Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Light game fun on Fuerteventura : Part 3.

Early on day five when our alarms went off it was raining heavily so we all just turned them off and went back to sleep. Later in the morning the rain stopped and after some breakfast we decided to head north to Corralejo. I wanted to see if we could try and fish the back of the harbour from the rocks there for hairy blenny and parrotfish but unfortunately the sea was a bit too rough. We did see some nice big colourful groupers around the harbour.

Corralejo harbour has several of these funky grouper statues. This one depicted the sea state at the back of the breakwater. 

After a walk around and a spot of lunch we jumped back in the car and headed west to El Cotillo. I knew there would be no fishing from its breakwater but was hopeful we'd find somewhere nearby to fish from. Parking the car we spotted a couple of locals who were float fishing from the rocks opposite the big rock at the end of the harbour's outer breakwater so we chanced our luck and fished beside them.

No fishing on this side. 
The rocks where the locals were when we arrived. After catching a couple of nice white seabream they headed off. 

Due to the sea state outside the harbour there was a fair amount of movement in the water inside it and some suspended weed too but we quickly started catching a few small seabream. After a few of the white and common two banded variety Nick landed a zebra seabream. I've never caught one before and was hopeful there were more around. 

An unusual seabream and another new species for Nick. I wanted one!

As we fished away three more anglers came along and started bait fishing down the side next to us. They caught a few black scorpionfish and when they moved to a new spot I fished over where they had caught them, a rocky area on the bottom fairly close in. A small paddletail worked slowly didn't tempt any fish but switching to a running ledger and baiting my hook with a piece of squid the other anglers had left behind produced one almost immediately. 

A chunk of discarded squid quickly produced my target. 

Lee then hooked a slightly bigger fish that fought hard and went to ground twice. Patience and a bit of slack line saw it swimming out of the snags though and a dusky grouper was quickly landed much to Lee's delight as they are one of his favourite fish.

Lee loves dusky groupers. For their size they don't half scrap hard and fight dirty.

As I hadn't had anything new yet I was still very keen to try and catch a zebra seabream so I switched back to Angleworm on a drop shot rig. Eventually this produced my first new species of the trip, it was a new seabream for me but not a zebra. It was instead my first ever sharpsnout seabream.

These look quite similar to white seabream but as well as a sharp snout they also has a few more stripes.

It was a very enjoyable session but when it started raining quite heavily again we decided to pack up and headed back to Caleta de Fuste. In the evening we had a night off from fishing and went out for a nice meal in Caleta de Fuste. Beers during the meal were supplemented by a rum or two later in the evening back at the apartment complex's bar. 

Slightly rough the next morning we opted for a comfortable day's fishing down at Las Playitas pier again. I focused my efforts on catching a red lip blenny and although the movement in the surface of the sea made it hard to be sure I was pretty confident I could see one poking its head out of a crack down the side of the pier. From past experience I know they can be very fussy so I fished small pieces of raw prawn on a split shot rig. Canary damselfish and ornate wrasse kept muscling their way past my target and getting themselves hooked but eventually I managed to get my bait close enough and the target fish got to it first. I quickly set the hook, pulled it away from its crack and swung it up to hand. I was over the moon to catch my second new species of the trip and a new blenny at that!

The redlip blenny is also known as the horseface blenny and it has a very peculiar mouth. It's top lip in particular is very odd and it also has two fairly large fangs in its bottom jaw. 
A very fussy eater indeed and I've tried on three different islands in the Eatern Atlantic to catch one without success so it was nice to finally catch one. 

It was a nice relaxing day and again lots of fish were caught. Just what we all needed with our mild hangovers. After catching my redlip blenny I tried fishing metals and then bigger lures on a drop shot rig to see if I could catch something bigger or new or add another species to my tally but had no joy doing so. By late afternoon we were all feeling quite hungry so we decided to head to nearby Gran Tarajal to get some food from the supermarket. Before we left Lee tried in vain to get a photo of the colourful land crabs that are quite common on the Canary Islands but they are very shy and very fast too so he didn't quite manage to get one. On the way back to the car I spotted another nice piece of wall art, this time made from ceramics.

This crustacean was much easier to photograph than the land crabs. 

In Gran Tarajal we found a tackle shop and got a few pieces of end gear so we could return to Las Playitas after dark. As well as getting some food at the supermarket I picked up a packet of squid so I could fish a bait using my heavier lure rod to try and tempt a stingray. Soon back on Las Playitas pier we fished for an hour or so but sadly didn't have any joy so we headed back for a rum or two. 

The next day we managed to get up early and tried our luck from the rocks to north of Caleta de Fuste. The sea was still a bit rough and bites were pretty much non existent. We all ended up switching to light game tactics but even this didn't change our luck much. Lee did manage a couple of lizardfish again, on light game metals this time.

I dodged the breaking swell and went out to this rocky point to see if anything was hunting in the highly oxygenated water there. Sadly my efforts weren't rewaded.

In the afternoon we decided to head all the way south to Morro Hable. Arriving there we drove through its large harbour and began fishing from the rocks on the outside of its western breakwater. The ground there was pretty shallow the rocks we were on gave way to very clean golden sand. There were lots of Azores damselfish close in but I struggled to catch one with ornate wrasse bullying their way past them to my Angleworm. A slight change of presentation eventually saw me catch one.

Another very pretty little fish. They have slightly smaller mouths than the Canary damselfish. A smaller hook and half an Angleworm did the trick.

Casting further out we all caught some greater weever. Unhooking them can be a pain and I always worry about being stung by one. I've heard some horror stories about weever stings and often wonder how painful it would be and would soon recieve a first hand account. Despite being careful and using a set of pliers to shake them off his hook Nick called over to say that one had thrashed and he had been stung by its dorsal fin. I was concerned and thought we might need to go seek first aid but he said it was no worse than a bad wasp sting and wasn't getting any worse so we carried on fishing.

We tried a few different spots but things were a bit slow so in the afternoon so we decided to head even further west to Faro de Punto Jandia, the lighthouse at the most south westerly point of the island. The drive down the 15km pot hole infested dirt road running through the nature reserve took a while but once we got there we found a nice spot on the rocks on the southern side of the peninsula and started fishing. After a few lizardfish and ornate wrasse I found an area further out that held a few nice common two banded seabream and bastard grunts. Lee caught some madeira rockfish on the lures he designed last year for HTO which he was very happy about.

A nice bastard grunt.
A Texas rigged HTO Flail produced this little rockfish.

After a while we were all pretty hungry again so we went back up the dirt road, went to Morro Hable harbour and had a nice meal in a small restaurant there. Before heading back up the road we had an hour or so fishing from the western breakwater in darkness. Hoping for a barracuda I tried small hard lures but had no luck. Lee and Nick fished the bottom to try and catch a dusky grouper. Nick then wandered off to try another spot further along the breakwater only to fall down a hole that he didn't see as he had his head torch off. We laughed about it when he came back and told us but he did have a few grazes on his side and leg. He really wasn't having a great day on the accident front but with no serious injuries sustained we fished on for a little while longer. Things were pretty slow but Lee managed to catch a dusky grouper just before we called it a night.

Lee was most pleased.

So the last day of our trip had arrived and we got up for sunrise again to try again from the rocks to the north of Caleta de Fuste. Again there were no signs of any bonito or bluefish around so we all ended up fishing light game gear and caught a few painted combers and diamond lizardfish on metals and some planehead filefish and seabream on drop shotted Angleworm. We also had some of the local wildlife join us on the rocks.

A chipmunk and a collared dove watching us.
A small diamond lizardfish. These are easily caught on metals. Easily caught on any method really!

Later that morning we had to check out of our apartment and whilst we could have maybe fished in the afternoon for an hour or so we decided just to pack up all the gear and have some lunch instead before heading to the airport to fly home. Another fishing holiday had come to an end and we'd had a great time, first day sunburn, weever handling mishaps and disappearing into holes in concrete breakwaters aside. It's safe to say that Lee has a new found respect for the sun and Nick will take greater care with weevers and navigating breakwaters in the dark! Anyway, despite the strong winds that we had most of the trip which meant we didn't have any luck with larger species we still caught loads of fish and ended up on thirty five species between the three of us which isn't too bad if you ask me. Here are the ones I caught.

  1. Annular Seabream
  2. Atlantic Lizardfish
  3. Axillary Seabream
  4. Azores Damselfish
  5. Bastard Grunt
  6. Black Scorpionfish
  7. Bogue
  8. Canary Damselfish
  9. Cardinalfish
  10. Common Comber
  11. Common Pandora
  12. Common Two Banded Seabream
  13. Couch's Seabream/Red Porgy
  14. Diamond Lizardfish
  15. Emerald Wrasse/Atlantic Wrasse
  16. Golden Grey Mullet
  17. Greater Weever
  18. Guinean Puffer
  19. Macronesian Sharpnose Puffer
  20. Madeira Goby
  21. Madeira Rockfish
  22. Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse
  23. Ornate Wrasse
  24. Painted Comber
  25. Planehead Filefish
  26. Red Lip Blenny
  27. Rockpool Blenny
  28. Saddled Seabream
  29. Salema
  30. Sharpnose Seabream
  31. White Seabream
Lee and Nick also caught...
  1. Black Seabream
  2. Derbio
  3. Dusky Grouper
  4. Zebra Seabream
Light game is great fun but I think if I return to Fuerteventura I'd maybe take beachcasting tackle and mix things up a bit more by fishing at night for shark species like stingrays, smoothhounds and angel sharks. If the conditions were more favourable then early morning lure sessions for the bigger stuff would also be more of an option. The saltwater fishing here since I have returned hasn't really picked up yet and hopefully it will soon. I have to be honest though and say that I'm already thinking about another fishing adventure abroad. Flights to Ponta Delgada in the Azores seem to be very cheap so that might be on the cards for winter this year.

Tight lines, Scott.


  1. Fantastic! I've just got to wait until June now for Gran Canaria II :-)

  2. Awsome story! I think it will help me a lot next week when i'm going to Las Playitas, Fuerteventura. Light tackle and fly fishing for one week will hopefully give some new spiecies...