Aberthaw is one of the most productive shore angling venues in south-east Wales. For the most part the entire area consists of rock, though there are a few sandy patches and other areas of fairly clean ground to fish.
The huge power station is the overriding feature at Aberthaw, and is in part the reason why the fishing here is so good. Offshore, a concrete dome marks the cooling water intake for the power station, which consequently spews millions of gallons of warm water back into the bay through outfalls, which are situated more or less on the low tide mark.


From April until well into autumn, strap conger eels are abundant. While Aberthaw is noted for smoothhounds, which usually arrive towards the end of May and stay until September and are best targeted during a sustained period of warm, calm and settled weather. Other species which are caught during the summer months include several species of ray, dogfish, wrasse, rockling and an occasional triggerfish. During the autumn and winter, cod and whiting appear. December through to the middle of February is prime time for big cod. The mullet fishing is good from May through to October and there are plenty of fish throughout the bay, including some really large specimens.


Peeler crab is the top bait for smoothhounds and many other species including rays and winter cod. Fish baits, notably fresh pouting, produces conger eels. Float fishing is the most productive technique for catching mullet. Use plenty of ground bait, ideally mashed bread and minced fish, which should be introduced on a little and often basis. Bread, small scraps of fish or even garden worms make perfect hook baits for mullet.
Most anglers fish at Aberthaw over the low water period, with the last three hours of the ebb and first hour or so of the flood being best. The force of the flood when it starts to gather momentum can make fishing difficult. A decent beach casting outfit with 5oz sinkers is necessary for bottom-fishing. As a general rule, neap to mid-range tides are the most productive here and fishing at night will often produce the best results. When fishing here, it is obviously essential to use rigs incorporating some form of rotten-bottom device.


ASPINALL’S ANGLING SUPPLIES, 36 Cross St, Barry, tel: 01446 742645.
Opening times: 8.30am-6pm Monday to Saturday, 8.30am-1pm Sunday. Bait: Fresh lug and rag, plus frozen bait, including peeler crabs.

BARRY ANGLING CENTRE, 14 Park Cres, Barry, tel: 01446 747638. Opening times: 8.30am-6pm Monday to Saturday, 8.30am-noon Sunday. Bait: Fresh lug and rag, and frozen bait.

FISH-A-MANIA, 91 Main St, Cadoxton, Barry, tel: 01446 737699.
Opening times: 8am-6pm Monday to Friday, 7am-6pm Saturday, 7am-1pm Sunday. Bait: Fresh lug, rag and crabs, and frozen bait.

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Directions : To get to Aberthaw follow the signs for Cardiff Airport which is nowhere near Cardiff, from junction 33 off the M4. drive past the airport heading west on the A4226 and then A4265 towards Llantwit Major. You will see the power station with Aberthaw signposted just past a petrol station if heading west. Park in the car park at the end of the lane.