Tackle and Tactics
My pal David Baker has just had a holiday on Gomera, an island just west of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. He sent me the following interesting account of the fishing he did on his trip.
Hows the bassing going so far? Just returned from 2 weeks in La Gomera and we caught a few different species to keep things interesting. First morning I checked out the local area at 7.00 am which was still dark and had a few chucks with the Rapala CD Magnum to see if there were any barracuda about. Started to get light at 7.30 and nothing showing so went along beach and hooked the dreaded lizardfish on second cast with an ABU Tormentor. On checking beach out later in day with the family we saw one barracuda lurking along harbour wall and the usual mullet but the sea was colder than in october and was a bit fresh for the old snorkelling but I did see some 2 inch barracuda fry looking like perfect minatures of the adults.
I resorted to try and catch the mullet on bread and had 4 modest ones out in the rocky areas as the fish in the harbour know exactly which bread has a hook in and veer away from it every time. The mullet I caught had gold spots behind the eyes, are these golden greys? I tried a bit of ledgering with squid bait but the puffers and small wrasse strip everything and as I'm not a fan of bait fishing gave up rather easily!
After a fishless week lure wise (tried most mornings for an hour, and an evening or two) it was obvious the barracudas and bluefish of the autumn trips were absent,so I organised a trip on a boat with Miguel a local chap who works at the neighbouring harbour. This bloke was excellent last year and we arranged for the following day at 10.00am. Next day my son Joe and myself caught the ferry to meet Miguel but as it left at 6.30 am it gave us time to fish the harbour at San Sebastion for a few hours. We got there at 7.20 which meant the light was coming up fast,but we clipped on the lures to the already made up rods and got casting. I'd had a couple of casts when Joe 20ft to my left calls out "I've got one!". I could see it was putting a nice bend in his rod but was alarmed at the way line was screaming off his reel so I quickly went to help. "This must be a good barracuda!" I said as it went on 3 powerful runs with Joe hanging on for grim death! Finally he started to get some line back and I eagerly peered down to see a bulky shape instead of the long thin one I was expecting. "I think its a bluefish." I said to Joe but when it finally broke the surface we could see it was a tuna. Up he came and I quickly tapped him on the head, fresh tuna was too much to resist. Joe's heart was pounding and I was delighted as well. Although we had a few more casts and saw some barracuda and jacks following it was light now and they won't bite once they can see it's just a lure in these parts. We trotted off to a coffee shop and had coffee and doughnuts with the tuna sticking out of a bag under the table as we waited for Miguel who confirmed it was a bonito and put it in the ice box while we went out on the boat.
We started trolling about 20 to 100 metres from the cliffs (totally inaccessible by land) using our spinning rods(Shimano Beastmaster STC spinning), Stradic and Exage reels and Maria Chase lures with wire traces and 20lb Fireline Crystal with 10ft 36lb leader. Joe had first bite (dreaded lizardfish) then another one.He looked at me and said "Three-nil". I couldn't let that go so challenged him to a contest.Sure enough next fish was mine (barracuda) and I landed about 10 nice barracuda on the trot all taking a bit of line in an exciting few hours fishing. Joe lost a couple as I did also but eventually he caught a couple more. I asked if there were any bluefish about and Miguel headed for some cliffs where the sea was coloured. On the first pass in this area I got a bite and and managed to bring the bluefish to 10ft from the boat before it got off. Those things just fight all the way, I wish they lived in our waters. Anyway we both had another fish each on the way back with probably 20 bites altogether and 16 fish (13 barracuda,3 lizardfish) landed. Thats 4 1/2 hours fishing just me and Joe - for £60.00. a bargain I thought.
Back to the Valle Gran Rey fishless harbour/beach/rocks I decided to revisit the lakes to the north of the island about an hours drive away.These hold black bass and a strange carp like fish which has longer streamer-like dorsal fins and a more diamond shaped body (Any idea what these are? Sorry no pictures). First cast and the bass are biting, had about 20 in a couple of hours,great fun. They took a variety of lures and Mepps, they just didn't care! The carp like fish were not interested in anything including bread, I think they had other things on their minds. Had a couple more sessions on the mullet but the real monsters stayed deep - you'd see them whilst snorkelling about 20ft down grazing on the bottom, rocks and ropes etc. - and proved very tricky, so had another trip with Joe to a new lake and we both had numerous bass on the plugs again. An interesting trip fishing wise but I think the Autumn is better when the sea is warmer.
Have pencilled in 30th April evening and following morning for a trip down your way if your're about for a session on the coast.May see you then.
Notice that Dave wasn't put off by blank sessions from the shore. Also note that fishing the half-hour round first light is critical. Those big mullet sound interesting don't they? Could the carp-like fish be introduced gizzard shad??? There's not much known about them.
If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.'get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe's Atlantic bonito.
Largemouth black bass.