Mumbles Motor Boat & Fishing Club 
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   Home      Boat Fishing      Boat Marks
Bristol Channel & Swansea Bay Boat Fishing Marks
 


 
 
The Gower peninsular, which is good a fishing area as well as some magnificent scenery from the sea as well as the land, is within easy boating  distance. The dark black numbers on the chart above relate to the numbers/marks in the lists below.  The positions are only approximate and should not be used for navigational purposes.
 
1.Inner & Outer Green Grounds one of the more popular areas which gives some of the bigger post Christmas cod.  This lies out towards Mumbles at the outer edge of Swansea Bay itself and is made up of mixed ground amongst sand.
 
Inner Bank (1) 51 30 706N  004 06 361W.  Inner Bank (2) 51 30 664N  004 06 350W
 
 
2,White Oyster trench is another noted area.  This is a deep gutter running parallel with the shore on a line set between Langland Bay and Pwlldu Head with a depth up to 100ft.  The tide run here can be a bit difficult and few boats bother to work this area in anything over medium sized tides.
 
White Oyster Ledge 51 31 159N  003 59 325W.  White Oyster Ledge (mid) 51 31 172N  003 59 210W. White Oyster ledge (midi)  51 31 189N  003 59 244W.  White Oyster Ledge (West)  51 31 126N  003 59 486W.  White Oyster Ledge (East)  51 31 228N  003 58 577W.
 
25.Kenfig Patches to the south-east, is again sand but can hold turbot to 4lbs with the occasional 10lb plus fish and quality rays. The Hugo Bank and the prolific Nash Sands off the Vale of Glamorgan are part of a triangle well known for rays.
 
Nash Triangle. The Nash Sands run for some 8 miles from Nash Point to the West Nash Buoy and is well known as a tremendous for ray fishing, in particular small-eyed, but also thornbacks, spotted and quite a few blonde rays. You might be lucky and catch a turbot.  The Nash triangle is hard to beat for the rays. Except for blondes, over the past few years both number and size of various ray species caught around here have declined.  Blamed on over fishing and gravel extraction. The storms of early 2014 have changed the topography of many beaches and affected some of the sand banks.  The best time to target most of the sand banks is 2 hours either side of low water. Ideally, fish on a day when the weather is settled, as it doesn't take too much wind or swell to create rough seas around the banks, parts of which are uncovered at low water.  A few miles to the East are patches of mixed ground over which to anchor when the tide run is not so fast. Regardless of how you fish, uptide, downtide, modern braid techniques, when targeting rays the key factor is to make sure your bait is nailed hard on the bottom and both uptiding and downtiding with braid should achieve this. Along with a running leger gives a most efficient rig.  Try tying first of all a sliding boom on the leader, followed a small bead and a link or swivel with which to attach the 4-6ft hook length. In the early days 50lb mono hook lengths were used, but now for the larger rays 80-100lb mono terminating in two sharp, strong size 4/0-6/0 Pennel rigged hooks are used.  Each of the 4 ray species can be caught on a variety of baits , but squid and good quality sandeels, often fished as a cocktail, are probably the most consistent. Fresh mackerel is another good bait for rays but you can rarely rely on catching mackerel to the east of Swansea Bay. Baits should be large and juicy, a single calamari squid and a couple of sandeels being much standard when boat fishing. When fishing over these marks more often than not you will be fishing in coloured water, and rays feed almost entirely by by scent.  The combined scent trail from Oystercat anglers fishing decent-sized baits will help to draw feeding fish in from further banks. Secure the bait with elastic and when you do get a bite, give plenty of time to fully eat the bait before attempting to set the hook. Also try a few miles further west between the peaks of the banks and the adjacent beaches. This is a shallow sandbank mark and the peaks of the bank lay just a few hundred yards away, its position indicated by a foaming line of breaking surf. The ground is clean and the sand forms several subtle ridges and shallow gullies - natural fish-holding areas.  Rays are caught not long after the flooding tide starts to scour the bankssending puffs of cloudy water up to the surface
 
3.Scarweather Sands are a more distant rated location, a good bass and ray mark.  This is a vast shoal of sandbanks that lie in a line of ridges created by the rip tides, about a three miles in length.  It is marked by buoys, and even though in mid-channel, it can dry out at low water by some 8ft, dropping away to around 100ft either side.  Having such a constructive natural bank right in the middle of a spring ebb tide can make it a death trap for the unwary, so take care.  On neap tides in fair weather try dropping the anchor at the lower end of the bank, in about 40ft of water.  This is usually a good shot for the main predator of the sandbanks, the Small-Eyed rays and unfortunately, dogfish.  The 'Swansea Wrap' is a good bait to try here.  Its a bait combo of a large Launce that is carefully wrapped in a piece of  squid, held in place with elasticated thread.  Skippers have known the banks to produce up to 20 Small Eyed ray in a day's fishing, with weights running from 7lb up to 12lbs.  But, if the rays are not taking the bait during you trip, head for the Mixon Bank.
 
SCAR POINT 51.29.815N 003.45.200W
This fishes best on the ebb, particularly neaps, as the springs will be too strong. Depths run to thirty feet, and the sea bed comprises rough, broken ground. Species to expect are conger up to 30lb, bull huss into double figures, and the chance of some good smoothhound, as you are fishing close to shore. If you have to anchor near an open patch of sand you can get small-eyed rays and thornbacks. This mark also produces cod during the winter months, and black lug tipped with squid is the killer bait.

The conger seem to feed best either side of slack water, and right on slack. While most anglers downtide fish with worm and squid combo baits you can uptide for the smoothies and rays. Best bait is crab, and use a 6/8 ounce grip lead. The conger and bull huss are turned on by mackerel and squid combo baits. This is an exposed mark in a south westerly, but any wind off the land is ideal. Another mark quite close by this one is the Scar weather bank, for rays, and the inevitable dogfish. The downside of the Scar Point mark is when you put a bag of mashed chum on the anchor rope to attract the conger. It also attracts the doggies, lots of them!

On the Scar weather bank try either fresh or frozen sandeel, anchoring on the outside or south side of the bank, in about 100 feet of water. Get yourself a good chart as the whole area has sandbanks in it.

4. Offshore Wrecks can give excellent fishing (Pollack) at times with fish well in to double figures.  This can be a high summer sport, and the wrecks also produce out of season cod, huss, and big conger.  The wrecks are not normally targeted in late winter periods due to the weather, but you have to wonder just how big some of the resident cod grow to on these.

Other Marks

St. Christopher Knoll: Just past Mumbles Head towards Worms Head.  The superb coast land scenery can be ejoyed during the boat trip, live stock on the cliffs, tiny figures of people walking one of the most famous coastal paths in Europe.  Also, passing small boats trolling lures in the hope of catch, such is the enthusiasm of the anglers in the Swansea Bay area.  The mark is well known for Rays and Smoothhounds.  Try uptiding with squid and lug cocktails or sandeel.  Or downtide, with peeler crab or ragworm.
 
St Christopher Knoll (1)  51 33 277N  004 06 265W.  St Christopher Knoll (2)  51 31 228N  004 06 265W.  St Christopher Knoll (wreck motor vessel)  51 33 217N  004 11 936W.
 

KNOLL BANK 51.33.180N 004.06.300W
This is located slightly west of Swansea in an area known as Three Cliffs Bay. It is a large sandbank that rises up over a very large area. Anchor on top of the bank and drop your baits over to the downtide side. Depths shallow up to about 25 feet on the top, so fish neap tides as the flow gets to heavy on a big spring. This is a fairly safe bank in all winds as it is only about a mile from shore.

Very good for smoothhounds, thornback and small-eyed rays, gurnard and it’s currently a dab hotspot, as he has had catches of up to 80 in a session from here on small baits and light traces. The bank fishes both states of tide, but remember when the tide changes, to move the boat to the other side otherwise you’ll be trotting your baits away from the hotspot. This is an ideal bank to run out a battery of rods, downtide on light leads, plus uptiders out from the side.

Mixon Bank: located right out side the Mumbles Head lighthouse.  The Mixon dries out on low water spring and must be treated with respect, especially  on an ebb tide, when the natural flow of the Bristol Channel is boosted by the waters of Swansea Bay emptying past the Mumbles Head.  Marked by a buoy, the bank drops away to 100ft on the outside, and around 50ft on the inside.  When fishing on the top of neap the depth is about 25ft and there is enough flow to make it fishable.  We've hooked rays on uptide sandeel and it's not unusual to get several Small Eyed in a session.

Mixon Shoal  51 33 004N  003 58 002W.  Mixon Bouy  51 33    N  003 58 008W
 
Swigg Buoy
 
East of Swigg Buoy (51.56675°N, 3.934917°W). Physical Environment: The seabed substratum is a stable large and small boulder and cobble habitat. The seabed is generally flat with some areas of pebbles and had little silt.  This site is exposed to wave action and tidal streams. 
 
Stombus (Inner & Outer):
 
Strombus Wreck (51.576667°N, 3.416667°W) Dive study
Physical Environment
The site was studied between 2.4 m and 4.4 m below chart datum. Wreckage of the “Strombus” was strewn over a seabed of sand and broken shell.  The site is exposed to wave action and tidal streams.
The wreckage is encrusted with attached animals but no plants.
 
Whiteshell Point
 
 View from Whiteshell Point across Caswell bay to Pwlldu Head
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Slade:

Langland Point

Langland Reef (inner & outer bream marks)
 
Bream mark 51 33 745N  003 59 938W. Langland Reef (inside)  51 33 724N  004 00060W.  Langland Reef (Outer) 51 33 209N  004 00 633W.

Pwlldu Point

 

OXWICH POINT 51.31.470N 004.08.000W
This is about ten miles to the west of Swansea, and can be a very good tope mark. Depths are about 80/90 feet, and it fishes best over the slack water period. Neap tides are also favoured to get the best from it, as springs tides will see you piling more lead on, even with braid, and the fish just don’t seem to be there. Being further west and deeper, you will notice the water is cleaner than up at Scar Point, and you can even get mackerel and garfish at anchor if you hang a chum bag over the stern. Putting a bag of mashed fish on the anchor rope increases the chance of a tope, for which you should fish something like a 6/0 hook, six-foot leader, and running boom. Use just enough lead to hold bottom. Rob favours the latest cannon ball shaped leads for trotting back downtide.

It’s a good mark, and he has had conger, bull huss and smoothhound among the tope, the heaviest tope he boated going 60lb. Best season for this species runs June to August, smoothies go well in August but are gone by September. There is more chance of a bass hitting your feathers here than a pollack, and around this area are many sandbanks about a mile from Oxwich Point where the boats can hammer 20 to 40 bass in a day. These have increased in numbers over the last few years, and anglers nail them on live sandeel on a long flowing trace, or the local favoured method is to bump a set of three paternostered small shad lures over the bottom.

The backup method is to jig with a set of ‘Silver Dream’ Shakespeare mackerel feathers. The bass banks drop from 20 feet at the top to 25 feet, and the shoals are generally clustered just on the back edge of the bank. Some of the banks are long, and face across the tide, so work different areas of its length with short drifts until you locate the fish. Blue and silver is the top bass colour.

Oxwich Bank

Paviland Reef

Mumbles moorings

Diamond Bank

Spoil Grounds

Helwick Bank
 
The Helwick Bank, a long, shallow subtidal sandbank, is unusual in being highly
exposed to wave and tidal action. The animal communities here are therefore adapted
to high levels of disturbance. Other extensive areas of sediment in relatively shallow
waters within Carmarthen Bay support an interesting range of species (including
bivalves, shrimp-like amphipods and worms), many of which spend most of their time
wholly or partly buried in the sediment. These areas are also significant in providing a
rich food source for birds and fish.


 
 
Benefits of GPS for Fishing

GPS technology make your fishing trips much more rewarding.   More accurate than 'line of sight' or other navigational methods, a GPS unit tells you where you are and where you are going within a few metres.  GPS is now an essential item in the angler's arsenal.

A GPS is very handy and a good depth finder is udeful too.  Finding these places still requires some travelling time but good pre-planning with a map and GPS means less wasted time.  Combine the benefits of mapping with GPS by getting digital charts or scan in paper maps with GPS mapping software and then enter way points along your planned route.

There are always changes to the bottom that are not on some older maps and these places can sometimes be great fishing spots.   Fewer people will know of these places and therefore less pressure on the fish stock there.  A GPS unit can mark these fishing hot spots so that you can find it again easily.  If you share your hot spot information giving GPS co-ordinates makes this easy to do.

Finding the right fishing spot isn't the only consideration, finding your way back home again is another, and your GPS unit lets you do that easily.  It is better to enjoy the peace on the water and see the fish biting without worrying about the rigours of navigation.  The GPS unit provides all the navigational information you need, including position, heading, bearing, speed, time to destination and more.

GPS as Safety Tool

GPS allows you to navigate safely, even when caught in a heavy fog or other bad weather conditions.  It's easy to get turned around on the open sea, but no matter what the visibility with a GPS you know where you are and which way you are headed.   In the case of s 'man overboard' situation a GPS unit can mark the the exact place where the event occurred greatly assisting rescue crews.   GPS also allows you to easily communicate precise positions to the Coat Guard if you come across a boat in distress.  In emergencies, swift navigation can make a big difference.  GPS mapping software helps to quickly and safely navigate you to the nearest dock or port while avoiding known hazards along the way. 

GPS Fishing Marks

Bream  51 33 745N  003 59 938W. Langland Reef (inside)  51 33 724N  004 00060W.  Langland Reef (Outer) 51 33 209N  004 00 633W.

White Oyster Ledge 51 31 159N  003 59 325W.  White Oyster Ledge (mid) 51 31 172N  003 59 210W. White Oyster ledge (midi)  51 31 189N  003 59 244W.  White Oyster Ledge (West)  51 31 126N  003 59 486W.  White Oyster Ledge (East)  51 31 228N  003 58 577W.

Inner Bank (1) 51 30 706N  004 06 361W.  Inner Bank (2) 51 30 664N  004 06 350W

St Christopher Knoll (1)  51 33 277N  004 06 265W.  St Christopher Knoll (2)  51 31 228N  004 06 265W.  St Christopher Knoll (wreck motor vessel)  51 33 217N  004 11 936W

Mixon Shoal  51 33 004N  003 58 002W.  Mixon Bouy  51 33    N  003 58 008W

Sea fishing from a boat

Gower wrecks
 
Mumbles
DEXTROUS This Brixham schooner was at anchor in Mumbles roads on 3 December 1874 when she was struck by the brig Alfred. The schooner was holed and sank rapidly. Her crew abandoned and got ashore at Mumbles.
 
Mixon
TRITON  Was barque was bound from Liverpool for Eckernförde, near Kiel, with a cargo of salt. She failed to find shelter from a sou'west gale and ran up channel for Mumbles. She struck the Mixon early on 29 August 1873 and sank. 
CORNISH DIAMOND   Bound from Newport to Plymouth this schooner was probably wrecked on the Mixon. There were no survivors.
GLEANING  and  CAROLINE PHILLIPS  These two vessels were lost with all hands during a very bad gale on the night of 23-24 January 1875. The gale was initially from the south west but then veered to north west and blew at force nine. The Gleaning was a Bideford schooner regularly engaged in the limestone trade between Gower and Devon. She was wrecked on Burry Holmes. The body of a member of the crew was buried at Rhosili.The ketch Caroline Phillips, of Padstow, was bound from Liverpool for Plymouth with a cargo of sugar scum. Driven up channel by the gale she was believed to have been wrecked on the Mixon before being driven ashore at Aberavon on the east side of Swansea Bay.
 
Bury Holmes
The Gleaning was a Bideford schooner regularly engaged in the limestone trade between Gower and Devon. She was wrecked on Burry Holmes. The body of a member of the crew was buried at Rhosili
 
Oxwich Point
MARY  This Portmadoc schooner was in collision with the steamer Sheldrake on 23 June 1870 in a position about four miles sou'west of Oxwich Point. The schooner, which was bound from Barrow to Cardiff with pig iron, sank rapidly drowning the master's wife, and one of the steamer's men was killed by a falling spar. 
FRANCE  This barque was in collision off Oxwich, late on the evening of 13 March 1876, with the brig Eliza B and sank drowning one man.
 
HASWELL  A 79 ton paddle tug owned by Nicholson Bros. of Sunderland. She had left Swansea for home when she ran into a westerly gale and went down off Oxwich Point on 8 November 1877. Her crew of eight were picked up by a pilot boat.
 
ORD MARMION  This Swansea barque was about five miles south of Oxwich when she was struck by the steamship Jane Bacon late on the evening of 29 November 1883. The barque sank in just a few minutes drowning her master, an apprentice and three hands. The nine survivors were picked up by the steamer's boats.
 
Westerly storm on 12 October 1870.  There were numerous casualties on the Welsh coast during this storm. The schooner JOSEPH et MARIE, from Carloforte, Sardinia, with a cargo of zinc ore foundered in the entrance channel at Swansea. Her crew got ashore with little more than a soaking. The Faversham schooner BRIGAND sank after a collision in the crowded anchorage at Mumbles. 
 
Gale of 23-25 November 1872.  A number of vessels were wrecked by this heavy westerly gale: Norwegian barque PERA with timber from New Brunswick went ashore near the wagon works at Port Tennant to the east of Swansea, the master, his wife, and fifteen crew got ashore;  brig PALADINO, of Messina, drove ashore near the Infirmary on Swansea foreshore, crew of fourteen saved by Mumbles lifeboat; barqueANTONIO LUCA, of Lussin Piccolo (then in Austrian Italy), was wrecked on Oxwich Point.
 

 Pwlldu

DARING    This barque left Swansea on 9 March 1871 in tow of the tug Cambria. She was to load cargo at Cardiff and manned by a crew of six being the master, two mates, an apprentice and two riggers. When they were outside of the Scarweather a gale came on and the tug attempted to tow the barque back to Swansea. The tow was slipped and the barque made sail but she drifted towards the coast. The crew abandoned but were all drowned when the boat capsized. The Daring went ashore at Pwll Du and became a total wreck.
ODYSSEUS  This 320 ton Greek barque went ashore on Pwll Du Head in fog on 3 March 1873 when bound from Dublin to Swansea in ballast. A total loss she was sold where she lay. 
 
Port Eynon
HAZARD  This steamship, registered in Leith, was wrecked at Port Eynon on 11 January 1872. Her crew of sixteen got ashore. At the Board of Trade Inquiry held into the loss Capt Campbell had his certificate suspended for three months as an incorrect course was being steered.
HOPE This Maryport collier was driven ashore in Port Eynon bay during a heavy gale on Sunday 8 December 1872 when bound from Cork to Swansea in ballast. The vessel, said to be one hundred years old, quickly broke up after her master and three crew had scrambled ashore.
BRITANNIA   A Swedish schooner which was on passage from le Havre for Cardiff in ballast. During the early hours of 2 January 1875 she saw the Cardiff pilot cutterSurprize founder off Ilfracombe and hove to in order to pick up the cutter's crew. In so doing she lost her course in poor visibility and ran ashore at Port Eynon where she was wrrecked.
 
Scarweather Sands
CHEBUCTO  This brig of 215 tons register left Swansea on 9 November 1872 bound for Bilbao with 320 tons of patent fuel. Running into a gale the crew complained that the forecastle was leaking and Capt John Jeffreys decided to return to Mumbles. The vessel struck the Mixon in the evening and the crew abandoned and were taken into Swansea by a passing schooner. Abraham Ace, keeper of Mumbles lighthouse, sent James Owen, a gunner at the battery, ashore to inform Coxswain Jenkins of the wreck not knowing the crew were safe. As there was no report of a distress signal, Jenkins went to look for himself and saw the brig sailing south. The crew had abandoned in haste and left with some of the sails set. As the tide made the brig refloated and sailed away only to be wrecked on the Scarweather sand. Capt Jeffreys certificate was suspended for six months.

It is possible that the Saladin was wrecked on the Scarweather or Nash but she may well have foundered in deep water well to the west. She was just one of a large number of vessels that went missing while carrying phosphate rock from South Carolina. The Board of Trade conducted an investigation into the losses. The rock was dredged from a river and dried before loading but it was found that it absorbed water during the passage. Presumed this lead to the ship gradually sinking below her marks and more likely to go down in a storm.

 
 Worms Head
ELIZABETH  Bound for St Malo with coal this smack sank a few miles off Worms Head on 12 August 1873. The ship's boy was drowned but Capt Racour and three crew were picked up by the Folkestone schooner Pet.
Smiling Morn and Maria 1887 -  The Smiling Morn and the Maria were Llanelli pilot cutters at anchor inside Worms Head, sheltering during a thunderstorm.  They became entangled and sank each other. 
 Latitude: 51.56363 Longitude: -4.31625
 
 
Whitford
REVERIE   The hull of this Guernsey smack was found capsized on the Lynch sand off Whitford on 28 February 1876. She had been bound from Cardiff to a French port with coal. Capt Renouf and his crew were drowned.
 
 Latitude: 51.55103 Longitude: -4.26012
Shepton Mallet 1731 – The Shepton Mallet was one of the earliest recorded wrecks.
 
The Gleaning was a Bideford schooner regularly engaged in the limestone trade between Gower and Devon. She was wrecked on Burry Holmes. The body of a member of the crew was buried at Rhosili