Chuckaroo had long ago raised the prospect of a trip to somewhere bright and warm in December and finally, it came to pass. A week at the end of November into December saw us fly out to Fuerteventura in search of big rays in particular and whatever else might show up. Chuckaroo had done a lot of research into marks to try and had organised flights, accommodation and transport, Corbyeire and myself just tagged along! Despite what you may read and see on You-tube, you don’t just turn up and catch hordes of giant fish; I blanked on the first two night sessions though I did lose something heavy when it got snagged on a “snag-free” beach! We fished several night sessions on various beaches and a couple of daytime sessions on a deepwater rock mark when the wind eased enough to permit it. Corbyeire displayed his match fishing prowess by winkling out an impressive variety of small species while, despite changing to smaller and smaller and smaller hooks, I struggled to get much other than spotlessly clean hooks. Chuckaroo opened the scoring with a fine bluefish, approx 13lbs, a very lively fish which treated us to a display of aerial acrobatics. Corbyeire had an angelshark, aka monkfish aka Squatina squatina which was nudging the 30lb mark. I eventually got into the fish on the third night with a pair of angelsharks. Chuckaroo connected with a big ray one night, from its behaviour it was probably a butterfly ray as it charged up and down the beach, occasionally flapping at the surface, but unfortunately it parted company due to a hook breaking. I also lost a good fish due to line (80lb braid) snapping when I was putting a bit of pressure on. On another night session, Chuckaroo had an angelshark and while attempting to unhook it, the fish lunged up and grabbed his hand. Chuckaroo assured us that those teeth are every bit as nasty as they look! A daytime trip to a rockmark gave me my third angelshark along with a couple of lizard fish, ornate wrasse, a greater weever and a wide-eyed flounder. The only ray of the trip fell to Corbyeire, a 30lb spiny butterfly ray. It looked as if this ray would also escape as it managed to get into the rock shelves but a bit of patience and slack line coaxed it out into the open water. We were disappointed not to get any stingrays between us so on our last day we took a spin to one of the harbours known for its resident stingrays. We eventually saw one and Chuckaroo scrambled down to the water’s edge to feed bits of baitfish. Soon there were 5 stingrays on the scent trail, the biggest actually sticking its head up onto the rocks to get the scraps. Caught none but saw 5! One last session was spent lrf’ing, or tiddler-snatching as it was previously known, from a small pier, a few more species for me but all very small. A return trip may be required to try again for those rays!
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