Port Spot­light

Easy guide to fish­ing from Holy­head.

Sea Angler (UK) - - CONTENTS - Words and pho­tog­ra­phy by Dave Barham

This area has an amaz­ing mix of water depths and un­der­wa­ter fea­tures, both of which do much to put a wide va­ri­ety of species on to the list. Most of the rough-ground marks hold plenty of wrasse, pollack, bull huss and the oc­ca­sional con­ger eel. There are a cou­ple of small reefs a lit­tle fur­ther off­shore be­yond the South Stack, which can fish re­ally well, too. Bal­lan, cuckoo, cork­wing, rock cook and goldsin­ney wrasse are all reg­u­larly caught where hook sizes al­low, of­fer­ing a po­ten­tial wrasse ‘grand slam’.

In fact, a gen­eral day’s fish­ing can of­ten pro­duce 20 or more species, which is why the area is so pop­u­lar with match an­glers.

Over the more bro­ken to cleaner stuff, which can also start very close in, par­tic­u­larly as you get around to­wards Treard­dur and Rhos­neigr, dog­fish, bull huss, codling and rays can be found.

Dabs and whit­ing should also be around in good num­bers dur­ing the win­ter months.

Off­shore, head­ing out to the Holy­head Deep, you will find some great tope sport, along with spur­dogs and bull huss. In re­cent years, there have been some very big sharks hooked and lost here, and one char­ter boat in par­tic­u­lar, Gethyn Owen’s My Way, is now geared up to do the job prop­erly.

The best months to fish out of Holy­head are from March to Novem­ber, but the area does pro­duce well all-year-round.


It’s a good idea to carry two dif­fer­ent sets of gear with you, be­cause quite of­ten the day will be spread over two types of ter­rain, ei­ther at an­chor, on the drift or a mix of both.

A 10-20lb rod and reel out­fit will suf­fice for fish­ing the ‘Deep’ for the tope, spurs and huss, while ei­ther a beefy lure rod or Con­ti­nen­tal quiv­er­tip boat rod will cover all other bases, es­pe­cially the smooth­hound sport in Church Bay, which can be phe­nom­e­nal at times from May through to July.

Holy­head is noted for pro­duc­ing a num­ber of 20lb-plus smooth­ies through­out the sum­mer months, in­clud­ing the Welsh record 25lb 6oz beast caught by Brian Taylor.

As far as rigs go, it all de­pends on where you are fish­ing and what you are tar­get­ing. It’s best to call your cho­sen skip­per be­fore­hand to find out what you are likely to be seek­ing and what gear you will need to take with you.

If you are wreck fish­ing, most of the mod­ern ar­ti­fi­cial lures will catch you cod, pollack and coal­fish, plus a few other sur­prises such as gurnard and wrasse.


There is a large car park avail­able for public use at the ma­rina, along with a shop that sells food and drink, and a café. There are toi­lets and show­ers on site in­side the ma­rina build­ing as well.

Ac­cess to the char­ter boats is re­stricted to key fob hold­ers, but a quick call on the mo­bile will have your skip­per open the gates to the ac­cess pontoons.

There’s re­ally only one wind di­rec­tion that can ham­per sport here - a stiff north to north-west­erly. For all other wind di­rec­tions, un­less it’s ab­so­lutely howl­ing, there should be some shel­ter some­where. Also, be­cause of the na­ture of the ground, there will be fish to be found very close in, even in­side the one-and-a-half-mile-long break­wa­ter and the vast har­bour area it pro­tects.

Holy­head Ma­rina of­fers lots of use­ful fa­cil­i­ties

How’s that for a pretty cuckoo wrasse?

If you want big spur­dogs, head to Holy­head

There are some good rays to be caught off Holy­head

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