The Canary Islands: A surprising Destination for Anglers Who Like a Challenge


Photo credit: Fisherman in Garza, Costa Rica via photopin (license)

If you want to cast the net further afield in search of a decent catch like a large tuna, you may be surprised to learn that the Canary Islands could be a good place to visit.

Tuna aficionados have perhaps been a bit coy about the prize that awaits you when you visit the Canaries, and the reason is probably because big bluefin’s and giant big eyes have been known to regularly surpass 200-pounds or more.

If you’ve ever wanted to figure out how to catch tuna on a large scale, keep reading. Each year, thousands of people take to the waters to try to bag a fish for dinner. But, unless you’re a commercial fisher, you’re not going to rake in the volume that a professional fisherman can.

Still, understanding how the pros do it can help you in your own fishing endeavors.

Purse Seining

Skipjack tuna are caught this way. Basically, a purse seine is a large net that’s open at the top and enclosed at the bottom. A fisherman will drop the purse into the ocean and then wait for fish to enter the trap. Once the fish have been ensnared by the purse, the top can be closed and all of the fish scooped up.

This is also a great way to catch other types of sea creatures too and, depending on the netting and size, the amount of bycatch can be significant.

Long Lining

Bigeye and yellowfin tuna can be caught using long lining. This is a method of fishing that employs fishing line that is 50 miles long, or longer. The line uses “sublines” which are baited and hooked. The hooks are evenly spaced for the fish. When a fish takes the bait, they are trapped.

Of course, this type of fishing line can also trap sea turtles, sharks, and other bycatch which are not desirable.

Long lining can be sunk deeper into the ocean to avoid or at least minimize this problem, however.

Pole And Line

Some of the best offshore fishing gear is the traditional pole and line. This is a method most fishermen are familiar with. A pole and fishing line is used to catch the fish. And, a lot of fish can be caught this way. It’s considered a more environmentally-responsible way to catch fish, reduce bycatch, and improve efficacy of the fishing expedition.

But, where the pole and line method excels at efficacy, it lacks in efficiency. It can’t catch the number of fish required by demand of the marketplace. It’s a slower method of catching fish because it’s not done at scale.

This fishing method is used to catch a variety of fish from tuna to cod.


Trolling employs a similar tactic to pole and line fishing. Baited lines are drug through the water on a boat. As the fish are caught, they are brought aboard. This method of fishing is responsible for roughly 13% of all fishing methods employed, or 5,000 tonnes of fish per year.

Large-scale trolling is economic only because of the fact that fishing boats move through the water, rather than waiting for the fish to come to the fishermen, as in line and pole fishing.

It’s usually carried out in the cool waters of the north and south pacific, and is one of the best methods used today for catching fish. The number of bycatch is usually controlled, and the efficacy and efficiency of the method makes it one of the best methods for fishing today.

The Canary Islands have started to yield some monster tuna fish catches in recent years, so consider visiting the islands for some great adventures, in and out of the boat.

Rhys Francis is a travel writer and a keen offshore fisherman. When the weather is too bad to be out in the boat he enjoys heading inside to spend some time writing articles. These appear on travel, hobby and men’s lifestyle sites mostly.