Sport fishing in the Canaries (Lanzarote – Playa Blanca): Interview with Oscar Fernández de Pinedo from Rubicón Fishing
Lanzarote, besides being famous for its landscape and climate, is also a very popular sport fishing destination. The richness and variety of its Atlantic waters, as well as its benign climate allowing for year-round fishing, make the island one of the favourite destinations for enthusiasts of this fascinating sporting discipline.
Oscar, how did you get into fishing and how come you ended up in Lanzarote”?
I’ve actually been fishing since I was a child. Most of my childhood photos show me with rod in hand, either out at sea or in rivers and reservoirs, both in the sun and snow, lying in wait for trout or whatever I could get hold of.
I came to Lanzarote attracted by its sea and great climate, having been born in Vitoria in northern Spain.
You regularly fish in Lanzarote. What local attractions would you highlight to encourage people to come and fish here?
Lanzarote, given its shape and the trade winds, is naturally sheltered, which makes professional fishing less intensive than on other islands, so fish regenerate under less pressure. There are truly virgin areas, and depending on the season we can catch all types of species.
Do we need experience to go out fishing with you? What should we take if we come and fish with you?
We offer all types of fishing trips and for all levels, so you can have your first ever boat-based fishing experience for little money. On the boat, we have all the necessary material, as well as full insurance and a professional crew.
What services does your company Rubicón Fishing offer? And what memories do you think fishermen take away with them after sharing a day’s fishing with you?
We offer offshore fishing, jigging, coastal and offshore trolling, deep sea fishing and – the jewel in the crown – fishing in the Marine Reserve.
As for memories, the sunset over Isla Alegranza, in company of friends after an intense day and savouring some seafood and fresh fish washed down by a local wine, is an unforgettable experience.
A sailor once said to me that a workman is more important than his tools. In sport fishing, do you think that material, the boat, tackle, electronics, etc., are more important than the fisherman?
The skipper, the equipment and the fisherman are equally important. If one of them fails, then things begin to get complicated, especially when it comes to big game fishing.
How would you define the profile of fishermen who typically visit you?
They come with lots of expectations about Lanzarote, but often haven’t received the right information at home and get the seasons mixed up. For example, it would be very difficult to catch a marlin in February.
Oscar, you’ve got a great sporting track record. Tell us a bit about your experience in fishing tournaments and whether you’ll continue to promote tournaments at Marina Rubicón – Lanzarote…
I actually stopped doing all the tournaments on the circuit a few years ago. We did win some marlin and wahoo tournaments, and we hold two IGFA world records on board Aura Marina, with a third pending verification. We’re working towards holding the fourth edition of the RUBICON FISHING JIGGING RECORD, but there are quite a few problems given the global crisis.
Lanzarote has a warm climate all year round, but there are more optimum periods for each species and fishing technique. Which would you highlight?
For offshore fishing, marlin, wahoo, etc., September, October and November. The rest of the year is better for different types of jigging and deep sea fishing.
With environmental awareness and respect growing day by day, what would you say to those people who still believe that sport fishing hampers the survival of marine species?
Sport fishing is regulated, so with a licence you can catch fish up to 5kg, but larger catches are photographed and then released back into the sea. As sport fishermen, we work alongside patrol boats and the Ministry of the Environment to control poaching. There’s still a major lack of awareness about this issue.
What’s your opinion on catch and release fishing?
I do it, except for deep-sea fish that already harmed and have some sort of gastronomic value. If so, we or our clients eat them. By law, we release longnose gars or sharks that accidentally bite our bait. I also respect skippers who decide to catch marlins, as it is totally legal if you have the right government licences to do so.
You recently renewed your fleet and took on a powerful fishing boat called Aura Marina. Can you tell us about her specifications?
She is a classic 15.5-metre Hatteras 45′ sportsfisher, with a 4.42-metre beam and a deep V-shaped hull. She boasts three cabins, saloon, galley, air-conditioning and two heads, so this season many of our clients are sleeping on board as well.
We can’t go without asking you the typical question every fisherman hears: what was your biggest catch and what was your best experience fishing?
A 380kg blue marlin using the stand-up technique with a rod, reel and 80lb line, which was then released.
I’ve fished in many countries around the world and my best experiences, with marlins, tuna and peacock wrasses, have been in Alegranza, (north of Lanzarote), with my children and friends.
We thank Oscar for giving us this interview and we’d like to encourage all our guests to come and share with this great fisherman all the secrets of this island, one of the best fishing destinations in the world. NauticOcean includes this activity in its Nautical Plans to combine accommodation and fishing if you plan to come and enjoy fishing in Lanzarote.
What better way to end than watching one of Oscar’s latest videos set in Lanzarote.
Thank you very much… and enjoy fishing!