Two of my favorite activities in the same day – a first! And both were great to do even if I didn’t see anything remarkable underwater nor if I didn’t catch anything super amazing. It was more of the strain on time and energy that makes doing both on the same day that be quite difficult so usually I have to pick one activity or the other. But not on this day. Why make such difficult decisions of deciding which activity to do when I can both!
The morning started by going to the dive shop to get introduced, do the paperwork, and then gear up before we head out on the water to start diving. First stop to a ship wreck! And wrecks generally have a lot of sea life to offer to the scuba diver. Lots of places to hide for the fish and whatever lurking in the area.
Second dive was along some rock valleys which also can produce a lot of wildlife as well since the rocks will generally have some kind of formation that has some kind of small caves or tunnels. This allows a lot of sea creatures great places to hide and form a home out of them.
After returning from scuba diving, I had a quick bite to eat before I headed off to another close-by marina with another boat in it, ready to take me FISHING! The last time I went fishing in salt water, I only caught one sea-run brown trout, but I feel that my luck has changed for the better since catching all those fish in England including that pig of a 12 pounder rainbow trout!
After getting on the boat, I had the distinct knowledge of what was underwater in terms of fish, wildlife, what the bottom looks like, etc. so I was hoping to use that to my advantage in what I was hoping for in catching a big fish. I didn’t want to come all this way to the Azores to catch nothing and because big-game fishing was not on, I had a good chance of hooking and catching smaller fish by fishing on the rocks. And after what I saw during the scuba diving earlier in the day, I knew that I had a good chance even if that 10 kg+ (20+ pounds) grouper that I saw earlier wouldn’t come out to play.
At first, it was slow since I had plenty of bites but no lands. Then after catching a few really small fish, I got the technique down as it’s almost like rockfishing back in California but fish mouths are a bit smaller, making it harder to hook. That’s when I started in hooking and landing a bunch of fish to where they even got bigger and bigger.
Eventually, the hard work and patience paid off as I was just standing there looking at some birds until something big grabbed my baited hook hard. This was unlike any fish that I hooked earlier as it felt heavy. After some grinding on the fish reel, I eventually found out that I hooked an Amberjack, the first one in my life and I landed it! Whoo hoo hoo! It wasn’t the huge Grouper that I was looking for but man, I had a great fight with this Amberjack as it was a tough-fighting fish because of its sheer force and will of wanting to dive deeper to get away, making it feel as if the fish were a really heavy fish.
All in all, it was an awesome day! Lots of fun with the two water activities of scuba diving and fishing combined in one day. I would not have it any other way! And the best thing at the end of the day was getting my fish grilled for dinner!
Tip: Fishing during the high season (June – August) can produce a lot of big game fish aka Marlin, Swordfish, Mahi Mahi, Tuna, etc. But that also means a lot of tourists coming into town meaning that there is a lot of competition for fishing reservations. Off-seasons can be better in terms of acquiring fishing reservations but the fishing can be hit or miss.
Oceantur Sportfishing Azores