Tarifa, Strait of Gibraltar (ES)
If to the Greeks the Strait of Gibraltar was the end of the known world, the last frontier, beyond which was unknown and frightful, for those that love sport fishing, this is probably the best place for fishing on the Spanish Peninsula. The enormous underwater mountains, strong currents, and harsh weather conditions never allowed these waters to be overfished. For this reason, the Straight is considered an authentic nursery, a place where you can still fish for large grouper, amberjack, red porgy, pink dentex, dentex, and tuna among others.
In the Strait of Gibraltar, the waters of the Mediterranean collide with the waters from the Atlantic. The first ones - colder and saltier which are heavier- have deep currents that leave the Mediterranean. The Atlantic waters- warmer and less dense- enter the Mediterranean on the surface. The movements of these horizontal waters are also affected by enormous underwater mountains: the collision with these mountains forces the water to rise over them, creating vertical turbulent currents, sometimes visible on the surface.
The relief of the Spanish and Moroccan coastline serve as a funnel, channeling the wind and sea currents. Very often, the western or the eastern winds blow brutally in the strait, while 20 miles out the wind might be very light. There are many days that the wind reaches 50 knots, as if punishing this area and making it impossible to fish.
As we were saying, the Strait is probably best fishing spot on the Peninsula. An area that has never been over-exploited by industrial fishing due to geographical and environmental factors; the Strait is a magnet for marine life.
The Strait of Gibraltar is a mandatory step for migratory marine species such as the bluefin tuna.
The prevailing strong currents around here sometimes reach 5 knots. On the one hand, it makes fishing difficult, but on the other, it provides a great amount of food for small fish, which in turn attracts our preferred prey. The depths vary drastically. The depths, huge boulders, rocky and sandy areas provide shelter to many large predators such as the Moroccan dentex, grouper, red porgy, black spot sea bream, Atlantic wreckfish, and amberjack. The threshold of Camarinal situated next to Banco de Majuán, has a depth of 280 meters, while just outside the Bay of Algeciras there are depths of 1000 meters. Other interesting spots for fishing are Punta Carnero, Guadalmesi, Punta de Oliveros, the ‘bajo de la Aceitera,’ the ‘bajo de Los Cabezos’ in front of Punta Paloma, Bolonia, Perejil Island, etc.
You can practice coastal and deep sea trolling; big game trolling catches giant tuna, swordfish, and marlin; deep sea fishing can also be done by, jigging, spinning and more.
The Strait is a haven for jigging lovers. There are plenty of boulders and stones abundant with large predators. It is best to fish in sea bottoms of 30-50-80 meters; greater depths can also be fished, but the strong currents force us to use heavy jigs 350 grams and 500 grams. Spinning is also successful in this area. We have caught many nice Atlantic bonitos, amberjacks, and bluefish with poppers and other top water walkers.
There is plenty of fish in the Strait of Gibraltar, but fishing is not always easy. We must be very well informed about the weather: the day may start out calm and sunny, but very quickly it can become very windy as strong as 50 knots, which has caused more than enough distress. Is necessary to know the tides and currents; in addition, one must always be watching out for the large amount of maritime traffic passing through the strait, and of course, you need to know where the good areas are. For all these reasons, it is very important to have the experience of a good skipper.
Throughout the centuries, the name of the strait has kept changing with the passing of different Phoenician, Greek, Roman, and Muslim colonies. The straight used to be known (respectively) as the Columns of Melkart, later as the Columns of Hercules. According to Greek mythology, it was Hercules who separated the Rock of Gibraltar from Monte Hacho (Ceuta) and installed two pillars to commemorate his battles against the massive giant named Geryon. In reality, the Greeks considered the Strait of Gibraltar as the end of the known world although they knew the Mediterranean very well; it symbolized the end of the known world and they feared it. The current name of the Strait of Gibraltar comes from the Arabic invasions, Gibraltar means ‘rock of the General Tarek’ (Gibr-al-Tarek).
The Dentex (Dentex dentex) grows up to1m (3 ft) and 16 kg (35 lb). Common in the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. He likes sandy & rocky areas up to 200m (700ft). Trolling or drifting with life bait are best, jigging is also a great technique.
The Pink Dentex (Dentex gibbosus) - distribution from Portugal to Angola, Mediterranean Sea and Canary Islands. Best Techniques to catch are live bait or jigging.
Also known as Mahi Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus)
Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) are one of the finest sport fishing species. One of the best techniques used to fish them is trolling, especially using artificial lures and natural bait such as small barracuda or garfish. Another technique to try is to fish using a boat in well-known areas, trying to provoke the fish to take a bite with stick baits, lures or poppers.
Gilt-head Sea Bream (Sparus aurata)
Little tunny or False Albacore (Euthynnus alletteratus)
The Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) is a pelagic fish that can grow up to 500kg (1000lb). The biggest Bluefin Tuna every caught was 780kg (1496lb). These great fighters can be caught trolling, jigging, casting or drifting mainly in off-shore.
You need a fishing license to fish in fresh water and salt water. The fishing charters normally have the fishing license included in the price, so you don't need to buy one if you're chartering a boat.