On its day The Knap shingle beach, which is located just to the west of Barry in South Wales, can be a particularly productive venue.
It is easily accessible, perfect for junior or less-able anglers and large enough for a large number of anglers to spread out and fish in comfort.
Best fished for two to three hours over high water on mid-range to spring tides, especially at night, the ideal conditions are when a light to moderate west to south-westerly wind creates a gentle onshore surf, especially following a decent onshore blow.
A prolonged cold snap and easterly wind is the kiss of death here.
Throughout the spring, summer and autumn anglers can expect a mixed bag to include dogfish, strap conger, pouting, whiting, a few bass and rays and, now increasingly during high summer, smoothhounds.
The colder months produce whiting, dogfish and conger eels and occasionally cod; 20-pounders have been caught in the past.
BAIT & TACKLE
At times long-range casting can produce more fish, but plenty of fish, especially whiting, are caught within easy casting range for most anglers. This being a relatively clean and snag-free beach there is no need to use a rotten-bottom rig, though 5oz breakout leads will be required to hold bottom In the strong lateral run of tide.
A simple single or multi-hook paternoster rig is as good a rig as any to use here.
If targeting whiting, there is little need to use anything other than thin strips of either mackerel or herring for bait, which will also catch plenty of
dogfish. Lugworms, ragworms, peeler crabs and squid make more effective baits for cod and bass, with crabs being the top bait for smoothhounds.
Fish, notably a head and guts cut from a freshly caught pouting, and squid are best for congers.
To get to The Knap follow the A4050 Cardiff Airport road towards Barry, then the A266 towards Barry Island. The Knap is signposted off this road.
■ Barry Angling Centre, 14 Park Crescent, Barry, CF6 26HD,
tel: 01446 747638. Opening times: 8.30am-6pm Monday to Saturday, 8.30am-noon Sunday. Bait: Lug, rag plus frozen baits.
■ Aspinall Angling Supplies, 36 Cross St, Barry, CF6 34LU, tel: 01446 742645. Opening times: 8.30am-6pm Monday to Saturday. February and March closed Sunday. Bait: Lug, rag plus frozen baits.