Fishing Wales: FAQs - Fishing Visit Wales

Fishing Wales, Environment Agency Wales and Wales Tourist Board providing detailed information to all who want to go fishing in Wales, Game, sea, coarse, carp angling in Wales. Tides, Tidal information for Wales, Weather, river levels, flies, baits for fishing, where to fish, where to stay, where to eat. Holiday angling in Wales. Charter Boats, angling clubs, private fisheries. Rivers, the Sea, lakes, reservoirs, canals, Fishing Guiding and Tuition
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Frequently asked questions about fishing in Wales

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?
A 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 Is there any difference between fishing for trout and grayling in rivers?
The main differences are Grayling tend to lie in the middle of the river whereas trout seek cover in the bank or under trees etc. They have smaller mouths, which must be reflected in hook size and lie close to the riverbed and where most of their food is found.

Q What type of knot is best to join two lengths of nylon and for droppers?
The double grinner is generally regarded as one of the best and has a major advantage that it can join two lengths of vastly different diameter.

Q Is there any disadvantage in fishing barbless hooks?
A No, as long as tension is maintained on the fish, there is no disadvantage.

Q Do Seatrout feed in freshwater?
A This is a much-argued topic. Seatrout certainly take food items after being in the river a while, whether they are feeding or playing is another matter.

Q Are strike indicators worth using?
A Yes, they are very useful for those whose vision is not what it used to be and on days when the light is difficult. Although sniffed at by some they are a useful tool for nymph fishing. Try substituting a dry fly for an indicator, to increase your chances of success.

Q Is there a difference between fishing for wild and non-wild trout?
The fundamental difference is the speed of take. Wild trout takes are lightening quick.

Q As a beginner, what tackle should I bring to catch Welsh coarse fish? There seems to be so many different things for sale in tackle shops.?
A Forget all the sales hype and stick to basics! Today’s ready-made kits are perfectly adequate to start your coarse fishing career - and much cheaper than buying a bit at a time.

Q What about bait? Should I bring my own?
Only if you prefer. There are plenty of well-stocked tackle shops throughout Wales where a large bait selection is available and many fisheries can also supply.

Q What are the best baits to use?
A Keep it simple. Bread, sweet-corn, maggots and luncheon meat will catch most species. Experiment and you’ll be surprised what fish will accept.

Q Will I have to travel far from where I’m staying to find good fishing?
Definitely not! Wherever you are in Wales there will be a choice of fisheries not far away.

Q When I’m fishing, what do I do with the family?
Wales has a very large number of interesting and exciting family attractions, safe beaches, attractive towns and scenic walks. Or you teach them all to fish, of course.

Q What are the types of fish I can expect to catch?
A All UK coarse fish are available, as well as some rather more exotic. If you have any special preference, check with the nearest fishery or go to coarse species.

Q I want to catch very big fish. How do I find out where to go?
A Some fisheries specialise in very large specimens, and you don’t have to be an expert to succeed.

Q How much will a day’s fishing cost me?
A The average price in 2008 is about £5 a day with concessions for juniors, etc. A small surcharge is sometimes made for using more than one rod. Specimen waters may cost a little more, as you would expect.

Q What about the rules? I don’t want to be confronted by an unsympathetic bailiff.
A Ensure you have the correct Environment Agency rod license and always ask to see the fishery rules wherever you go. Not all rules are the same for every fishery.

Q How can I find out how well the fishery is doing before I go?
A Click here for the latest updates for most Welsh coarse fisheries.


Q. I am an experienced carp angler and want to know where the really big ones are to be found.
. Many Welsh fisheries cater for the specimen-seeker. Darren Lake, Ferndale. White Springs, Pontardulais. Hazel Court nr Cowbridge. Llyn y Gors, Anglesey. Millenium Coastal Park, Llanelli. Nine Oaks nr Aberaeron. Butetown Reservoir Peterstone Lakes, Wentloog, Newport. Springwater Lake, Harford nr Lampeter.

Q. It’s nice to catch the occasional big carp, but where do I go to have plenty of action?
A. All Welsh carp fisheries will keep you busy. You’ll find a list of the most popular venues if you click here

Q. What baits should I use?
. It varies. Fisheries make their own rules and each will probably have its own recommendations and prohibitions - always for good reasons. Some ban floating baits, for instance, while others do not allow boilies, bloodworms, nuts, etc. It’s no different to anywhere else in the UK. If in doubt, phone the fishery before you go.

Q. What are the best baits for carp?
A. Carp like variety and what catches well one day won’t work the next. Take a selection and try something no-one else is using. For example, sections of banana go great guns on some fisheries and you can always sacrifice bits of your sandwiches unless you’ve already eaten them.

Q. Is bait difficult to get?
. No. All tackle shops can supply your needs and very many fisheries will have stocks of popular and proven baits. They will want you to come again so they’ll stock what they know really works.

Q. Is night fishing allowed?
A. Many Welsh carp waters offer night fishing by arrangement. There will usually be a small extra charge and you may have to book in advance. Contact the fishery to be on the safe side.

Q. What special equipment shall I take?
. True anglers always treat their catch with respect and handle fish gently. A large carp-sized landing net, unhooking mat and barbless hooks are recommended. Also they never put carp into a keep-net.

Q. What facilities are available at Welsh fisheries?
. From none to everything. Most are in-between, offering a variety of services including refreshments, tuition, tackle and bait, accommodation, special pegs for the disabled, and so on. Nearly all will have toilets and a car-park.

Q. When is the best time to fish for carp?
. Carp don’t have a rule book. They will come on the feed at any time that suits them without consulting you. When one wakes up, they all seem to do the same. The first and last few hours of daylight is very often their preferred time, though they will often feed right through the day - or night.

Q. Is there anything else I nee to know?
. There always is with carp. A lifetime of fishing is not enough. Just keep to the rules, talk to other anglers and try to guess their secrets. Don’t be too shy to ask the locals for advice and be prepared to try new techniques. Welsh fisheries will help you to get the very best out of your holiday.


Q. Where can I find good pike fishing in Wales?
. All over, but mostly in south Wales, there are lakes and rivers holding hefty pike in very large numbers. See below for a guide to some of them.

Q. What baits should I use?
. Still-living baits although allowed is generally frowned on, but there are plenty of equally effective alternatives. Small dead fish like roach, dace or rudd; sea baits such as mackerel, squid, smelt or sand-eel; artificial spinners, plugs, etc, the list is endless and all will tempt a pike into your net.

Q. I particularly want to catch big pike. Does Wales have any?
. Most certainly. Specimen fish are regularly reported from most Welsh pike waters. They’re returned, too, so they’re still there, getting bigger, and waiting just for you.

Q. What is the best time of year to go for pike?
. The pike is normally most active during Winter, but Autumn and early Spring will give you all the sport you can cope with.

Q. I don’t normally fish for pike because I’ve heard they can be rather aggressive. How can I make sure I don’t get bitten?
. Pike are an agressive preadator, handled with due care they should not pose any danger to you, as with any wild animal you must respect the pike. Instruction on how to unhook and handle pike is available from the Pike Anglers Club . Long handled forceps, pliers and wire cutters are necessary as well as using an unhooking mat to protect the fish while it's out of water. .

Q. Are there any special rules or regulations for catching Welsh pike?
. No. Always check the fishery rules and stick to them. Treat your catch with care and return it to the water with the respect this admirable fish deserves.

Q. What facilities are available on pike waters?
A. The best pike fishing is often to be found in the wilder areas off the beaten track, as any pike expert will tell you. Go equipped with everything you will need for personal comfort as there probably won’t be even a shelter close by.

Q. Do I need a special licence to catch pike?
. No. Your Environment Agency rod licence will cover you so be sure to take it with you when you go fishing. Of course, you’ll also need the permit for the fishery you choose.

Q. Can I use a boat on pike waters?
. There’s not much point in using a boat on most Welsh pike waters as these fish prefer to patrol the shores rather than the deeps. One exception is on Llangorse Lake near Brecon where soft, weedy banks make only boat fishing a practical proposition.

Q. I’ve never fished for pike before. What else should I know?
. Pike fishing is a skill distinct from most other forms of angling. As a complete novice, it pays to go first with a more experienced Piker before tackling this noble fish by yourself.

Darren Lake, Ferndale
Caerphilly Castle Moat.
Bosherton Lily Ponds near Pembroke.
Llyn Aled, Denbigh Moors.
Bala Lake.
Pontsticill Reservoir, Merthyr Tydfil.
Tennant Canal, Neath/Swansea.
River Wye.
River Dee.