A prominent headland on the Vale of Glamorgan coastline noted for its superb ray fishing
Witches Point is headland located to the east of Southerndown beach and has long been one of the most popular and productive venues in South Wales, especially for rays.
You will catch plenty of them during daylight, especially early in the season, but night fishing is almost always best. The problem with fishing at Witches Point at night, though, is the large number of dogfish you will catch. When the doggies are around in such numbers, they devour any bait very quickly long before a ray or any other species gets a chance.
Witches Point is potentially one of the most dangerous marks in South Wales; anglers have died fishing here. Under certain conditions waves and swell wash over the point. Never fish here alone or if there is a strong onshore wind or swell, especially when this coincides with large spring tides.
The best of the ray fishing generally starts around March and continues until well into the autumn; even December can be a surprisingly productive month. In addition to rays, which will consist of small-eyed, thornback, spotted and an occasional blonde, anglers catch dogfish, strap congers and a few small turbot. Surprisingly, smoothhounds are rarely caught despite adjacent marks being productive.
Bass can be caught at close range. In winter the whiting fishing can be excellent. In some years even reasonable numbers of cod are caught here.
Most angler arrive at Witches Point at low water planning to fish the full duration of the flood up to high water. A light easterly or north-easterly wind is ideal because it blows offshore creating a flat sea, while also assisting anglers to cast large baits a long way, which is perfect for those targeting for rays. Some anglers fish the ebb, mostly on small to mid-range tides when the run more manageable.
For rays, the best baits are a blast frozen sandeel and squid presented as a cocktail, though crabs and fish baits will produce rays and other species. Bass will fall to lumps of peeler crab, squid or fish. Black lug tipped with squid is excellent for winter cod.
The run of tide can be very strong, so the Pennell pulley rig is a popular choice. These are tied using 50lb mono for the hooklengths terminating in a pair of size 2/0 hooks because ray have strong jaws. Some experienced anglers reckon 30lb hooklengths are more effective, especially in daylight. You will be fishing over generally clean ground, consisting of flat sand and shingle, so a weak link to attach the lead weight is not required.
NEED TO KNOW
Exit the M4 at Juncton 35 and drive towards Bridgend. After about four miles turn left for Ogmore and then take a right, also signposted, a few hundred yards down the road. Follow this to the coast and continue through Ogmore-by-Sea heading east to Southerndown beach.
At low tide you can walk out to the point across the sand, but at all other times it is a stiff walk over the hill, so travel light. There is a nominal charge to park during the day. Do not leave any valuables in your car, especially if fishing at night.
Ewenny Angling Centre, 21 Coychurch Rd Gardens, Bridgend, CF31 3AP, tel: 01656 650604.
Keens Tackle and Guns, 117, 119 Bridgend Rd, Aberkenfig, CF32 9AP, tel: 01656 722448.