Tackle and Tactics
Fuerteventura Blow Out with Steve Pitts
My fishing pal Steve has just been for a bit of a holiday in Fuerteventura. He sent me a report of his trip which I found amusing although no doubt for him it was, at times, less so. Anyway I'm sure you'll enjoy a chuckle:-
It's November; The nights are drawing in, the car windscreen needs scraping in the mornings and my old bones are feeling the cold - so it must be time to bugger off to Fuerteventura for some winter sunshine.
The holiday started well - until our Easy Jet flight hit some major turbulence at 33,000 feet over Northern Spain and the poor woman behind us started chucking up all over the place. Still - we got there in one piece and then found that hire car had a flat battery and wouldn't start. On the walk back to the car hire office the heavens opened and I got a good soaking. Car was eventually changed for one that worked so things can only get better - right?
Wrong! We get to our apartment and start to unpack. WTF is that smell coming from my suitcase? On closer inspection it appears that my fishing scissors have punctured a packet of Power Isome and the juice has leaked out all over my T shirts. Thankfully nothing belonging to Mrs P was contaminated but it was a close call and nothing that a few squirts of deodorant wouldn't cure for the time being.
Some people say that the name Fuerteventura means Strong Wind and it can certainly blow a hooley when it wants to but we were to be blessed with very light winds for the first week of our visit so I was looking forward to some nice, easy relaxing fishing off the rocks by the apartment.
Wrong again! Some almighty Atlantic depression was pushing the seas up to huge proportions and when I ventured down to my usual rocks to fish it was obvious that things would get pretty hairy if I scrambled down the cliff to access my 'swim'. Not knowing the Spanish for 'Help - I think I am drowning' I decided to find calmer waters.
The local harbour is always teeming with mullet and small bream so I suggested to Mrs P that we should take a loaf of bread to feed the fish and sure enough there were some half-decent mullet cruising around the fishing boats. Only trouble is that there is plenty of signage to deter the would-be dangler and a rather officious security guard with a big black dog to back up the signage.
My plan was to use Mrs P as a decoy to focus the attention of the local guardia while I had a crafty chuck around the back of the harbour. But both the guard, his big black dog and Mrs P saw through my cunning plan. Fishing temporarily on hold I left Mrs P to top up her tan and headed over to the next village to watch to gravel track stage of the La Oliva rally. It was painfully noisy, very hot and very, very dusty but a lot of fun none the less.
And so it continued for our first week - barely a breath of wind but mountainous seas and tight security which prevented any form of fishing without risking life and limb or a bite from a big black dog. Maybe things will improve for our second week (but don't hold your breath)?
Well the second week was like chalk and cheese weather-wise. Black clouds began to gather ominously and the wind picked up to gale force strength and it rained almost non-stop for the next three days. What had previously been a dry and dusty heat-baked rally track was now a full-on 4x4 water saturated assault course. Waterfalls of rainwater poured over the cliff tops and were blown back into the sky by the wind creating an interesting photographic phenomenon.
- and again.
All of this run-off carried masses of volcanic dust and mud into the sea and so the next few days the combination of the weather and the shitty sea conditions meant the local bar owner saw a lot more of us than did the security man and his big black dog down at the harbour. But eventually the rain stopped and the skies began to brighten way out to sea. So Mrs P and I took a stroll out to the lagoons to the North of the village - she with her soggy white sliced loaf and me with my now dehydrated packet of Isome.
Long story short - She had the mullet feeding out of her hands and actually manage to 'tickle' five of them (all no more than 5 or 6 inches long I might add) out with her hands. Being a purist I stuck with the Isome and managed three golden grey mullet up to around a pound.
She claimed victory on numbers and I claimed the moral high ground on technique and aggregate weight. We've already arranged a rematch for next May.
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