Monday, December 08, 2014

Most Wanted : Madeira.

When it was pointed out to me earlier in the year that one of the budget airlines were launching a new route from Edinburgh to Madeira next year I had to have a look once the flights went live and when they did I couldn't believe how cheap they were. I spoke to my mate Lee and after spotting some cheap accomodation we both agreed it was too good to miss out on and booked ourselves up for a week at the beginning of March to escape the miserable UK winter!

As always I like to do bit of research into what species we are likely to encounter and as well getting an another chance to catch some of the species already on my "Most Wanted" I've picked out a few potential targets that I'm going to add to it as well that I'd like to catch. As usual a lot of the fishing we will be doing will be at the ultra light end of the specturm so I'll start with a few of the smaller species. It also goes without saying that no fishing trip abroad would be complete without a spot of exotic blenny hunting so I've indulged my fetish for the cheeky little fish and have included one!

Blacktail Comber.

Having caught common and painted combers I know that as a group of fish when they are in the mood they are super aggressive predators. They usually find small lures slowly worked through their territory most irresistible. I believe these to be fairly common around Madeira so finding a mark that holds some should be my only problem.

Red Banded Seabream.

A close relative of the red porgy (Couch's seabream) they have a very similar shape but a very different colouration having red and silver banding. This is most prominant in juveniles, fades in adult females and almost completely dissapears in adult males. They also have elongated fin rays on their dorsal fin. A very attractive fish indeed. 

Hairy Blenny.

Hairy blennies are found on both sides of the Atlantic and are so named due to the small rows of cirri on the top of their heads. Males (top) and females (bottom) look quite different. Males are smaller and more colourful with a dark body and a red head whilst females are, as is often the case with sexually dimorphic species, fairly bland by comparison. Both sexes have a dark spot on their gill plate that will aid identification should I catch any of them. 

Whilst Lee and I had lots of fun with smaller fish on Menorca some of the most exciting hookups were without question with the bigger, more powerful fish. Lee tells me he's been having a recurring dream about the European barracuda that he lost on Menorca so that will no doubt be pretty high on his agenda as they should be around. We've also been told that there should be a couple of pelagic species inshore when we are there so I have chosen one of them to add as well.

Bluefish.

A powerful pelagic predator with strong jaws and an impressive set of razor sharp teeth. A wire trace will be a must if we target these. Lee was on cloud nine when he landed a greater amberjack and a leerfish in quick succession during our trip to Menorca and I think if he catches one of these he'll be a very happy angler.

After enjoying an excellent fishing trip to Menorca with Lee in October this year I'm really looking forward to another species hunting adventure in foreign waters with him. I've set myself a little species hunting target of twenty five species including five new ones. Fishing in the UK over the next few months can be tough at times where we both live and this trip has given us both something to really look forward to.

Tight lines, Scott.

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