Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Rockfish Fuerteventura! - The round up

Wednesday morning was our last stint on the volcanic rock of Fuerteventura, We had all but given up on the big stuff and finished with yet more light game with an Annular Sea bream being my last fish.

We watched the chipmunks fight and play while we fished away, just nice and chilled.

Well the trip had its ups and downs in a big way, it was a laugh but wasn't without incident. Burns, stings, falls and missed targets yet on the flip-side; friends, warmth, sun and some fun to be had.

I liked some of Fuerteventura but it wasn't among my favourite destinations; the landscape is although interesting is quite arid. Some parts look run down yet I really liked the artistic side of the island and I wish I could've got some decent shots of the wall art, some of it was really clever indeed.

I also think if I went again I would actually do more Bait fishing at night for Angel Shark, Round Stingray and the like, even live-baiting some of the small stuff would have increased our chances of the Bonito and whatnot I think.
We did talk to some people who had been thrashing the water for a week with jigs and large minnows yet only had one Bonito, for me that just isn't worth the trip, hence the light game antics.
I get that you have to put time in but the conditions I feel were less than favourable for lure, but 25 degrees or not its still winter there too!

On the whole any fishing tip is a good trip especially when you have good mates with you right?!

Tight lines.

Rockfish Fuerteventura! - Part Five

Well Monday morning was a bit of a washout due to bad hangovers form the night before.
We decided on an easy afternoon at Las Playitas, this time with suncream and head coverings in full force. 
Pretty much the same species caught on pretty much the same methods too.

I think this was also the day Scott finally got his Red Lipped Blenny which was a species that had eluded him for some time. Finally his goal was achieved though after wading through tons of Ornate Wrasse and Canary Damsel.

Red Lipped Blenny and a new species for Scott.
We fished Las Playitas into the night and we had a go on bait and big lures for larger fish but it was pretty non-eventful.

Tuesday was now upon us and our last full day in Fuerteventura, its weird how quick it goes when an hour of work feels like a week at times.
We had a last stab at getting either a Bonito, Blue or Barracuda but once again only the Lizards took a liking to my Jigs.

We hit the road again heading way down south to Morro Jable to fish the breakwater to the Marina there. It was a slight disappointment to find clean ground and lots of small fish once again, still it was a sunny hot day and we were catching fish, better than Wales that time of year for sure!

Atlantic Lizard Fish on a Yozuri jig

Stunning colouration on this Greater Weever.
Nick actually got stung by one of the many Weevers this day which was pretty crap, he said it wasn't any worse than a bee sting but I could tell it was giving him some bother. Really it is just a protein based poison and will quickly break down in hot water, but when you are fishing in 25 degrees you don't exactly bring a flask.

After some time catching wee blighters we headed South West, as far as you can go to Faro De Punto Jandia. its a pretty stunning place visually and the swell was something to behold especially on the off shore reefs.

As you can see it was fishable on the east side and that is exactly what we did.
It was a bit samey samey but fun nonetheless and I caught some Madeira rockfish on some of the HTO lures I designed, theres always something satisfying about that.

Madeira Rockfish on a T-Rigged Mace
Madeira Rockfish on a T-Rigged Flail
I had actually hoped for a Grouper but they didn't want to play and I actually went through a couple of packets of lures as they wer shredded by toothy critters on the reef.

Before dark we made our way back along the windy and dodgy dirt road to Morro Jable where we had some good seafood in a port-side restaurant before hitting the breakwater again.

In the light of our head torches you could see hundreds of Cardinal fish among the crevices of the rocky barrier, they lit  up like jewels along the shore and it was quite extraordinary. When the head torches were off they bit quite consistently as did a few other fish.

I however got bored and just before the end I fished a deserted area inside the harbour. You aren't really allowed to do so and I think the fish know it! We had seen Barracuda, Parrotfish, Mackerel, Derbio and all sorts in there during the day, I guess that is one good bi-product of this prohibition; a thriving, safe habitat!
Well one fish certainly wasn't safe and fought very well for me; another Dusky Grouper.

A quality way to end the day to be honest even if it was a bit naughty!

Tight Lines.

Rockfish Fuerteventura! - Part four

Sunday was another lazy start for us, we had wanted to get up early and fish the dawn for bigger stuff but the rain and tiredness of the better of us.
When we finally surfaced and after some breakfast we headed up to Corralejo for a walk about and some lunch. We had wanted to fish the outer rocks of the breakwater but would have been risking our lives to do so, still lunch was good and a wee walk along the marina was quite nice.

Funky Grouper art
Lanzarote in the distance from Corralejo

From Corralejo we headed to El Cotillo and fished alongside some locals who were catching some big White Bream on Crab and Prawn. 
We didn't get into anything near that size unfortunately neither did we have the sufficient weight to hold bottom, there was quite a bit of swell entering the harbour through a narrow channel where the larger fish seemed to be held up.

Small Bream, Wrasse and whatnot were on the cards here and Nick even caught a small Zebra bream which is a new one on me!

I also caught a Dusky Grouper which was on my most wanted list as Grouper fight well for their size and are just damn cool. I knew I'd get one here for some reason.

A Small White Bream 
A Bastard Grunt
My first Emerald Wrasse 
My Dusky Grouper
Scotts Black Scorpion 
Nick's Zebra Bream
After some time we decided to head back due to the rain coming in, we also decided on a night out for dinner and Rum.

Nick, Myself and Scott
A well deserved Havana Club no5 and Coke

Great way to end any day and I finally got my big Bream just not on the bank but on a plate with Baby squid and Banana Flambé either side!

Tight lines.

Rockfish Fuerteventura! - Part three

On Saturday I kinda thought it maybe wise to get some medical attention for my dome so we fished locally in the morning in a spot where you ain't supposed to, but it was early and there was no one about so who cares.

I get really bored of dropshotting at times, actually most of the time, so I decided to fish metals again. Nick was punching out some larger stuff for Barracuda and the like and Scott was hitting the Dropshot. We did see a lazy Barracuda but unfortunately Nick did not connect, Scott was bagging up while things remained slow for me. 
I cannot deny that Dropshotting is an insanely effective technique and especially with gulp, I just find its annoying and if I'm to be a bit snobby - not very skilful. 

Anyhow I did manage to catch some fish, albeit small stuff still.

Greater Weeverfish on an Ecogear vibe bait
Look at those gnashers!
You can see above why fishing larger soft-lures is a bit futile and brutally expensive, these Puffers are everywhere and make short work of most lures.

After a trip to the Pharmacy and the shop to get me a Buff type thing we headed back to the digs for a chill. Nick had decided to take the afternoon off whilst myself and Scott headed down to Tarajalejo and fished a small pier for a bit. 
Actually it was well funny there as the resident chipmunks kept trying to raid our bags in the hope of some lunch, cheeky little critters!
The fishing was a bit sub-par, but we had spotted a sheltered rocky outcrop over the bay and decided to try there, it was pretty good actually and just a good laugh. File fish seemed to be present in quite numbers which I really liked. Filefish do fight well and the occasional one game me something of a run around.

Well all in all it was a chilled but pretty kool day. That night wasn't exactly epic all the same as the wind seemed to get up some and we had a bit of rain, it reminded me far too much of Wales and the fishing was crap too. Ah well, always tomorrow right?

Stay tuned for more and tight lines.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Rockfish Fuerteventura! - Part two

Friday 26th Feb and I woke up feeling a bit worse for wear, seriously burned and my head was wet with weeping sores. I had never been burned so much in my life and its a stark lesson to not be so stupid in the future. Anyhow the show had to go on!

At first light we fished the salt museum area in Caleta de Fuste which became known as "the Salty Gaff". Our hopes were for Bonito, Bluefish and Barracuda yet all I caught were Lizard fish which took my 40g jigs in the swell. I quite like this type of fishing nonetheless, I really like blasting big and heavy stuff and I know full well that in this part of the world decent fish don't come easy so I wasn't overly bothered with the missed target. 
I don't think Scott enjoys it so much though and after some time I did agree that it seemed a bit futile and we headed west, dropping to light game styles again.

Puertito De Los Molinos and Ajuy were out ports of call before heading south to Gran Tarajal. We were trying to find areas that lent themselves to light line angling but the swells had effected most of the Island and the wind speed was increasing. Nevertheless we found some fish.

A Small Derbio I caught on a Shout Dangan mame 5g
An Azores Damsel Fish and a new species for me.
Common Two Banded Sea Bream 
I loves the File Fish

A Common Comber
Macronesian Sharpnose puffer and another new species.
Puffers are a bit of a pain in the ass, they wreck your soft lures like nothing else yet on the other hand they are quite amusing to catch. I had two varieties though only photo's of the one above, the second was the Guinean Puffer. I also didn't photograph any of the hundreds of Ornate Wrasse and Painted comber I seemed to catch, they just get boring after one or two.

After heading back to the digs I pretty much hit the sack right away that night, Sun Stoke had gotten me and we all thought I may need medical attention by this time so we stayed local again for the first part on Saturday.
I think we were all suffering a bit though, I just seemed to get the worst of it being quite blistered.

Stay tuned for more small fish :D

Tight lines!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Rockfish Fuerteventura - Part One

Well I had been looking forward to this trip for some time, initially I had thoughts and dreams of Bonito and Bluefish but as the winter dragged on I found myself just looking forward to sunshine and the great outdoors. Catching anything other than Pollock would now be a huge bonus.

As time got closer I also knew that the chances of encountering a Bonito were slim as the shipping forecasts were looking less than ideal, strong and pervasive North Easterly winds were set to batter the coast for the duration. 
Well I was never going to put all my eggs in one basket anyway and the light game kit was already  prepared and packed.

I met Scott and Nick at Manchester airport on the 24th Feb and we flew out full of anticipation and excitement.

After checking in and finding the digs we were pretty much up for a fish and headed down to some marks surrounding Caleta De Fuste Harbour and Scott and Nick were pretty much straight into fish but it took me a while to start catching, well hooking anyway as I lost 5 decent Salema that evening and only landed a bloody Cardinal fish.
I did help land Scotts Salema though, after slipping about on some precarious rocks!

The next morning after finding a new room mate in my bed

and breakfast

We headed out to Las Playitas and caught absolutely tons of fish, the methods of the day were vibe baits, drop shot and jigs.

Canary Damsel taken on dropshotted Gulp Alive! 1" Fish Fry
Planehead File Fish
Common Two Banded Sea Bream 
Planehead Filefish on an Aquawave Ami
Madeira Rockfish taken on a Dropshot Aquawave Ami rig
Diamond Lizardfish taken on a Shout Dangan mame 5g
Painted Comber on an Ecogear vx40 vibe
Scott with another nice Pandora which has obviously had a hard life.

We caught literally hundreds of fish that day and a lot more species than pictured too, you will likely find a more detailed report on Scotts blog.

We also made a big time rookie mistake this day, in not wearing any suntan lotion! My hat also blew into the sea and I sustained second degree burns to my head and neck which left me quite ill for two days.
I had already made some other mistakes; not charging my Camera and not packing the needed attachments for my action cam! For this reason all the photo's were taken on phones and Scotts old Pentax Optio.
Nonetheless we were still on to a good start with some fun being had, I was real pleased to get my first Filefish as this was a new species for me, I also got my PB Painted comber and its always a pleasure to catch the iconic Scorpionfish.
Scott is always a jammy bugger though and always turns a good Pandora with his funky dropshotting, he did the same in Madeira.

More to come so stay tuned peeps.

Tight lines!