Monday, May 22, 2017

More species hunting adventures on Lanzarote : Part 1.

When my mate Nick asked me where he could go for a cheap break on his own I recommended the Canary Islands or Madeira. He ended up booking up a week's holiday on Lanzarote. I say holiday but between him booking up and me asking if I could join him a few months had passed and by that point his itinerary was shaping up into what sounded to me like some kind of "Tinder rampage". Anyway, once he said I could be his wingman and I booked up all thoughts of exotic birds were put on the back burner and we began planning what exotic fish we'd like to catch instead. We flew out on the 4th of May and after dumping our bags at our apartment in Puerto del Carmen we hit the nearest rocks. Lessons learnt from our trip to Fuertaventura about the dangers of the sun we slapped on plenty of factor fifty and braved the midday heat.

Blue sky, blue sea, fish biting and a cooling Atlantic breeze. It was good to be back on Lanzarote.

There was nothing fancy about our style of fishing. Angleworm and fish fry on drop shot rigs were soon catching all the usual species found at close range, damselfish, ornate wrasse and puffers being the main species fighting over our highly attractive offerings.

Shoals of Canary damselfish hug the rocks at close range.
Puffers soon started destroying our lures and damaging our line. Truth be told they are a bit of a nuisance although when they do this party trick it's quite amusing.
Azores damselfish were a slightly less common capture. The seem to be greatly outnumbered by their darker cousins. Another pretty little fish.
This saddled seabream was probably the biggest fish of our first session and was good fun on my light game setup.

Being quite tired from the early start, travel and fishing in the sun we had a reasonably sensible evening and in the morning we got up early and headed to a rock mark in Playa Blanca for first light. We started fishing with light lure gear in an attempt to catch bonito, bluefish or barracuda but after thrashing the water with a few different lures until the sun was up all we had managed to catch between us was a solitary greater weever that took my Savage Gear psycho sprat jig. Nick persisted fishing larger lures for a while but I switched to light game gear which soon had me catching a few smaller fish.

This Couch's seabream was amongst the fish I caught.

In the afternoon we headed to the back of Playa Blanca's ferry port to fish from the rocks on its outer breakwater. This produced a few ornate wrasse, damselfish, puffers and a few common pandora along with some axillary seabream and bogue. It was noticeable that the last species became much more active when ever the ferry passed by. No doubt the bottom being churned up by its propellers was producing some food for them and encouraging them to feed.

A small bogue.

On day three we headed along the coast to fish from the rocks into the mouth of Puerto Calero's large marina. Whilst I fishing angleworm on a drop shot rig Nick tried fishing a large bait under a float but this didn't interest anything so he tried ledgering a bait instead. This eventually produced a nice gilthead seabream. In the afternoon I decided to get smelly hands too and fished slivers of squid. We fished well into the afternoon and added a few more species to our tally including some nice seabream.

Striped seabream.
I caught a nice gilthead too.

Later on a small shoal of juvenile bass arrived that kept coming into close range. Freelining small chunks of squid proved an effective way to catch them. In amongst the bass were some other fish that I thought were salema but when I caught two of them I realised they were in fact a new species but I had no idea what they were. My knowledge of the fish species of the Canaries is now pretty good so this in itself was quite exciting!

I'd later discover that my first new species of the trip were Bermuda sea chub.

Heading back to the apartment for something to eat and without the wind cooling us it soon became apparent that Nick had missed a part of his ankle when applying his factor fifty and had burnt it qite badly. In the evening we headed up to Arrecife to check out a few spots and ended up walking all the way out to the end of a breakwater that extended quite far out to sea. Parking the car had proved difficult and the car park we eventually found closed at 22:00 so we didn't fish for long. Amongst all of the ornate wrasse and puffers Nick caught a nice white seabream. Once it got dark we caught a few saddled seabream as well before calling a night.

We were really racking up the seabream species.
The sun sets over the island.

As we walked back to the car Nick explained that his son Harry had asked him to try and catch a rare region specific Pokemon for him and as we drove out of Arrecife he spotted the one he'd been tasked with catching. We were driving along a one way street when he spotted it on the map though so we couldn't stop the car to get closer so we agreed to return to the spot where he'd seen it another day. Back at the apartment we overdid the cerveza and honey rum a little and had a lie in the next day. The start of the holiday had been great and we had caught a lot of fish. The best was still to come though.

Tight lines, Scott.

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