Category: Fish and fishing


Towards the end of last month I got an email from Ed Booth who is a series producer with BriteSpark films. He is working on a series for Channel 5 on scenic rivers of the world. He had come across me through reading this blog and was kind enough to say some very nice things about it. He was even kinder when he invited me to participate in the programme currently being filmed on the Guadalquivir river. Needless to say I jumped at the chance!

Continue reading

Paul Reddish has been fishing all over the place and has been adding one species after another to his tick list. He pointed out to me one time that he had managed to cross paths successfully with all the salmonid species of North America except for one. That elusive critter was the pink salmon. There is no shame in that since pink salmon elude everyone every other year since they only run upriver to spawn every two years. Curiously, independent populations spawn in even and odd years. In southern parts of their range they spawn mainly in odd years. Odd indeed!

Continue reading

Yesterday there were three of us launching our float tubes in the reservoir at Istán. This is the largest conglomeration of tubers that I have ever seen. I have often fished alone, sometime with a companion. But three?! It seemed such an occasion that we decided that we should launch ourselves as a brand new organisation before we launched ourselves more literally into the reservoir. Thus was born, in a moment of high drama, the International Float Tube Association or some such thing.

We even had a photo taken to commemorate the occasion. Sadly, I had decided to wear a pair of my wife´s cheap reading glasses so that I wouldn´t allow my proper pair to accidentally sink into the depths and so I am quite embarrassed by my own image in our inaugural photograph. Not only do my glasses look silly but I have a particularly confused looking facial expression which is entirely the result of me being particularly confused, in this instance about how the three of us could squeeze into a photograph taken at arms length.

I am pleased to say though that Steve Lawler standing to my right and Johan Terblanche on my left both contrived to look effortlessly cool. Here is the photo. You can judge for yourself.

Oh God

The aim of our expedition was to extract a few black bass from the reservoir and then to put them back in again. Many people ridicule activities like this and I can sort of understand why. But such an outcome is entirely laudable in the the eyes of a float tuber, or better still, an international float tuber.

Anyway, we all caught a few fish. There are big bass in Istán and the reservoir provides all the necessary ingredients to grow them big but we had no particularly big ones yesterday. But that´s the way things go sometimes. Nobody was complaining.

I can never resist hopping out of the tube and stalking the shallows where the Río Verde, now little more than a trickle, spills in to the reservoir. I was rewarded with a gypsy barbel and a little carp and a half dozen little bass that inhaled the nymph so fully that each had to be disgorged by forceps before being popped back, quite unharmed, into the water. The other guys however stuck with the bass tactics which was the stated mission. Fair play to them.

After the outing the international float tubers transformed themselves effortlessly into international beer drinkers as we pored over the events of the morning and the wider events of the world at large.

Here the boys are having a natter shortly before we packed it in for the day.
It´s always worth a look in the shallows
It´s ages since I had a carp. This was just a little one but maybe a sign my luck might be changing?

The skipper of Impi is out on the water most days but every time he leaves the the marina he never knows quite what to expect. Every outing is different. The sea is full of surprises.

Continue reading

I normally fish a four weight fly rod on a river you can wade across without getting wet above your knees and so fishing for marlin in the ocean was unfamiliar territory for me as well as for many of my fishing friends who have not experienced fishing of this kind. Needless to say, this is a specialised business and I was very interested in the tackle and the whole approach taken by the boat.

Continue reading

I managed to catch a blue marlin on my second day aboard Impi. I had hooked one the previous day and it was lost close to the boat after an exhausting battle. The marlin I succeeded in landing was a very obliging fish and did not put me through the torment of the previous day. It struck the trolling lure on the far right and the reel was steadily paying out line against the drag as the rod was handed to me. It was then a matter of finding my way to the chair and clipping the reel on left and right and placing the but of the rod into the rest.

Continue reading

On Wednesday of last week Johan Terblanche pushed me into the sea from the marina of San Sebastian. This was shortly after Impi had tied up after a day out on the ocean. I knew I had it coming and so took my medicine philosophically and hit the water, fully clothed, but with a commendably stiff upper lip.

Continue reading

This day last week an adventure began for me just off the Canary Island of La Gomera. I will never forget it. I had an opportunity to fish for the iconic blue marlin which is a summer visitor to these waters. In the eyes of many anglers the blue marlin is the holy grail of game fishes. I am a stranger to fishing of this kind but fortunately I was in the company of a very experienced big game fisherman, Johan Terblanche, and was lucky enough to be aboard his beautiful 48´ boat Impi which was skippered by Mark Lee.

Continue reading

On Wednesday Steve Lawler and I chucked our stuff in the back of the car and headed off to Extremadura to see if we could catch a few fish on La Serena reservoir. We planned to go afloat with a local guide who Steve had fished with in the past and that turned out to be a good call. La Serena is a huge reservoir. By capacity it is the second largest in the Iberian peninsula after Alqueva Reservoir in Portugal, but if you measure by the length of the shoreline, it takes top spot. It is hard to imagine the scale of this thing. From the dam wall you can travel 70 kilometres to the other end.

Continue reading

Steve Lawler and I took the float tubes to Concepción reservoir today to see if there were any black bass knocking about. This is a beautiful spot and there is nowhere I would rather kick around. The bass here can be moody though, and enjoying the scenery is what we spend most of our time doing. The reservoir is quite steep sided and, if the surrounding contours are used as a guide, we can see that deep water is within little distance of the shore for most of the margin. The one or two exceptions turned out to be where the bass were to be found. Steve had the first one while I was fishing the steep drops and in the end I paddled over to where he had taken his fish and was rewarded with one of my own.

Continue reading