Canary fishing adventures

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Canary fishing adventures

The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago consisting of 7 larger islands. The archipelago is located a few hundred kilometers from the coast of Africa, just off the Sahara. In January 2023 I visited the Canary Island of Gran Canaria. Gran Canaria is a rocky island, and the coast around the island consists mainly of rocks, but there are also a number of sandy beaches where you can swim. However, I had no intention of spending the holiday bathing. The travel rod was packed in the suitcase, because I had no plans other than fishing on this holiday. I have visited Gran Canaria before, and there have been quite a few different species of fish on the island. In many ways, this trip reminded me of my previous trips to Gran Canaria, but there were some new exciting species on the CV.


Freshwater fishing on Gran Canaria
On Gran Canaria there are a number of freshwater lakes. The lakes are dammed and used as water reservoirs. In some of the fresh lakes there are fish, but fishing is not permitted in all places. In several lakes, there are carp, bass, pumpkinseed and various other exotic fish such as tilapia and mosquito fish. I have previously caught a single carp and several bass on Gran Canaria and on this trip I caught quite a few bass and some mosquito fish. Largemouth bass is a popular sport fish, and is probably particularly well known from the USA. However, it is also found in several places in Europe. Bass are quite greedy and I have caught them on a variety of jigs, poppers and even white bread!

One of Gran Canaria's bass lakes. Bass on jig.


Tour boat on Gran Canaria
For around €80 you can go on a day trip with one of the tour boats that take tourists fishing in Gran Canaria. Typically there are 8-10 guests on the boat and two guides. It is possible to fish in several different ways from the tour boats, depending on what you are into. With strong rods and large wheels, rays can be caught, with slightly lighter gear and ordinary bottom baits, you can fish for smaller fish, and with float-fished baitfish, the good-fighting bonitos and barracudas are in for a shot.
On this trip bonito, barracuda, stingray were caught and I caught a number of species, e.g. two-banded seabream, spanish sea bream, bastard grunt and wide-eyed flounder.

A bonito caught on float-fished baitfish. Two-banded seabream.
Wide-eyed flounder. A ray comes to the surface after a long fight.


Fishing in the harbour
With small hooks and some bait in the form of shrimp, squid or fish, there is always a guarantee of a catch if you can get to fishing in a harbour, at a pier or perhaps from the rocks on the coast. Two very common species of fish in the harbors of Gran Canaria are the ornate wrasse and the lizardfish, but there are a multitude of other species. On this trip I managed to catch two new species of fish, a macaronesian sharpnose puffer and a redlip blenny.

Macaronesian sharpnose-puffer. A large lizardfish of around 40 cm.
Redlip blenny. A typical stretch of coast with rocks and a little beach.


By Kasper Strube


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