Fishing Wales: Sea FAQs - Fishing Visit Wales

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Sea FAQs

Q, Do I need a license to fish in the sea?
, No, unless you are targeting migratory species such as Salmon or Sea Trout you do not need an Environment Agency. If you are fishing for these species you require a Migratory Fish license.

Q, Where will I get bait?
, Most towns will have tackle shops which will sell you a selection of frozen bait, fresh bait should be ordered prior to the day to avoid disappointment. Bait can be collected and dug from a variety of locations. There are restrictions on the gathering of baits such as crab in some areas, details can be found on

Q. What sort of sea angling can Wales offer me?
A. From the great storm beaches of Newgale and Hellsmouth to the rocky ledges of the Gower and Lleyn peninsulas, Wales has all sorts of marine habitats suitable for different sea species. There’ll be several of your preferred types of venue close by wherever you are staying.

Q. OK, that environment sounds very nice, but what fish can I expect to catch?
A. Too many to list here. The most popular Summer fish are Bass, Plaice, Mackerel, Mullet, Flounder, Conger and Tope with Whiting and Cod during Winter.

Q. Tell me about bass!
Any Welsh angler will tell you they’re the tastiest fish of all. Sometimes called Sea Perch because of their spiny dorsal fin, They are a silvery shoal fish regularly caught up to 12lbs (an often larger). They’re very hard fighters on light tackle.

Q. Where can I find them?
A. All around the south Wales and Pembrokeshire coasts, gradually thinning towards the north. They’re often caught from rock stands using spinner or float but the surest place to fish is in the surf. Night-time, when the day-trippers have gone home gives best results and the heavier the surf, the better - within reason, of course.

Q. What bait should I use for surf fishing?
. Ordinary lugworm or ragworm, without a doubt. They’ll catch any other fish hanging around, too. Use one or two droppers on your trace. Peeler crab or sand-eel is preferable for float fishing from the rocks.

Q. Is bait easy to get?
The north and south coasts have plenty of big lugworm and small ragworm if you prefer to dig your own. Elsewhere it is rather sparse. Crab is everywhere and razor fish can be found in some places at very low tide.

Q. What about deep-sea fishing?
A. All around the Welsh coast there are small harbours, most of which are ports for safety-inspected charter and fishing-trip boats with all the latest navigation and safety aids owned by skippers experienced in local waters and the best marks. Tackle and bait is often supplied, but check first.
A. Piers and harbour walls are popular places as are the extensive estuaries where flatfish and bass go in and out with the strong tidal currents. Two hours each side of low and high water are the best times and they’re easier to fish in calm conditions when the tides are not too high.

Q. Will I need a licence?
A. Not unless you want to fish some piers or jetties when a permit from the harbourmaster is sometimes needed.

Q. Is the Welsh coastline safe?
A. As safe as anywhere else and safer than most. Just remember that the Severn estuary along the south coast has the second highest tidal range in the world - up to 44ft between low and high water - so currents can be fierce in estuaries and around headlands and the tide can come in very quickly indeed. Use enough common sense not to get cut off and you’ll have no problems.

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