A friend Allan asked if I knew anything about fishing in Tenerife. “Nope, but I am sure there is loads on the internet” was my reply. “Well I’ve looked and can’t find anything, especially if I want to go by myself and not on an organised boat trip. You should write about it and let people know” was his comeback.
That was over 2 years ago: after finding very little on the internet, I asked on a local forum. I expected the resident anglers to be a mine of information, however, I don´t know if they don´t use the forum or they were just secretive about their hobby but the comeback was zilch. It is hard to find anything definitive on something so popular but here goes.
I will also at this point make the following disclaimer that everything I write below is hearsay, I have no personal knowledge of fishing and I am unlikely to get any. My closest encounter with fish is on a plate, preferably in batter!
The first thing I learnt was that to fish legally you need a license, how many have these can only be speculated at but seeing the number of people who use the no fishing signs to rest their tackle against I suspect the numbers are quite low.
The license can be obtained in Santa Cruz at the Oficina Multiple Usos, C / La Marina, 57 opposite the ferry port. You have to apply in person and you need to take your passport or NIE certificate. Get there in the morning as the office closes at 13:00 hours. Allow yourselves a couple of hours to complete everything or you can download the form HERE and complete in duplicate. Once the form has been completed, you will be given a payment slip to take to the bank. It costs €14.35 covers all the Canary Islands and mainland Spain and lasts for 3 years. On returning to the office, the licence will be waiting for you.
Of course, many still fish without a permit and if you are prepared to take the risk keep an eye on the Spanish – they pack up and leave as soon as they see the first signs of the law. Police checks are made on occasions and they can, if so minded, confiscate your fishing equipment as well as your catch. If you are really unlucky, you could end up with a fine of €300.
So now you are legal you want to know what to catch and where to catch it.
Fishing spots are in theory, in the most secluded places. I have heard of many in the north of the island, but because fishing is not high on my agenda, I have not made any effort to visit, I have however seen plenty here in the south and rarely have they been secluded. In most cases the fishermen can be seen packed like sardines in the ‘hot spots’ of Palm Mar and Playa San Juan.
If you walk along any coastal path you will find anglers, carrying out their pastime perched precarious above the waves on the not too comfortable weed covered rocks and gullies that form rock pools when the tide is out. How they manage to get to some of the spots is a feat in itself before they even cast a rod.
You can see them below the Barceló Santiago and beside Crab Island in Los Gigantes. It makes no difference if the sea is calm or the waves are crashing like cymbals, they will be there on an isolated rocky outcrop or the rugged stony shoreline that rises up to the jagged cliffs knowing there will be fish eating, hiding from predators and keeping out of the worst of the tidal flow among the nooks and crannies.
Many people fish by the harbour in El Medano and Puerto Colon – harbours bring relatively deep water within easy reach of the shore and there’s often plenty of sport to be had just by dropping your line into these spots. Many anglers got their first taste of sea fishing from a jetty and it’s not difficult to see why it has such a special place in their hearts.
If you know where to look in Los Cristianos they can be found but in general are hidden from the tourists’ eye. More obvious are those who claim you can catch sharks from the shore at Las Americas. Fishing from the beach – especially when it’s an attractive one, has an appeal all of its own and can often be what first lures newcomers to sea angling.
A couple of relatively isolated beaches that are worth seeking out are Diego Hernández, a small beach about two hundred meters long, with calm waters and almost entirely composed of white volcanic sand. It is located between La Caleta and El Puertito and typically is for insiders – no more than around a dozen people at any one time visit the beach in a day.
Then of course there is my Shirley Valentine Beach once here there is nothing but a few fishing boats out on the horizon and the lapping of the Atlantic to disturb the peace. Perhaps fishing as a new hobby is to be seriously considered.