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The story of a fishing addict

The story of a fishing addict – by BRETT ASHMORE

Over the years, like most people, I have tried all sorts of different sports and I have to admit I even played golf for a few years.

Then one day, many years ago, I went deep-sea fishing and I couldn’t describe the thrill of having a huge ‘bite’, not knowing what was going to appear from the water when you finally hauled it up from the depths – if indeed you did.

Sometimes, the ‘snap’ when the line broke, and you knew it was a heavy fish, sank right through to your soul but it was still a thrill.

Unfortunately, living in the heart of England then, my visits to the coast were too few and far between. Now however, living in Lagos, access to a boat is a must.

At this point, I must mention that the Portuguese rules regarding safety at sea are quite strict and although sometimes frustrating, remember the rules are there for our safety and there is not one regulation that I consider unnecessary.

Back in September 2011, I was fortunate to have been invited by Paul Hockenhull, owner of the Lecas, to be part of his team on the Big Game Fishing Tournament being organised through Clube de Vela de Lagos.

We successfully hooked a White Marlin among other species and on arrival back to Lagos found that we had actually won the competition. That was such a fantastic end to a great day!

When you hear that huge bronze reel start clicking away and then suddenly the line runs off screaming, like something from a Jaws movie, the adrenaline rush is unbelievable.

The marlin dives and then leaps from the water and it’s a battle to get him to the boat.

Once this lovely creature is at the boat, he is released from the lure and photographed while being held firmly until he regains his bearings and strength. Then with grace he moves off, back into the deep, unharmed – maybe we will see him again, perhaps next year with a little luck.

We were lucky to have had Falcão, a very experienced Portuguese fisherman with us and learnt so much from him.

Last month, the Lecas Team entered the new Bottom Fishing Tournament and we took first place for best specimen fish, a 4.5 kilogram Red Snapper, and also received second place for best individual weight and fourth overall.

June brings another Lagos tournament and, you never know, it may yet again be our day.

Boat fishing is not free but if you compare a day out bottom fishing to half a day playing golf, it really is very good value.

I would like to thank Rob Harris from the Algarve Boat Courses, who guided me through my exams to gain my ‘Patrão de Costa’ (Chief of the Coast) licence.

If Brett can help with any free advise on boating regulations in Portugal or if you would like to try fishing, please email [email protected]