The largest shore-caught fish along the North Wales coast come from the rocky stretch at Old Colwyn. This is a great spot for conger eels, lively bass and used to have a reputation for tope. The downside is a lack of cover from the prevailing onshore wind, though a good north-westerly creates a chop on the sea and the fish seem to feed with more confidence. Easy access is available from the promenade at Colwyn Bay and in summer it is a lovely walk to the Head or you can walk through the old quarry below the former 70 Degrees Hotel.
Local beach anglers look upon the rocky shoreline as a prime winter fishery for congers, quality whiting and s mall codling. Those conger - to 20lb and more – are catchable throughout the year, while from May through until October there is a good run of bass, with fish to 7lb along this particular part of the coast.
Use peeler crabs for bass. A fresh mackerel flapper a high water is ideal for the mature conger eels. Dusk is the time for catching the bigger bass and also offers a chance of picking up a thornback ray.
The standard bass rig is a size 4/0 Pennell with a metre-long trace (just enough to give some movement) coupled with a rolling lead. A 5oz lead is the heaviest needed and your line should be around 15lb.
A stout beachcaster with 30lb line and a metre-long 100-150lb trace is recommended and the bait is a mackerel on a size 6/0 hook.
Short casts produce the largest share of fish and a gentle lob will put the bait between the boulders where the eels and bass forage.
The straightforward route is to drive along Colwyn Bay Promenade (with the sea on your left) to the end.
Park and walk along the footpath above the rocky shoreline. Fish are likely to appear anywhere, though the Head rock is probably the most popular spot.
Bay View Angling, 12 Greenfield Rd, Colwyn Bay, tel: 01492 535888.
Victoria Pier Angling, The Promenade, Colwyn Bay, tel: 01492 530663.