Greek LRF – The Big Lerf Weekender Part 3

Welcome back to Greek Lerfer, Alex Dounis’ account of his Big Lerf Weekender exploits. This is the final instalment of his weekend and is all about his drive to finish on 30 species….

Pleased with my performance on the previous two days, I decided to give my self a small break and set an achievable goal of reaching 30 species, meaning I now needed to catch 7 more.  I got familiar with the area I was fishing the previous days, so I had a game plan already made in my head.

Flounders and razorfish were abundant so it would be easy to target them on the sandy patches while wrasse, bream and gobies would probably be close to rocky structures and seagrass patches. Knowing where exactly those types of habitat were I wasted no time. I tried to make precise casts with a dropshot rig and tiny pieces of isome and immediately was rewarded.

The oddly beautiful pearly razorfish.

 After catching a few more razorfish (including one 24 cm long and 5 cm tall!), I slowed down my retrieve even more trying to get a wide-eyed flounder but to no avail… The only thing I managed to get on my hook was small pieces of aquatic vegetation, until after many unproductive casts a tiny fish came along amongst the seaweed and it was actually hooked in the mouth! The smallest brown comber (Serranus hepatus) I’ve ever caught!

A baby brown comber.

Catching a flounder seemed unlikely at this point. Only black gobies and annular seabreams went for the bait so I tried for wrasse near the rocks. And indeed many wrasses were caught but only two repeat species , the ornate wrasse and the Mediterranean rainbow wrasse occasionally catching a comber or two to break the monotony. But sometimes you just need to get through all those aggressive species to get to the more finicky ones so I was not ready to give up yet. Many rainbow wrasse later two new species showed up on consecutive casts! A gorgeous common two-banded seabream and an axillary wrasse were caught one after another! 

A two banded sea bream
A rather lovely axillary wrasse.

I was fishing for two days straight and had yet to actively target my signature species, gobies and blennies so I decided to just sight fish for a bit. Rusty blennies and incognito gobies where everywhere but I couldn’t make the rusties eat to save my life and decided to avoid incognito gobies for now. Giant gobies were very spooky that day so I had only three more common species I could look for – tompot blenny, rock goby and slender goby. Tompots and rocks had already been caught from almost every angler in the UK leaving me with only one option, to catch a slender goby. A tough fish to sight fish for as they can be found at depths greater than two meters but luckily for my they are both abundant and aggressive. It did not take long after I saw a goby looking figure on the bottom and a slender goby was added to the tally bringing me to 28 species. 

The slender goby.

Poros island is now home to many invasive species from the Red sea and along with them there’s one of my favourite species. Pteragogus trispilus, this fish doesn’t even have a scientific name but it is very small, very aggressive and very cool looking. I knew exactly where to find one, or a dozen, but I didn’t know how to catch one from the beach. Luckily the event was held in September and its still considered summer in Greece so I waded in chest deep water and got right on top of the fish. It did not take long to get their attention but they easily tore apart my isome. It did take a few tries to get one but eventually an awesome specimen was landed and the 29th species was caught. At that point I was exhausted and in desperate need of sleep so I had to soon stop fishing even though I had 4 more hours until 6 but I also wanted to catch one more species to reach 30. And as always the old reliable was there for me! Right in front of me an Incognito goby was almost on my feet and saved me plenty of time as it ate the isome as soon as it got to the bottom and marked the end of the best fishing weekend I’ve ever had!

Another Red Sea invasive species without even a common name!
The incognito goby.

I would like to congratulate Joe, Rich and Ben for organising this amazing event and thank them for uniting us all and bringing us closer through something we all love, Light Rock Fishing!!! I hope I’ll be able to meet everyone who took part in this awesome weekend in the future and fish with you again on the next BIG LERF.

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