Saturday, October 26, 2013

Species hunting adventures on Crete : Part 4.

As forecast it was a lovely calm day so off we went and hired a small boat for three hours. It wasn't cheap but I was keen to fish in some slightly deeper water to see if anything new would turn up or if there were any bigger specimens of the species I'd caught already around. First off we headed around the western side of Kalydon to tie up to a marker buoy that the guy at the water sports jetty had told us was over a reef system. On the way we saw quite a few garfish skipping along the surface to get out of our way which was quite cool. I don't quite know how they stay out of the water as long as they do. They seem to defy gravity. Soon at the marker and tied up, I fished chunks of raw prawn on a drop shot rig and was soon catching lots of small fish called bogue.

Bogue don't get that big despite their quite voracious appetites. They were taking my bait as it fell through the water and I soon caught over a dozen.

When my lead did manage to get to the bottom the bites were fast and furious and lots of fish were caught including a couple of ornate wrasse, a few combers, several types of seabream, a parrotfish and two types of rabbitfish. I was going through bait like it was going out of fashion and peeling the prawns was wasting valuable fishing time so Lillian offered her services and a bucket full of peeled prawns was soon at my disposal. What a woman!

A lovely example of a common two banded seabream. Nice yellow stripes on it.
Banksy has not been anywhere near this comber.
A dusky rabbitfish. These have hard spines in most of their fins which are poisonous.
A marbled rabbitfish. Both these fish have migrated into the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal from the Red Sea.

Before we knew it two of our three hours were up and we still had to get back. We untied and headed back around the southern tip of Kalydon and fished on the drift for a little while. I was worried about losing rigs on the bottom but it wasn't too bad. After catching a few lizardfish and a rainbow wrasse I caught three lovely red porgy. These fought quite well and were good fun on my ultra light gear.

A member of the seabream family these fish are a light pink hue with tiny light blue spots that don't really show up in this photo unfortunately. Lovely fish.

Soon it was time to head back and I was quite pleased with my haul of fish even I hadn't caught anything new. That's right, I'd caught all of these species already during other sessions, I just left them out of the first three reports so I had some new species to include in this one!

Relaxing during the afternoon my thoughts turned to how I could try and catch some more new species during the remainder of the trip. In particular the three remaining Mediterranean species on my "Most Wanted" list, tentacled blenny, flying gurnard and wide eyed flounder. Out of the three I thought that wide eyed flounder may be the easiest to try for as all I'd need to find would be a harbour with a nice sandy bottom.

Also still in my mind though were the barracudas I'd seen. Surely if I got my approach right I could catch one as there seemed to be plenty around? After seeking some advice on barracuda tactics and getting permission from Lillian we headed to Plaka for dinner that evening and I had one hour at the harbour there to try and tempt one before we went to the restaurant. To start with I tried a few shallow diving hard lures, fishing each one using a slow retrieve with a jerk followed by a pause. The aim of this was to get the lure to turn side on to any fish following it to hopefully induce a take. With no action on the shallow divers I changed to a sinking stickbait style hard lure and fished the same retrieve slightly deeper down. On literally my last cast and with my mind drifting to thoughts of what I'd like to have for dinner I felt a solid take and my rod arched over. The fish didn't fight as hard as I'd have imagined, only taking line a couple of times and even then only did so because I had set my drag fairly loosely. A brief nervous moment lifting it up the harbour wall was soon over and the fish was soon on a pile of fishing nets being carefully unhooked. The fish was rather well behaved too which I found quite surprising and after I popped it back I did a little gleeful dance before popping my gear away in the boot of the car so we could go to dinner.

Happiness is a long torpedo shaped toothy fish.

All in all a great days fishing! So far I'd caught over thirty species. With only a few days left could I track down a wide eyed flounder? Would I catch any other new species? Having caught so many species so far it was going to be difficult but I was keen to try!

No comments:

Post a Comment