Located between Lavernock Point and Sully Island, St Mary’s Well Bay, also known as The Sand Spit, is one of the most popular and productive cod venues in South Wales.

Primarily a clean ground mark, a big advantage here is that it is not always necessary to cast a long distance, especially at night.

A few anglers do fish here over the high water period, but most concentrate their efforts for two hours either side of low water on a spring tide, preferably 12 metres+ on the Cardiff scale.

As the name suggests, this venue consists of a sand spit that is exposed over low water and anglers must always guard against having their safe retreat cut off by an incoming tide.


Cod are the main focus of attention from October through to March, with quality fish, 10lb+, always possible from the New Year onwards.

In addition to cod, the winter whiting fishing can be excellent with dabs, flounders, bass and conger eels also caught throughout the autumn.

During the summer anglers catch bass, mullet, dogfish, congers plus a few rays and small turbot.


Fresh black lug tipped with squid is the top offering for cod, though both ragworms and lugworms will catch plenty of fish with whole squid a great choice for the bigger fish. Razorfish works well for cod here.

Long thin strips of either fresh or frozen mackerel, herring or sandeel will take whiting. Peeler crabs and ragworms work well for bass.

Being mainly a clean ground venue terminal rigs need not incorporate a rotten bottom. Use a simple single snood paternoster rig terminating in a Pennell rig made with size 2/0 hooks for cod. Try a two to three-hook rig with size 1-2/0 hooks for whiting or general fishing. Float fishing with light tackle is essential for mullet.


From either Barry or Penarth take the coast road toward Sully. St Mary’s Well Bay is signposted, with limited parking available at the end of the lane.

Access is difficult involving a climb down a steep and irregular path, so is not suited to disabled or unaccompanied junior anglers.


Fish-A-Mania, 91 Main St, Cadoxton, 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.