The first few months of the year are the time when the biggest cod are caught in south-east Wales.
Big fish frequently turn up virtually anywhere, although certain venues have acquired a reputation for producing the biggest fish. The beach at Wick, which consists of a series of shallow rock ledges and gullies to the east of Witches Point, is one of them.
This is one mark where long casting is usually required. You have to be able to put out suitably-sized bait a fair distance to be in with a chance of catching a cod. However, there are some occasions where cod can be caught from the shore, like just after an extreme onshore blow.
Best time to fish is about two hours either side of low water on spring tides. However, you must be extremely careful about having your retreat cut off by the flooding tide when fishing this venue.Top bait for big cod is fresh black lug tipped with squid. Whole squid, rag, razorfish and peeler crabs are also excellent baits.
If you would like to catch a really big cod, you should experiment with livebaits presented at long range on a second rod.
The sea bed is very rough, and for this reason some sort of rotten-bottom must be incorporated into your rigs to prevent tackle loss. The pulley rig is a local favourite. A 150g breakout lead will be sufficient for holding bottom on most tides, but heavier leads may be required if the tide is flowing really hard.
Ewenny Angling Supplies, 11b Ewenny Rd, Bridgend, tel: 01656 662691.
Opening times: 8am – 5.30pm Monday to Saturday, 8am – noon Sunday.
Bait: Lug, rag, Devon peeler crabs, plus frozen bait.
Porthcawl Angling Centre, 10 Dock St, Porthcawl, tel: 01656 772404.
Opening times: 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday, 9am to 1pm Sunday.
Bait: Fresh rag and lug, plus frozen bait.
Number of lakes/pegs : N/A
Prices : Free
Directions : Follow the signs from either Barry or Bridgend on to the A48 and then the B4265. Head towards Southerndown and park in the beach car park.
Season : Winter