Corfu LRF

If you've seen my Bluefish blog you will already know that i have recently returned from a family holiday to Corfu, much the same as previous holidays i took two rods with me in my suitcase and an array of light game/ LRF tackle incase the opportunity to fish presented itself to me.


The first fishing opportunity presented itself on the day we landed, down the end of the lane from our AirBnB there was a small fishing harbour and locals beach, it consisted of a shallow harbour, rocky sea defence on the outer wall and some shallow reef which i have to say seems to be typical around most of the small harbours i've fished in Crete before.


I started around 4pm and it was bright, very hot and there wasn't much showing in the clear bits of water so i focused my attention around the boats in the marina. I started off big rather than scratching and was using a Major Craft Nano Rubber which i was working around the shadows hoping for bream, grouper or comber. It was an over confident Black Goby that fell to the lure first and opened my Corfu account.



After some searching under the boats and no real commitments i decided to switch it up, there was a heavy cross wind building and it wasn't easy to work the 1.5g lure so i went to a drop shot rig with a 3g tungsten weight searching the darker, deeper spots at range in the harbour. My rig here is a simple size 14 Owner Mosquito hook fished 12" above a 3g tungsten weight with a small section of white Marukyu Power Isome.


First cast i hit into an annular bream which was followed by another then another, it was clear i'd found a shoal which was a nice bonus, i really enjoy catching small bream on LRF tackle.




After this i saw some fish under my feet, i had a quick dibble around and found what i believe to be an East Atlantic Peacock Wrasse albeit a tiny one, species 3 in the bag regardless.


After this i decided to switch it up again and fished the same drop shot rig towards the rocky sea wall over some shallow craggy ground, i was instantly rewarded with a gilthead bream.




I tried a few soft plastics on jig heads after playing with the gilts but suffered lures being bitten in half by the bream, i saw a larger fish swimming with something in it's mouth in the harbour but couldn't ID it, at this point i'd about had it with the heat and the harbour so decided to look at the outer wall.





I wanted to try the shallow craggy ground on the outer, beach side of the harbour with small cranks and soft plastics for grouper and comber, if you see the area circled in red this is shallow hard ground, you can use Google maps in advance of your trips to identify these spots if you are stuck for time to focus in your attention to the right spots for the right species. I know hard ground shallow inshore like this is good for the Grouper/ Comber etc from previous sessions and always like to try it.


Whilst on this spot I bumped into a Greek angler fishing LRF at this point and although he spoke very little English between my limited Greek and his limited English we admired each others kit and set about catching a few of these little Gold Blotch Grouper. A simple rig really, small pink 1.5" soft plastic paddle tail mounted on a jighead fished with twitches of the rod tip as close as we dared to the rocks.



After a lovely time the heat, my tiredness and my hunger got the better of me so i bid farewell to my new friend after exchanging Instagram handles and then went off to dinner.


5 species after session 1, i was happy with this though i was now wondering what i was going to do for the rest of the holiday, could i go on a mega hunt or would it be much of the same.


Lefkimmi River


On the evening we decided to go out for dinner and headed to the beautiful river at Lefkimmi, we enjoyed a pizza and a cold beer whilst relaxing in the shade and welcoming the evening breeze, naturally being an angler i looked to the river and could see the odd shoal of small mullet, there is no fishing on this part of the river but i couldn't resist dropping some pizza crust into the river. The mullet started to appear from everywhere and i'd built up a shoal of 100's of fish, i could see some bigger shapes below them so I dropped in some bigger crust and it was smashed off the surface, bass, big bloody bass, i dropped another in, bass. There were a number of bass ranging from 50 to 80cm cruising in this river and they were hungry for anything!

I managed to get a few short clips of the fish swimming around, it really was impressive but difficult to catch them on camera, i really enjoyed seeing them even though i knew i couldn't fish for them - seeing them feed on the mullet after as light slipped away completely was really was impressive.

It's rare to see fish this size in Greek inshore waters and i can only think the safe haven of the river has allowed them to grow to this size.


Holiday Vibes

The first few days consisted of beach, taverna, frappe and ice creams, it's all a bit of a blur looking back but keeping on track looking at my photos i know that i got up early the next morning and headed back to the marina, i had some gold blotch grouper over the same spot on metals and then painted comber on small Ecogear crankbaits.





On the rocks outside of the harbour i had a juvenile white sea bream and a lot more annular sea bream.



From this point it all gets a bit holiday like in my photo gallery, beach, beers, BBQ and gyros, one of the best things about having an AirBnB with a BBQ is being able to chill with a few beers, good music and lovely food, a BBQ is something i long for in the UK.




I started to work my way north up the East Coast on my short sessions as the days went on and fished a number of marks as i happened to come across them.


The first shown here was a windy bay with some reef, the short video gives my thought process and though it's hard to see without polarised glasses i am looking at the craggy reefs and onshore winds as somewhere i think fish will be. As it happens i didn't catch much at this spot, just painted comber but it's worth a quick look as i re-visit this spot with less wind a few days later.



I moved up the coast to the next bay which was beautiful, it reminded me of Fowey in Cornwall on one bank with a wonderful panorama of the Greece mainland in the distance i thought it was perfect for a quick chuck.


I'm glad i stopped as i had a bunch of painted comber.

I also had Annular and Gilthead bream from this rocky outcrop along with my first Rainbow Wrasse of the trip but the sport from the bream and Painted Comber was the highlight of this mark.


All a blur


From this point on the holiday takes a turn, I get completely carried away with Bluefish and the rest of my fishing becomes even more opportunistic dedicating most the time to that species.


I found a really cool tackle shop on the edge of Corfu town that had a stack of LRF metals, Isome, Duo Tetra and some other cool LRF kit even some UK based HTO which was surprising.




I caught a few cool bits like mullet on Ecogear Aqua fished on a tungsten cheb and also a box lipped mullet on an Aquawave Mushi rigged on a tiny 97 Tungsten fluro jig head, some of these fish put up such a good fight on the UL Major Craft Crostage LRF travel rod.




Whilst waiting for the 'Bluefish bite' i had a scratch around with this Aquawave/ 97 Tungsten combo and was really pleased to find this boxed lip mullet. Aquawave lures are a godsend in the Med' where everything seems to have sharp teeth and wants to destroy your soft lures, the Aquawave lures are made from a 'stretchy' material and are a lot more resilient to tears and are very hard to pull off the hook or bite in half which is a normal problem out there.


Channelling this idea i cut a small section of white straight ribbed worm off of one of the Aquawave lures in my bag and put it on my drop shot rig for bream, it worked a treat and was a lot more efficient than the Isome and other soft plastics which would last 1 fish max.



I also paid a bit of attention to the small Major Craft skirted Nano Rubber, this small skirted jig from MC is really different, it's like a Tenya/ Kabura jig that we use from the boat but finessed down and looks like a small octopus when being swam/ hopped back.





The fish seemed to love it and i loved fishing them.


The wrasse as expected hoovered them up but even the bream were keen, this was the most pure way of fishing for me and it was infinitely pleasing.



It wasn't just bream and wrasse though the Painted Comber also loved them.




The metal action wasn't as lively as I've found before but then my own times of day and application was very different to my normal holiday sessions with the focus on one specific species but i did catch a few fish on metals.


The small grouper loved the jig with the blade attached, I know some don't like trebles on jigs, I'm on the fence with it, i don't mind them for garfish and bass at home and equally they're decent in Europe with the rockfish but I'll swap this out for normal assists back home



There was also some 'Normal' metal work.

I also done a bit of wet wading to fish to reefs i couldn't reach from beaches, there were no big fish about but lots of tail nips, lures ripped in half and telltale teeth marks on my soft plastics, normal metals weren't scoring either so i switched to a small metal with a worm hook trailer and dressed them firstly with Isome which quickly converted the bites into fish.

I then switched to an Aquawave worm trailer which gave me more longevity with the worm.


Summary


Having spent the last 9 holidays in Crete my knowledge of fishing in Greece was fairly robust but from a species hunt perspective not every reef or mark fished the same as I'd expect, I liked this though as it challenged my thoughts and meant i had to adapt to find fish.


Corfu was an beautiful island, great people and some fantastic fishing, it's somewhere i think I'd like to travel to out of season when the bigger Bluefish were around, if you missed the Bluefish blog check it out here


The Corfu waters were rich with small fish, I was blown away at the sheer number and variety of bream everywhere i went, knowing how much pressure the fish have commercially from fishermen this was lovely to see.


I know for certain that I left certain species out there but it gives me something to go at next time and I like that, I focused my fishing on the South and East of the island but next time we'll see more of the North and deeper beaches on the West of the island.


Next time I'll take a better assortment of Aquawave lures and spend more time on the open water from the beach which I love overseas, I didn't do enough this year.


If you're thinking of a new 'holiday' destination and like the sound of Corfu i'd highly recommend it!


As always, thanks for reading.


If you're interested in more photos check out the gallery below




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