Amberjack fly fishing (Mediterranean Sea)
After few stormy days with a rough sea, the weather begins to improve. The waves are losing energy and soon it will be possible to go out with the boat and the fly rod.
After the stormy days, while the flamingos kept feeding undisturbed in their sheltered lagoon, the seagulls have been picking at some beached flying fish.
The days are still warm. At the beach one could think it is summer. Lying in the sun and bathing in the sea is awesome. The juicy, plump green olives will soon turn mauve-tinged and start to ripe. This is the time when the pelagic fish begin to come closer to the coast.
The amberjack (Seriola dumerili) is the largest Carangidae in the Mediterranean. It can grow up to 60 and more kilos and it represents a sort of "giant trevally" of the European continent. The largest sizes will not be a realistic ambition for the fly angler since they tend to station in the depth. However, exemplars of 5 to 10 kilos are in range for the fly caster.
I'm lucky enough to immediately hit the right fly, a bright green sardina-popper on a saltwater 2/0 hook and the bites don't let me wait for long.
The first small amberjack regain freedom. With a 12 weight rod I am aware to be fishing a bit over-dimensioned, but with a good reason. Last week in this area a 8 kg amberjeck was caught on a squid pattern. I want to take no risk.
The meadow of neptune grass are here full of small sized amberjack. In the wake of the fish that I fight I often see other amberjack following. I never drop the anchor on this type of bottom for it may be damaging the delicate ecosystem. I turn off the motor and let the boat drift. Of course, pay attention to outcropping rocks and shoals.
Before venturing out on a boat, it is paramount to study the bathymetry of the area on the map, to know which are the zones where we will have a chance to find fish. Searching bottoms with rock structures in depths between 10 and 30 meters or close to the drop off is usually a good choice.
I hit another hot spot and catch some decent amberjack. No big stuff, but strong and powerful fish.
When moving from spot to spot I try when possible to let the fly troll in the water, 15 to 20 meter from the boat. At times an attack may reveal a good area for which it is worth to stop and search the zone with popper or streamer.
At sunset I begin to enter into the perspective of doing the last casts and then to head to the harbor when the reel starts screaming. My first reaction is to try to palm the spool, which only results in getting badly beaten on the knuckles. I have to switch the hand rod holding and act on the break knob. It is a good fish! Beware Mediterranean fishing can get you addicted.
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