Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Light game fun on Fuerteventura : Part 2.

By late afternoon on our first full day we were having a great time, had racked up an impressive species tally and had caught and released a lot of fish. We were also getting a bit sun burnt!

My first planehead filefish of the trip. They give a very good account of themselves on light game tackle. 
There were lots of small mullet around so I stole a chunk of bread from Nick's sandwich and caught a couple of them to find out which species they were. Turns out they were golden grey mullet. 
Casting further out I found a sandy area which resulted in a few greater weevers being caught. 
We also caught a few bigger painter comber. They don't fight very hard after a few initial head shakes. Still very pretty fish. 

Trying to tempt something larger I switched to a Gulp Sandworm on my drop shot rig. Holding it in a static position and giving it the odd twitch the smaller fish destroyed a few but eventually my rod bent over and a fish was stripping line after a solid take. An already battle scarred common pandora was eventually netted for me by Lee. 

This fish had obviously had a tough life with a fairly big chunk missing from its back. Evidence of a near death experience. 

Before heading home to survey our sunburn we popped to nearby Gran Tarajal where we had a few casts from the rocks at the back of its harbour's western breakwater. We caught a few more fish but things slowed down after the sun set and as we didn't have our head torches we called it a day. 

Casting out away from the rocks produced a few small white seabream. 
As light faded the ornate wrasse and damselfish became less active and the cardinalfish began appearing. 

Pleased with the day's non stop action we drove back to Caleta de Fuste where in the apartment the full extent of the damage the sun had wrecked on our skin became apparent. Nick wasn't too bad as he'd sensibly worn a wide brimmed hat all day. I had burnt my forearms and my rather red face and neck contrasted beautifully with the white areas that had been protected by my hat and glasses. Lee however was by far the worst off. Half way through the day his hat had blown off and landed in the sea. We managed to rescue it but he hadn't put it back on and his head had been badly burnt. All feeling a bit sore after dinner we applied plenty of after sun cream and went to bed. 

Up early the next day Lee's head was pretty bad and it was weeping yellow liquid. Not good but luckily it was overcast, which was just as well as we all needed to stay out of the sun, as we headed to Salinas del Carmen to try fishing for larger species. The wind however had picked up and there was a fair swell running. We trashed the water for a while but apart from a couple of greedy lizardfish that Lee caught on 40g jigs we didn't have any joy and returned to the apartment discuss what we'd do for the rest of the day, picking up a big bottle of sun cream on the way. To try and seek a bit of shelter from the strong wind in the afternoon we decided to head west. The coast on that side of the island doesn't really have that many roads leading to it but we visited Puertito de los Molinos to see if we could do a spot of light game there. It didn't look that promising being very shallow and fishing there involved a scramble down some fairly steep rocks so we headed south to the next small coastal town, Ajuy. 

Halfway between the two we stopped at an observation point. Compared to the other Canary Islands Fuerteventura is relatively flat. Probably why it is so windy!

When we arrived at Ajuy its steeply shelving black vocanic sand beach looked much more promising so we had a few casts from the rocks at its northern end. This produced a small derbio for Lee on his first cast so we were optimistic we'd found a good spot.

Lee fishes from the rocks with a metal jig to begin with.
A rather cute little derbio.

Fishing here however was pretty unproductive until we cast in closer to the rockier areas which produced two species of wrasse for the three of us.

An emerald wrasse. Another new species for Nick.
They're aptly named. 

After a while we tried fishing directly from the beach at different points along its short length but this didn't produce much so we headed south again all the way to Gran Tarajal. This time we fished from the rocks at the back of its harbour's eastern breakwater. The water there was nice and deep and we caught a few small common pandora, common two banded seabream, ornate wrasse and lizardfish. Lee also caught a few Azores damselfish, common combers and some planehead filefish. Nick caught a small black seabream as well before we headed back to check out the state of Lee's crusty forehead and apply more after sun to our red bits.

Lee abused a few of his fish before releasing them again. 

Back at the apartment Lee was feeling pretty bad and his cap had not let his forehead heal so on Saturday morning we fished locally at first light which just produced a few more small fish. Afterwards we visited a Pharmacy to see if Lee needed any medical attention but luckily he didn't so he picked up a buff to cover his head with and we headed back to the apartment. Nick wanted to have a siesta in the afternoon so Lee and I headed to Tarajalejo and tried fishing from a small pier at the beach's eastern end. It was very shallow though and there weren't many fish biting so we headed back to the car to head further west to a rocky peninsula at the other end of the beach that we had seen from the pier. On the way back to the car I spotted this funky metal fish on the outside of a house. 

The one that got away? Not sure about the hook choice or the knot.

Soon at the peninsula we found it was easy to get down and below the small cliffs there we discovered a large flat rocky area that was comfortable to fish from, surrounded be gullies and submerged rocks. It was nice and sheltered and we caught a few fish before heading back to wake up Nick. 

Planehead filefish are very weird looking fish indeed. I love their elongated fin ray. We caught a few of them at this spot.
By this point in the trip we'd caught dozens of colourful ornate wrasse. They are probably the most aggressive fish at close range and the novelty of catching them wore off a long time ago but they're so photogenic I always take at least one photo of them.

When we got back Nick was up, had been to the supermarket and was busy making some meat balls. After a very tasty meal we headed north to Puerto de Rosario to see if we could fish from a long stone pier there I spotted on Google Maps that looked a good spot. We weren't sure if we were allowed to fish from it so I asked a couple of police officers who were sitting in their car parked nearby who told us we could fish right at the end underneath its small light. Things were slow though and after a while all we had caught was a single saddled seabream and a few cardinalfish so we headed back to Caleta de Fuste's harbour to sneakily fish under the crane again to see if Lee could get himself a salema but it was very quiet there as well. After a few more cardinalfish we called it a night. The following morning the wind was due to drop off so we decided to get up early and have another go for larger species again.

Tight lines, Scott.

Click here for the final part.


  1. That cardinal fish is really cool. Pretty sure I've seen one in a pet store once.

    1. I don't know where they hide during the day but after dark you can see dozens of them in your head torch beam sparkling like little rubies. Cool little fish with huge gobs! :-)