Greek LRF – The Big Lerf Weekender Part 2

Welcome back to Greek Lerfer, Alex Dounis’ account of his Big Lerf Weekender exploits. Without further adieu, I will hand over to Alex…

As day one ended with a total of 16 species, I knew that I had to change my approach for day two in order to catch a few more species. I figured that my best bet was to have an early start, before the crack of dawn, targeting false scads and sea bass on the beach. 

Alex was in paradise..

The alarm went off at 06:00 AM. I grabbed my backpack, my new Major Craft Crostage rod, a litre of water and headed to the beach. The sea was very calm, there wasn’t a single breath of wind so the conditions were not ideal for bass fishing, but if there were any scad in the area I could see them chasing baitfish from miles away.  Unfortunately I didn’t get many bites even after the sunrise. Only a couple of Lizardfish and combers were willing to take a jerkbait.

Lizardfish were happy to bite.

I moved to the rocks where the water was deeper and I could use some metal jigs.  Suddenly while the jig was bouncing between the boulders below me, I saw a small figure charging for my bait and a much bigger one right behind it! They were two different scorpion fish species, a huge black scorpion fish and a tiny madeira rockfish, both fighting for my jig. I missed the hookset three times and both fish continued to strike! After many attempts from both of them to eat it ,the black scorpion fish decided to go for my assist hook and was soon making a run for it’s hole giving me a hard time trying to pull it out and add yet another species for the event.

A huge black scorpionfish.

Fishing with hard lures that day was tough, nothing was eating but the usual suspects, Combers and Lizardfish. Twice a school of small Leeries seemed interested in my baits but never committed enough to bite. That was all the predatory fish action I got all morning. But the whole day was about to change when my girlfriend, Chrysanthi, joined to fish with me at the port. There, we were welcomed by huge shoals of damselfish (Mediterranean chromis) that were mainly tearing apart our Isome and rarely getting hooked. Among them, a few other species found our baits constantly increasing the day’s species tally. A few annular seabream , two beautiful rainbow wrasse, some black gobies and a painted comber managed to steal the bait from “The damselfish plague”.

Annular seabream

Nothing new, other than the damsels, showed up so we made another move, closer to the oldest part of the port where all the fishing boats are located. As I dropped my bait between two boats I was surprised to see a school of tiny blue runners storming my bait and sinker. It only took a slight twitch and my first ever Blue runner was on, a species I’ve always wanted to catch! After taking enough shots of the fish, both for my personal fish species list and The Big Lerf Weekender. I was soon on another one while Chrysanthi was catching annular seabream, after annular seabream, with only a colourful male rainbow wrasse breaking the “silvery” monotony.

The very scad like blue runner.
A male rainbow wrasse.

Breams, breams, breams… Monotony is a species hunter’s worst enemy and pulling up one bream after another really made me want to give up ,but I could see other species down there trying to get the Isome before the seabreams did, so I persisted until, all of a sudden, something started peeling drag and kept swimming in circles. It was a marbled spinefoot, an invasive Red Sea species but a very strong fighter for its size. Be careful while handling them, they have venomous spines everywhere. Their venom is not strong enough to stop you from fishing, but they will hurt if they get you. 

The venomous Red Sea invasive, the marbled spinefoot.

 The annular seabream bite slowed down after a while and more species started to show up. Bogue, derbio, blue runner, rainbow and ornate wrasse, white seabream, common and painted combers started to show up more frequently bringing me to a total of 13 species for the day and still had a few hours to spare.  We both got our dropshot rigs snagged on ropes and had to re-tie, this time I chose to use a Carolina rig and fish right on the bottom. This slightly different approach enticed different species of fish as well. We caught a few more rainbow wrasse and then a big parrotfish took Chrysanthi’s bait. She managed to land it without breaking my rod as she was so excited that I almost convinced her to take a photo with it but I failed. Seems like fishing with Carolina rigs gave the chance to some of the bottom feeders to bite as well, like our usual suspect, the black goby and a surprise surmullet that released itself before I could snap a second photo. 

A surmullet, a close relation of the red mullet.

To top it off, the last couple of fish were new species for the weekend as well. A common pandora and another Red sea visitor, the reticulated leatherjacket fell victims to a small piece of Isome, bringing the day’s species tally to 17 and my total for The Big Lerf Weekender to 23.

The beautiful pandora sea bream

The second day started of slow but the multispecies fishing gradually picked up as I managed to set a new personal best record for the most species caught on artificial baits in one day. But ending day two on 23 species posed another challenge for me, I felt the urge to catch at least 7 more species before 6:00PM on Sunday…

A species of triggerfish, the reticulated leatherjacket.

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