Tenerife fish of the sea are varied in species, from tiny rock-pool dwelling fish such as blennies and gobies, to the giant offshore varieties such as sharks, tuna and wahoo. When you visit Tenerife, you can either fish by yourself around the many rock marks and beaches or go out on a scheduled charter boat. Whichever you choose, there are plenty of fish that you can catch whilst you are staying on the island.
Shore-Fishing: What Tenerife Fish You Can Catch
If you decide to fish in Tenerife from the shore, there is a vast variety of fish that you can catch, either by using bait or lures. Large fish can be caught from the beach and rock marks, but in general it will be the smaller species that you encounter. We will now take a look at the more common species of Tenerife fish that you are likely to catch when fishing from the shore.
Ornate Wrasse: The Ornate Wrasse is one of the Tenerife fish that are relatively easy to catch. You will find them living in various sized groups around rock marks, harbour walls and even in rock pools. These Wrasse are not fussy eaters and you can catch them float fishing with baits such as bread, prawn, mussel, squid and even strips of ham. You can also catch these fish on artificial baits. Small 2” lures such as the grass minnow and some worm rigged on a small size 10 jig head will take fish. With them living in groups, if you catch one you should catch plenty more. They grow to around 20cm in length and will fight hard on light tackle.
Madeira Rockfish: The first thing that I will say about this Tenerife fish, is to be very careful when you handle them. They have a sharp, spiky dorsal fin which is very venomous. They can be found in shallow water, living amongst rocks and boulders. The fish are ambush predators which stay hidden away until a food source passes. The clever fish will shoot out from their rocky lair, ambush the food item and return to their home. Bait fishing will catch the odd fish, but generally you need to use small 2” lures and work them amongst the rocks and boulders to catch them.
Blennies and Gobies: We have put these two fish together as one because these Tenerife fish live in the same type of area and consume the same sorts of food. They will inhabit very shallow water and live amongst any structure such as rocks and weed that makes them feel safe. By far the best place to catch these though is in the many large rock pools that can be found in the area. Use small hooks around the size 10 mark and using small pieces of bait such as squid, prawn, mussel and bread will enable you catch these fish. As well as bait, try small lures around the 1.5”-2” mark. These are a very common Tenerife fish that are easy to catch and a large rock pool will hold numerous fish.
Pufferfish: These are quite common around the Canary Islands and can often be seen in the clear water swimming around. Catching them is relatively straight forward. You will need really small hooks, sizes around the 12-14 mark being ideal. Small bits of bait such as squid, mussel, cockle and prawn will work as will small pieces of bread. Float fishing for them is the best method, although small lures can be used. The best place to catch these is around the rocks or from the beach.
Damsel Fish: Another common type of Tenerife fish is the Blue Finned Damsel. These can often be seen swimming in small groups around rock pools, close to rocks and around the outer walls of marinas. Similar to the pufferfish, they have very small mouths so baits and hooks need to be small. Size 10-14 hooks with tiny pieces of squid, prawn or mussel will work, but the easiest and most commonly available bait is bread. These fish aren’t really predatory, so lures aren’t worth using.
Mullet: Mullet can be seen swimming in large shoals in sheltered water around the marinas, beaches and large rock pools. These are by far the trickiest Tenerife fish to catch. Use tiny hooks and fine line to try and catch these wary fish. Introduce lots of bread in the water and get the shoal feeding before trying to catch one. Small hooks around the size 10 mark with a tiny piece of bread on is by far the best method, although free lining will work. You don’t want any weight near the hook, you need your bait to sink naturally. They have soft moves, so don’t strike too hard.
Barracuda: The barracuda is an out and out predator with its diet consisting of predominantly other fish. Although these fish can grow to 20lbs plus in weight, lots of smaller juveniles can be caught from the beach and rock marks. Although using a live bait will work, by far the best method to catch this Tenerife fish is to use lures. Hard lures such as crank-baits, poppers, spinners and spoons are by far the best types to use. You must remember though to use a fine wire trace as the sharp teeth of the barracuda will make short work of normal fishing line.
Lizardfish: Another Tenerife fish that takes a liking to the various hard lures are lizardfish.
Similar to the barracuda, these fish are an out and out predator that consume other fish. They lie buried in the sand with just their eyes poking out and wait for any small fish to pass by. They then shoot upwards, grab their prey and return to the bottom.
These fish will take a lure almost as big as themselves, with the majority being caught whilst fishing for barracuda. They posses a good set of needle sharp teeth, so care must be taken when un-hooking.
Other Species: The fish listed above are the most popular and easiest of fish to catch from the shore in Tenerife.
There are, though, lots of other types of Tenerife fish that you can catch from the shore such as bonito, rays, gars, dorada and colourful reef fish.
Photo Credits: Text and photos by Damion Fryer. You can follow him on Facebook to see what he’s up to: https://www.facebook.com/Coastaltackleuk