Sunday, 29 September 2013

Poole - pleasant paddle but disappointing catch

Fished Poole Harbour with my bro on the kayak. Calm overcast day with the sun breaking through every now again gave plenty of promise. We fished the boat channel and I had a few solid bites on squid on the bottom but did not connect. A couple of times we landed Spider Crabs but they were more of annoyance than a chance for celebration. After the tide had slowly come in we went inshore looking for Bass and Mullet keeping clear of the nursery area. Eventually the reel screamed off in just feet of water. No Bass but a solitary large Mackerel which I have to say was disappointing after the colossal fight it put up. A bit later into the afternoon and another surprise: after a few unsuccessful follows I caught nice Gar on a surface lure. The Bass were around but preoccupied on something other than what we had to offer. A long day and not much to show for it but a pleasant paddle in the warm late summer weather.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Summer surf in Tenerife - lesson is 'Early bird gets the worm' at Las Americas

During a couple of weeks in Tenerife I managed to get a handful of surfing sessions in with the largest day about shoulder high. Surfed mainly Piscinas off Las Americas as the swell had a fair bit of South in it. Piscinas is familiar to me as it breaks not unlike the Ledges at Kimmeridge with an easy takeoff and a winding left. It sometimes has two peaks combining to lengthen the ride. The right can suck up on the inside but tends to be fat on the outside. The only downside of the break is that it attracts surfers who ride longer boards and a half a dozen proficient long boarders on the peak can keep your wave count down.

Piscinas (or El Conquistador) on the best swell of the fortnight 

One day the swell came in more from the NW and Spanish Left started to work which is a few hundred meters N of of Piscinas. (Its worth noting La Derecha is classy right in between the two which is dominated by good locals). On that swell I did surf the slower right which peels off the other end of Spanish Left (not sure what the wave is called) which is the haunt of the local surf schools. I am amazed that the local shops take groups of inexperienced young beginners out here - not exactly the best conditions to learn in. They troupe them out on the shit pipe into the line up and coax them into powerful waves that offload onto the flattish rock (if your lucky, if not it might be lava lumps). I guess they see it as a local resource they need exploit at Las Americas but surely onshore El Medano would be better option where children and beginners can learn over sand. 

Funnily enough  the best swell of my visit must have sneaked through unseen as the session saw the smallest crowd.  On all days however by mid afternoon every break was pretty saturated with surfers fighting over ragged small peaks in the onshores. I could only conclude that the surf community here at this time of year thrives on social interaction with a certain amount of exhibitionism and few hangovers thrown in. This suits me as I will continue to get uncrowded better conditions at dawn.  Overall I was pleasantly surprised by the amount and quality of the surf in the height of summer when I thought it was going to be pretty flat.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Tenerife 2013 Sea Fishy tales...

Just come back from a few weeks in Tenerife with the family. Plenty of fishing off the breakwaters and rocks with lots of fish caught, most however wouldn't look out of place in your average saltwater aquarium. Light tackle order of the day with Size 12 hooks and reasonably small floats for sea fishing. I did try the fly occasionally but without success. I refined my technique to keep the bait in the water long enough for the bigger fish. This was to use a pinch of my trusty Ramer sponge capped with a squid tip. Bread would soon be removed without a positive take. At times I did groundbait with mashed bread, sweetcorn and tinned fish but I am not sure it increased the chances of hooking a bigger fish and merely turned your mark into a boiling mass of little rock dwellers. The lagoons held good numbers of Salema Porgy (a type of Bream), Vieja ( a type of Parrot Fish) and Mullet with odd European Sea Bass (farmed escapees sub 35cm) and small Cuda but getting a hook up was not easy. Mullet despite being the largest target were impossible to tempt, they seemed pre-occupied with grazing on the algae boulders. In between catching double figure numbers of Canarian Damsel Fish or Ornate Wrasse you might just have a scrap with a Porgy, European Sea Bass, Pompano or Vieja all on my bread substitute, which was nice on light tackle.
Ornate Wrasse

Lizard Fish

Canarian Damsel

No Guilthead Bream this time which was surprising as I did see the odd one snorkelling. Feathers or lures just produced the abundant Lizard Fish which although unusual never exceeded 30cm in length. Larger tides produced more fish in the lagoons particularly a few hours either side of high tide.  If you feel the need to take the odd fish for the table the Vieja is recommended despite its wrasse like appearance was delicious baked with butter, coriander and parsley. Rock fishing in exposed places was dangerous in any form of swell as even with my awareness of set waves I was caught out several times and found myself clinging limpet like to the lava  - sometimes I wonder why I push the boundaries so, it seems fishing does funny thinks to the logical mind. One other word of warning - Green Turtle were occasional visitors close inshore at this time of year which made for some spectacular snorkeling however if you know they are present best to move on when fishing.

Salema Porgy - the most abundant bream in the area.

Vieja - fish deep on the seaward side of inshore reefs
 and be prepared to make ground immediately.
Courting Flounders 

Grazing Mullet - if only they grazed on my bread fly!