it comes to sea fishing in North Wales, the entire stretch is almost entirely composed of North facing beaches. Some sand, some shingle and everything in between. The A55 and the older coastal road give easy access to most of the venues.
Sea anglers fish venues from Bangor in the west across to Connahs Quay in the east. The entire stretch can be fished and there is little change across the area. By change I refer to the sandy beaches without significant depth close in at high tide. There are a few spots on a big tide where to water can get above a few metres. Most anglers prefer fishing with an onshore breeze at the venues. Some will fish better as night such as North Shore, Llandudno.
That said a lot of people will cast a bait out as far a possible. This in the hope the extra distance will put them in deeper water and help them catch. Fishing these beaches and casting 10 metres further may only give you and extra few feet of water.
Fish can and do come in close to the shore to feed. Many times by casting far you are fishing further out than the fish are feeding. Bass for instance will swim along the breaking waves in search of food. Picture a lure fisherman casting after Bass. They maybe in waders with the water up to there groin, they are casting around them into relatively shallow water. Hopefully they are catching and not blanking!
Flat fish are another example of fish that will follow the tide in. They will move in slowly behind the breaking waves to pick up any dislodged food. Another area to try are the many gullies you will come across.
Always try and scope a mark out at low tide to find where the gullies are. The tides will wash food into these and they can become fishing holding features. This works well when the water is calmer and without much wave action. Try rolling leads to find any gullies or deppresions if you can’t check the area at low tide.
A good tactic to try if you are struggling to catch on these north Wales beaches is simply using two rods. Seasoned anglers will know this but people new to the sport may not.
Fish one rod at distance ie as far as you can cast and another closer in. When changing baits try to alternate the casting distance until you find the fish. At times fishing can be difficult so take more than one bait type to try. Scratching rigs can help, 3 hook flapper. Each hook is in a different bit of the water column to help find the fish. Dropping down your hook size can help too.
Several sections of this bit of coast do give access to deeper waters. There are a couple of places around the Great Orme and the other two are man made. Both Llandudno and Bangor piers are also fishable from but at a cost. These are some of the only places you will be able to target mini species or use the LRF method.
Talacre can be a prolific Smoothhound area in summer at low tide, long walk but worth it. This extends West towards Prestatyn but with less fish caught, peeler crab is the No.1 bait.
Species wise it’s your standard fare plus the odd Bull Huss, Thornback Rays and Smoothhounds. Mackerel in some spots too in summer.
Sea fishing in North Wales – Anglesey is a cracking spot for sea anglers as it has a lot of everything we need. Most areas are accessible with a few sections requiring a lot of effort due to the lack of roads close by.
East has the length of the Menai Straight which is extremely tidal. Lots of areas can be fish here and it can throw up suprises at time including large Congor. Most species of fish around Anglesey are available here including the Lumpsucker. Try the area underneath the Menai Suspension Bridge and Moel y Don.
The South of the island from Newborough to Maltraeth is a huge storm beach split by Llanddwyn Island. These sections of storm beach can be really good fishing areas when targeting Bass. Surprises here include Smoothhounds off Llanddwyn Island if you don’t mind the walk.
This is followed further West by rocky outcrops to where you reach Cable bay. Several marks in this area give access to deep water close in and are great for larger species. Thornback Rays, Congor and Bull Huss are regular catches here, Ty Croes behind the racetrack is a favourite. Moreover LRF can be very productive to from the rocks here.
Further West again to the start of the inland sea are more storm beaches, Tyn Tywyn, Rhosneigr, Crygill and Cymyran. The latter 3 are technically one huge expanse of beach. These beaches are also decent for producing Bass and are good for targeting Ray species too.
Next up we have Holy Island which is mostly fishing from Rocky outcrops. There are a few exceptions including Trearddur Bay and the formidable Holyhead Breakwater. Lrf fishing is fantastic in this area of Anglesey, Ballan and Corkwing are very abundant. Several spots are summer Mackerel hotspots too. A 60lb Tope is the heaviest that I am aware of to come out from The Ranges area. Best kept secrets etc but there is deep water very close in to the point.
Eastern Anglesey is a bit more of an enigma. There are plenty of spots but you have to put the effort in once you get past Church Bay. Up to Church Bay the coast is relatively shallow close in. There is next to no parking spots and as you get further North and no roads close to the coast. However the area further North has very deep water close in for shore anglers, Tope anyone. Long walks or nice conversations with locals will help get results.
Northern Anglesey we will cover in two bits, East and West but together if that makes sense. The far North West section around Carmel Head gives great depth of water close in. Again Tope anyone as above? Over to Cemyln Bay, the right hand side from the rocks can fish well. The next spot is slightly East of Wilfa, again deep water close in. Across Caemes Bay the water shallows. Llanbadrig the water gains a bit of depth from the east facing point. Some marks are for the more able bodied and its a decent area for Congor too.
Bull bay has a few marks to fish, the tables is probably the most famous. There enough room for a few anglers and can fish well. You can pick up the usual species with Smoothhounds thrown in as well.
Amlwch has its fair share of fishing marks around it’s coast. The most well known is the harbour, fishing from the flat and quite comfortable breakwater. As a mark it’s reputation is for Conger and can throw up a few surprises too. Personally never had much luck here during winter time. 400 metres North East of the dock is a decent at times.
Llanlleiana head which is the most northern section of the Anglesey coast can be hard work. It’s is also a great and deep section of water literally under your feet. Stay to the east of the the point and cast northeast for access to a deep area. The same stands for the east section of Porth Wen Bay. Tip – use big baits in these areas for bigger shark species. It is hard work getting to marks and don’t fish alone. There are plenty of fishing marks from here to Point Lynas.
We’ll class this as the East side of North Anglesey which covers Point Lynas to Penmon at the start of the Menai. There are several large beaches along this section as well as rocky outcrops. The land starts to head south from Point Lynas with a few bays (where some of the beaches are) between the rocky sections/cliffs.
Freshwater bay is next as the coast head south is another good spot with relatively deep waters. Park near Porth Eilian, it’s a bit of a walk though.
Next up is Dulas Bay with the large and sandy Ligwy Beach, shallow but it can fish well. Avoid in summer or stick to late evening or night time fishing.
Moelfre flat is a popular spot for anglers, a bit busy at times though. It has a reputation for Mackerel in summer so holiday makers decend onto the area. Head further south east to Traeth Bychan for flatties, occasionally Bass and Doggies. Busy with tourists in the holiday season.
Benllech is the next area heading south again. A few rocks marks are fishable close to the caravan parks (Hewitt, Golden Sunsets). As expected in summer these are filled with people trying their hand at Mackerel feathering. Then we have Benllech Sands to Red Wharf Bay which are very shallow and expansive. Both in width and also out to sea for a significant distance. It does have a bit of a reputation for bass with a bit of surf on. Parking is ok too and available on both sides of the bay (Llanddona Beach). Personally I think the Llanddona section fishes far better.
White Beach or Traeth Gwyn is the next fishing mark when heading east. There’s enough room for around 3 cars close behind the shingle beach. Try fishing the two headlands for deeper water access.
Penmon area is next up, the fish farm is a good mark to try. It’s rough ground pretty much all over this area from here to the lighthouse. Catch Wrasse at your feet here too using LRF or baited Sabaki. The shingle beach next to the lighthouse tends to be poor, personally only doggies when bottom fishing. You can catch Mackerel from this beach too. The rocks close to the lighthouse are ok for spinning and feathers, try casting North West using 2/3 ounce leads. Bass are a fairly regular visitors here chasing the Mackerel. As I said the bottom is quite rough so rotten bottoms are a must and it’s best fished during the night.
Species wise Anglesey has most, fishing different spots with the right baits will put you on the fish.
Sea fishing in North Wales – Llyn Peninsula. Like a dogs legs this section of the North Wales coast pokes out into the Irish sea. The Gulf stream is pushed up between Wales and Ireland bringing slightly warmer with it. Most of the marks are quite easy to get in the vicinity of as there are plenty of roads along the coast. However some are a big difficult to get to the actual fishing marks themselves.
Starting on the North coast at Caernarfon then heading West straight to the end around aberdaron then East to Porthmadog. That’s the route this section will follow.
First stop Caernarfon, while still technically in the Menai Straight it has a few good spots. Try the marina jetty but be mindful of the strong tides, known for Black Bream. The harbour itself can give decent fishing for Flounders, just around into the Menai Bass too. During summer Grey Mullet will shoal in the harbour, check around the boats and you will find them.
Dinas Dillne is our next venue which is a Westerly facing beach leading into the Menai. A known Bass hotspot with catches in Winter too, its one of the only beaches its possible to catch Tope from the shore. Though its not a regular occurrence. Busy in summer with holidaymakers. Heading West now there are a few spots with a mixture of sand and rough ground. Below the old quarry is fishable but it not an easy venue to access.
Trefor to the West, a prolific Huss venue in the past has had its unsafe pier removed. The advantage of accessing slightly deeper water has been taken but it has decent fishing from the little breakwater. Parking is plentiful and visible too.
Pistyll Dock is the next well known fishing mark, part of the old quarry dock. A safe and flat mark in decent weather with two access points, none particularly easy. Mackerel and Rays are possible and lure fishing the rocks and kelp to the right produces Bass. Try a baited drop net for a few decent size spider crabs.
Next along is Nefyn Beach, starting as shingle at its eastern edge and gradually gets sandy the further West you go. The western end has some small worm beds for fresh bait around the little breakwater. A favourite of mine for Bass, small Tope and Smoothhounds on the shingle end (East)
Morfa Nefyn is up next and it involves a long walk via the beach or the path through the golf course. Those golf balls make me paranoid…anyhow there is some very good fishing here at times. Whether LRF for the plentiful minis or bottom fishing, also Tope do show in the right conditions. On sunny days the views alone will make your day, fishing is the bonus. Try the most northern rocky section on the flat point, on high tides the lower rocks behind you may become covered. Casting West North West with a mackerel flapper will put you in deeper water. The beach below the National trust car park is ok fishing and only a short walk.
A few spots are fishable between Morfa Nefyn and Tudweiliog (Porth Towyn) but it’s an even longer walk. There are a couple of small camping and caravan sites around Tudweiliog and it is hardly fished. Your usual species are to be had from the beach and rock marks. The area is a mixture of sand and rougher ground with a chance of Bass.
Porth Ysgaden is further east, its a small rocky out crop used for small boat launching. It is a good area for Lrf with plenty Wrasse and Pollock around. Bass will also run through this area at times too but as with the other species, noting particularly big. The rocks immediately south west for a few hundred metres are ok for LRF too with decent depth close in. There are more areas further down the coast but you really need to be staying at one of the local campsites unless you don’t mind a long walk.
Traeth Penllech is the next spot as you head east down the Lynn. There is a free car park about 300 or so metres behind the beach. Its usually has a few spaces especially in winter. The beach is mainly a flat and shallow sandy beach with very little features. You can also park at Porth Colman and walk over the headland but this offers no advantages.
Port Iago is next along the coast. I wouldn’t be looking to fish from the beach here though. If you follow the coastal path in either direct you will find a couple of spots for the lures and Mackerel. Try off the rock mark immediately to the right hand side of the beach for Wrasse and Pollock and bottom fishing onto rough ground. Aim parallel to the beach for a sandy bottom and deeper water. There is parking behind the beach, you will need to pay at the farm for access.
Whistling Sand or Porth Oer is the next venue heading further West again. Predominantly a sandy beach which gives comfortable fishing that can throw up mixed bags of fish. Not a bad pace to target Coalfish in winter. Further West from the beach if you follow the headland round (pathway) there are a few spots for lures and LRF. Usual species from here ie Pollock and Wrasse, Gobies Etc
Uwchmynydd is at the end of the Lynn Peninsula and is a large section of steep sided cliffs with a few marks for the more able bodied. The most famous is cardiac hill… this gives you and idea of the terrain, also St Marys Well. Don’t fish alone here, not only is the terrain a nightmare but the tidal rip between here and Bardsey Island is tremendous. Serious leads only! Most of the sea around here will give you access to deeper waters, this is most true of the section facing Bardsey. Mackerel can be caught here but if that’s all you are after there are far easier venues to try. One of the better places to get larger Pollock too.
Aberdaron beach is next, busy with tourist in summer so best fish at night or early morning. There are worm beds on the right hand side of the beach but they tend to be small. Its known for its Bass fishing but personally I have fished it a few times with little to show for it. The eastern section of the beach is usually quiet as its away from the village. you can walk down the beach or there is access via the campsite behind. Just after the beach is a fihing mark known as Mackerel Rock. its a steep decent and gives decent fishing close in.
Porth Ysgo is further East as we head back along the southern coast of the Llyn. Its a bit remote so invloves a walk and some steep steps. A sandy beach with rocks either side, fish the bottom for a mix of fish which can include Gurnard but its rare. Known as a Bass beach, not personally tried but seen others lure fishing the edges of the beach. Slightly further East there is another mark known mostly to locals. It involves a long walk and a chat to the farm owner for parking. It gives access to deep water and is also good for Mackerel.
Hells Mouth is a beast of a beach which is mainly shallow sandy beach with numerous gullies. The edges of the beach at either side are rock strewn so avoid if you can.
Sea fishing in North Wales offers some fantastic sport for all abilities. Using the information above will help get you on the fish. Try using the Navionics website to gain insight into the depth of the sea, it works very well for Rock marks. It can also help you find the bigger fish too, deeper water usually holds more specimens.