Fishing for Cod at Ladye Bay on the Bristol channel

With a clear day predicted, and after a run of bad November weather, it seemed like the ideal time to go back to Ladye bay and ‘plonk a bait in’. For the last couple of years the cod haven’t been around as much, and as my previous trip brought in just eels, I went more prepared to catch eels and see what else would pick the bait up. So with this in mind and after the success of the last trip I took two whole mackerel, a small box of squid and the trusty bottle of fish attractant.

I arrived early in the morning to a clear sky and a fairly cold offshore breeze. Maybe my casting would improve with a bit of wind power!!!, but I might also freeze. So I settled into a nice gap between two boulders and went to work on the rigs.
I set the first rod up on a running leger rig with a single-hook bait but on a twin-hook rig. I put a nice chunky piece of mackerel on, making sure the hooks were fairly free to improve hooking. I then injected the fish with a fish oil attractant which I have found to work really well in brown water where smell is all-important. First cast, slightly into the bay of Ladye Bay and back into my protective gap in the rocks.


I had just set up the second rod when I noticed the tip on my first rod bouncing around. I struck and felt the fish on. It didn’t feel like an eel! I wound-in, trying to keep my rig and the fish up in the water and away from snags, and eventually a cod around 2-3lb appeared. Finally the cod were showing and after so many cod-less days it was a bit of a relief.

But I had caught the cod on mackerel – which I had never done before – and caught fairly close into the bay too. So, I quickly baited up again as a few people had arrived next to me. After seeing my cod they were eager to get their rods out too. They also told me stories about cod coming out in numbers around the Severn Beach area, this led me to start organising my free time in my head – a trip for the future no doubt.


High tide came and went, and one of the guys pulled out another cod weighing in at around 3lb on lugworm and squid cocktail. This was proof that my fish wasn’t a one-off. It also encouraged me to have a try with the squid I had brought along.

After an hour of constantly striking at tiny knocks on the tip which I couldn’t hit, and with time getting on, I decided it was time to leave. Happy with the Cod I had caught I brought my rods in, and hanging onto the bait of the last rod was a whiting. That was what was giving me the little knocks, so knowing this I will return with a lighter rig to see if I can catch a few more…and I will definitely be back for more Cod.

Categories: Cod, fishing, Sea

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