The trolling of the bluefish

(German version is under translation)

This fish is very common in the Northeast Atlantic and can be caught all year round by the shores of La Gomera, including in the waters of Valle Gran Rey. Its taste is delicious.

I caught several 7-8 kg heavy bluefishes, all from a boat and using the trolling technique. This fish is a fighter! After taking the bait, it jumps out a lot of times, raises itself to get rid of the hook. Unfortunately, when the line is not completely taut or the hook did not pierce well enough, the fish will manage to escape.  Therefore, the golden rule of fishing still applies in this case: When fighting you should always try hard to keep your line taut. After it has taken the bait, try your best to pull it to the upper water layers. Don’t let it return deep because the sharp reefs can easily cut our line.

When I started to fish here I used wobblers to troll as others recommended. I chose two popular and well-tried brands. For the upper layers of the water, farther from the boat, I used small plug lures, Yozuri 3D Crystal Minnow; while for the closer deeper water layers I used big plug lures, Rapala X-rap Magnum 30.

I hauled them at the classic speed of 4 kn by the shores and, to be honest, I wasn’t very successful. I was unable to take a liking to these artificial lures and it hasn’t changed yet. I couldn’t forget my idea that it was only visually appealing for the fish. However, if I use natural bait, the smell will attract the species from far.

So I turned to the trolling technique with dead baits. It was a good decision; I became a lot more efficient. I looked up “dead bait rig” on YouTube and I got a good range of solutions (this applies for ballyhoo). I kept and I found the “predapro.com” website and a small tool that helps to assemble this rig (I use the size 2). The small weight on the bottom of this tool hinders the bait from twisting like a propeller and it also ensures that it will swim nicely.  

At the beginning I used a simple hook (J hook 5/0, 6/0) to thread the baitfish, leaving his tail free and it would swim spectacularly. But I had some bad experiences when the fish bit it and broke it in two, taking down the lower part of the bait.

So, I made a compromise and threaded the hook through the anus and tail of the bait (I use wire because of the sharp teeth of the fish) to its stomach behind the bottom fins. In the middle, I put a triple hook, so I reduced the empty bites very much although it doesn’t swim that well and it looks like a wobbler. (See photo)

Since I troll with two rods, I worked out a combination for the second which is a small octopus or a squid. (See the photos – in the last one it has a bandage protecting it from the small fishes). I troll at 3.5-4 kn speed by the shores and you can speed up to 6-7 kn in open water. The boats for rent can achieve this speed without difficulty.

You can find hammerheads around La Gomera, yes, around Valle Gran Rey too. Although these sharks take the bait at slower speeds, 2-3 kn.

Find your honey hole!