Why is Tenerife fishing different?

Tenerife fishing is popular all over the island.

A real passion for it seems to be mainly in the Northwest, though. There people catch seafood by just about all salt water spots.

However, there is some Red Tape of regulations., more of which further down in this article.

Nevertheless, the biggest Canary Island is leading in Spain with ten Cofradia Fisherman guilds that even deliver to Mercadona supermarkets. 

The Tenerife age for this trade seems to have few limits

This fisher boy hardly looks ten years old. He stood happily with his rod above the ocean in the hot afternoon sun in August 2014.  Locals were swimming in the port eight meters below the wall on which I caught him on camera. He seemed to be extremely proud of an occupation that is useful and perhaps even a passion.

I saw him approach this spot. He couldn't get there fast enough, eager as he was. There, he most likely hooked up morsels of bread onto his rod,  instead of flies.

Children fishing competition Puerto de la Cruz

By the way, there was a fishing competition for children by the same Muelle that is shown. It happened during the July celebrations Fiestas de Julio y del Carmen in 2017.

Any doubts about Tenerife fishing not being fun for some?

A family with three very young boys that was supervised by an elderly woman is shown to fish beside.

They are another uncommon sight.

Were they trying to catch Cazones a small species of shark, as happened on the day this photo was taken?

Perhaps, they rather went for smaller species like Gueldes or Sardines.

No need to go far to catch something from the ocean

This seafood, as depicted underneath the family photo, is caught almost on the door steps of Tenerife towns and villages.

It's even sold in the best restaurants as a starter.

The tiny oven baked or fried Gueldes are coastal fish. They are so popular in the capital that its inhabitants are called Chicharreros. However,  all Spaniards seem to love to eat these Chopos.

Fishing as a hazardous profession

Indeed, some fishing is part of an insider affair, one of which spot at Punta Brava.  

In fact, the man in the scene depicted beside is very typical for what makes Tenerife fishing adventurous or rather dangerous.

He was fly i.e. rod fishing from a very narrow wall behind Restaurant Tambo of Punta Brava.

Look at the wild sea and how it washes up turbulently against the spot where he sits.

He only threw a curious glance at us. He must have been wondering who was exploring his rather secret track.

Great places for catching fish come at a price

Indeed, right there near Tambo's, a fisherman's life was saved from unforgiving waves by a coastguard helicopter in 2010.

The Cuban doctor who loves to eat at Restaurante Tambo often, told us that the famous Punta Brava seafood restaurants retrieve some of their fresh fish in this location.

Taganana a historic Guanche fishing village

In fact,  the long gone Anaga Guanches of today's most pretty Tenerife  fishing village called Taganana didn't operate with boats or rods. They used strange harpoons made without any metal.

They most probably also roamed the shores of Almáciga and Benijo as well as those in the South at El Medano by Tenerife's most famous surf beaches.

San Andres another former Guanche stronghold

Obviously, the Atlantic of San Andres of Santa Cruz the capital must be a great marine habitat.

So many wooden fishing boats, small metal trawlers as well ad modern motor boats fill its bay.

Also,  the San Andres Cofradia fisherman guild seems to be big.

Fish factories

Contrary to San Andres, only a few fishermen of the old school seem to be left in some communities on the island. Many of them blame the floating fish factories on big vessels for their loss of income.

Fishing on farms inshore and inland

Both ways of fishing are highly controversial, as will be explained just now.

Deep sea fishing for the king of fish the Blue Marlin

Some big game fishing web sides promise you this. They show enormous Blue Marlins that were caught. However, many a professional fisherman will tell you that this doesn't happen often at all.

Fishing with sailing ships and fisherman romance?

Many see romance in big vessels like the one depicted above. They wouldn't want to be a part of its distress, though. Indeed, such ships used to hunt the giant mammals the whales.

But those days are officially over now and Tenerife was never a part of it, as they say. 

Homage to women who walked miles to sell fish

The Fishwife by a beautiful bronze statue made by Julio Neto at El Puerto the former port of Orotava where some fishing boats still come in.  Homage was paid to all spouses of fishermen who walked for miles to sell fish to support their families.

Cofradia fishing news Puerto de la Cruz

The house of the Puerto Cruz fishermen guild in Calle Las Lonjas is open again after extensive building renovations. Included are a shop, a restaurant and a museum. Nevertheless, a few fishermen sell their daily catches directly to passers-by from stalls by the Muelle.

In April 2017, shrimps were sold there for €12per kg and an Eel for €6per kg.

Interested in big fishing tournaments?

Check the San Miguel de Abona Marina Facebook side around February March for big events. I heard that fish there are even scientifically tagged and released back to the ocean.

Read more about most unusual fishing spots, such as the one portrayed above. 

Where and how get a Tenerife fishing license?

Multiple Usos (a Government department)
Avda. de Anaga, 35 - Opposite the Ferry Harbor
Tel: 922 475127
Santa Cruz de Tenerife Capital
Alternatively, a fishing gear shop with much demand for this service at a small fee.

Required is your Spanish ID i.e. NIE number and some identification, such as your passport.

Category license no.3 to catch Tenerife fish

The no.3 permit is also for rod fishing from small to medium sized boats, floats or even a dingy. Night fishing is allowed but no nets, traps and the like. 

The no.1 license for big game fishing costs €28,72/4years. A personal limit of 3 fish of a total of 100 kg is allowed.

Edible crabs called Bueu de Mar may require a special permit.  In fact, find them under big lava pebbles at Punta Gorda near Puerto Cruz Playa Jardin or at the Tortoise bay of Puertito de Caleta by Adeje.

Forbidden to catch

The Pilot Whales and all other whales that may even come near Los Gigantes are protected species. They are not allowed to be caught. Octopus their main food are however exempt.

Inshore and offshore fish farms contrary to traditional fishing in Tenerife

There was only the trout farm by Aguamansa. And that was a very legal one. Why "was"? Sorry, it has been closed for sanitary reasons.

What about the carp farm in the mountains in Tenerife South? People in a forum have said that it's a big joke, hence a scam. No doubt about it, as there are no lakes on the island that are big enough and suited for the inland farming of healthy big fish.

A German is said to have set up a very successful Dorada farm in the ocean by Los Cristianos. This fish is also sold at some big supermarkets like Mercadona and Altesa. So far, I never felt ill after preparing and eating this fish that I buy at the fresh seafood counter. However, I wonder how confined those spaces in the Atlantic are for bulk production of the Dorada.

A short Tenerife fishing video clip with a man and its rod by a Charco an ocean rock pool

Find more information at my Youtube channel where you can watch this short Tenerife Charco by La Guancha fishing video at a higher resolution...

More useful fishing related information

Tenerife fishing vacations with license to download

Tenerife flyfishing such as at El Medano where fishing boys or girls are not unheard of

Fishing bait

Shark fishing on the biggest Canary Island

Important celebrations of the patron of Fishermen

Island fish industry

An interesting Canadian Article about the latest history of the Canary Islands' fishing industry


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