LRF Derbio

Just returned from a week’s holiday in Crete, based to the west of Chania on the north coast. Fishing time was very limited but I managed to have a daytime session fishing around the little harbour that has the picturesque Church of Agios on the end.

Being September, I’d prepared myself to encounter less bream species and more pelagics due to the high water temperature. These faster, free-swimming species react better to darting soft-plastic lures, metals and hardbaits.

Sure enough, on my first stroll around the little harbour it was evident there was a ton of this year’s fry sheltering around the moored boats. First lure on was the Aquawave Spark 40 darting lure, mounted on a 3 gram darting head. The water was gin-clear. In these tough conditions, and especially around popular fishing locations like this, I find that fish can easily see static lines. Even as thin as 3lb fluorocarbon. Which means my favoured methods are faster, looking for reaction bites where the fish don’t have enough time to ponder whether the prey is real or not. It limits the possible species, but it’s normally a really fun way of fishing.

Using the tubular tip of my HTO Rock Rover travel rod to better impart the required darting action, the first fish was a small barracuda. Not a fish I encounter all that often and a particularly fine looking example with its clear barring down the flank. I might have predicted that this would be the first catch being, probably the most aggressive predator in the area.

Next up was a nice little Derbio. A real speed demon of the Mediterranean and a fish you’re likely to encounter fishing a fast lure in the upper water column.

After failing to catch one of the many small garfish patrolling the area I decided to slow down the jerking action of the Spark 40 and let it sink a little. After a few casts, fanning one particular area, I had a solid hit which resulted in a small Goldblotch Grouper. The fish had been sat at the very top of a rock bar that rose up close to the surface of the water, hoping to ambush any passing prey. Being so visual, it was a satisfying catch.

Once the activity dried up I switched over to a smaller lure to try and tempt something else. This time a 3g HTO Tic Tac metal jig with a small assist hook. There wasn’t too much activity to be honest, but eventually I managed to catch a small fish and was delighted to find it was a little Blue Runner – possibly a new species for me. It became apparent why the usual mini species were distracted, as the the fish had a pretty sizeable bite mark down its flank from a previous close encounter. As did the Derbio from earlier.

That’s all I could muster this trip, but as ever it was lovely to be able to target fish in clear water with active methods. I’ll never tire of that.