Clive Bradley Went Fishing in Azores
On the bank blog
...Sadly it's our last day and we have a mornings inshore fishing arranged for us, aboard the Seazores which we find at the new marina in Ponta Delgada port. Skipper Sergio is waiting and welcomes us aboard, we tell him this is our last chance to catch something, and in his very good english he says that's no problem and he's sure we'll all get a fish. Nice to have a confident and upbeat skipper in charge, and soon we're motoring out to one of his spots.
Now this feels like a good fish and it's putting up a great fight.
We're using small diving lures which are trolled behind the boat from normal sized rods, and very kindly the lads have put me in as first to go if we get a run.
And would you believe it, after about half an hour one of the rods twitches, then pulls round, it's handed to me and I start to wind in until there's a flash of silver just under the water, then the mate grabs the line and hoists the fish into the boat. At last I've caught, and it's my first barracuda, I can't stop grinning now, and the camera's start to click.
During the next couple of hours we all get the chance to play and land almost a couple of barracuda's each, with not all making it back to the boat, as some come off during the fight, but we all get nice 'trophy' shots for the album, and all the lads are smiling now!
After a little quiet spell I'm lucky for it to be my turn again as the next take is a belter. The fish takes plenty of line and as soon as I have the rod I can feel this is different, I have to really pump and wind to gain line, with the fish easily taking some back. But after moving all round the back of the boat I finally have it alongside and we can see its another species.
Pulled on board Sergio tells us it's an Atlantic bonito and that I'm very lucky as they're usually only get caught on the North of the island, well I don't care, I just know I've never caught one before and now I have!
After another couple of barracuda have been caught we take up Sergio's suggestion of going in for lunch, where the bonito and the largest barracuda are prepared at one of the harbours restaurants. A couple of beers, a few glasses of wine, some of the tastiest fish I've ever had, and enjoyed with some new friends, finish off an amazing week.
We all agreed that the big game fishing here may be fairly well known and is probably the biggest draw, but the potential for the inland, coastal, and inshore fishing is virtually untapped and is just waiting for some opportunist anglers to open this place up.
Then again, the whole island itself is waiting to be explored with wonderful vista's at every turn.
I came here for the fishing, but ended up loving the people, their affable nature, and the incredible scenery… I'll definitely be back, and perhaps get a chance to land one of those big boys next time!