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FISHING IN KARPATHOS

I was writing on my laptop when my telephone rang, at noon of that Wednesday. In the other side of the wire was Iòrgos that did not give me either the time to think that he told me: “Tony, get ready, tomorrow morning at four A.M. we depart for Karpathos with the ship…!”

Iòrgos had some work to attend to there that probably would end soon, and then we could fish for almost two whole days, until the arrival of the next ship for the return. Actually, I liked the idea, although the last four or five weeks, in Rhodes, we had not good baits because of bad weather that persisted throughout Greece. Of course this would not have been a very important problem if it was not for the fact that I when I go fishing I want to have a choice of baits as large as possible, but since we had no choice, I agree to do this trip with a good friend what Iòrgos, even if only for the company, and plus, it is just two days. Fortunately, it is always my habit, in the freezer at home I had a bit of squids and sardines, as well as two sachets of "petrosolìnes", a kind of sea dates that I had bought some time ago to try them at the first opportunity. Iòrgos had with him some nice fillets and frozen longline fish that had prepared Iànnis, a common friend, and about two pounds of cockle. Let's start...

For the first time in my life I have the chance to see the beautiful island of Karpathos! I have many acquaintances who told me about this beautiful island, and I'm really glad that Iòrgos give me the chance to meet her. On the ship, instead of going to sleep a bit, we talk constantly about fishing. What bothers me much was the fact that I could not take my rods with me, are all two-piece rods and too long for the car that was waiting for us to Pigádia, it was too small, but I comforted the fact that the three pieces rods that had Iòrgos were of good quality and I also had the opportunity to try them. After making two stops in two ports, Hàlki and Diafàni, the ship enters the Gulf of Karpathos.

The view is really wonderful! Iòrgos just finished his job and worked out our things in the room where we should sleep, without wasting any more time we go to "taste" the beach 'Afoti located about 1.5 km. far from Pigàdia. The sea is calm and the beach seems to me good. I cast a cane to "read" the seabed... actually is good as I thought, then, we prepare the baits and cast, putting in water three rods each. Now the only thing we have to do is to be patient and wait for the fish... Karpathos! It was not even an hour from when we started fishing (about seven o'clock in the evening) that suddenly the rod which had baited the cuttlefish with the “Chow Chow”  rig had a pretty strong pull. I leave a little bit more... and here it is, a second more strong pull. I take the rod in hand and give the strike. I have the sensation that by the weight and the pull of the antagonist, "the squid made his first victim," I think.

The beginning is promising, and every beginning is always a good start. It took a few minutes to bring out my antagonist, was a conger of about five pounds. After the usual photos, we did not have time to finish the coffee that we were drinking, that a rod of Iòrgos who was about fifty mt on the left, had a jump that was followed only a few minutes later. We got both close the rod following the almost imperceptible movements of the tip. When the fish pulled hardly the bait, Iorgos called the strike and began to pull him out, but before he did, we had another nice touch in his other rod to his right, baited with a smooth clam on a Long Arm Rig. Iòrgos, once beached what later turned out to be a Moray eel of about a kilo, he left the rod in the rod holder and ran towards the other rod which in the meantime had another nice pull and had put the wire in roach. While I was trying desperately to remove the hook from the mouth of the moray eel, thing that surely everybody knows, is not easy, Iòrgos took out the water a nice sea bream that weighed turned out to be 1,250 kg. Once left in the sea the conger eel and the moray eel that we had cached, we can quietly say that we started to "enjoy" the evening...  Before the conger eel, the moray eel, and then the sea bream, made us understand that the bottom of this area we have chosen for our fishing trip was very suitable for an enjoyable evening.


Inside, at some distance from the beach, on the seabed, there are stones, in some points Posidonia, while in the middle, the bottom is covered with sand. Having baited and casted again the two rods, we take a little relax drinking the coffee that we had to leave earlier because of those pulls we had had, without taking off our eyes from the rods so that we could capture every little sign. Now things have calmed down a bit and I see that the waves slowly take a different shape, now they are a little higher than when we arrived at the beach, and this, I'm sure that is not due to the tide rises. I do not remember how long time it has been since gone, when suddenly, but this time in the rod with the Tandem rig which had baited a "petrosolìna" and a nice piece of fillet of bonito, awoke. Once, twice, the tip of the rod had two big pulls, I run, I take the rod in my hand and strike, and there is no reason to wait more after two nice pulls like that. I understand now that this fish is not as big as the others, but ... it's worth! Besides, we cannot expect to take only big fishes. I take it out of the water, is a sea bream of about half a kilo.

The waves now have become "deaf" and reach almost a meter in height but not blowing at all, absolute calm. I like this situation but... something is not right ... I can feel it! "Surely the time will be changing for the worse," this is what I think but I care little, my experience of "old" surfcastman make me think that just before a storm and before taking refuge in their burrows, the fish still give a look around looking for food. So we continue our fishing, we still have plenty of coffee, and the evening is still nice, so we can say that so far we have taken something ... and is still quite early. Shortly before midnight and two o'clock we pulled out two more nice sea breams of about 1.5 kg. each, after which nothing other than two rigs cut, one was a baited tandem with smooth clam and fillet of bonito, and the other was the “Chow Chow”  baited with cuttlefish. Both rigs were made with nylon 0,35 mm. At around 7.30 hrs. in the morning, tired and fasting, we collected all our equipment, returned to the hotel, and after delivering fish to keep in the freezer to get them then to Rhodes, we started to sleep.

The next day: When we awoke, and after the communication with the families, we learned that in Rhodes was in place a very strong sirocco; wind force reached the 11 Beaufort (for the third time this year) and it was raining heavily. In Karpathos, instead, we had only clouds without wind and waves about three meters height, but "deaf" that "broke" at about 50/60 meters from the beach. Today, however, we're going to try some beaches on the western sector of the island: someone said that the Finìki Beach is suitable for a good catch. Just passed by Menètes and Arkàsa, we’ll arrive soon in the area, we also get the chance to see the morphology of the seabed where we should draw. However, we realize now, that in this side of the island there is a lot of wind and all the beaches are full of algae. We head Lefkò, but here nothing changes; persistent strong winds from the east and the beaches are full of algae. Not being able to fish with these conditions, we decide to go back. We cut way to Pigádia passing through mountains and the villages of 'Othos, Volàda, and Apèri, then we stop in the beach Xenòna, just before Pigádia. At least for the moment we have no choice; we will try fishing here. The sea, for the entire length of the beach, up to the power station, even if there is no wind, is very "angry", but with the equipment we have, we do not have any problems.  The only thing that makes us think a little is how many Roccobomb and spike we’ll loose with these conditions, because we did not have a large stock and at Pigádia would be difficult to find.

The sea bottom, beginning the 100 meters and beyond is mixed, which means that most likely we’ll have a lot of problem of grounding. So, we put in the rod holders our equipment and start fishing, but until eleven before midnight we’ve had no touches in any of the six rods and of the leads we had, we saved only three. Waves and currents had carried a lot of sand on the beach, leaving the seabed full of rocks, so we decide to pick up everything and go on the pier of the port, as we do not want to leave fishing for any reason. It would be a “shame” for people like us to be on an island as Karpathos and not to fish: Iòrgos opens the tripods and we put the rods in fishing, the only thing that "disturbs" me very much, is the fact that the waves sometimes manage to get on the pier and back down the other side with the possibility to bring along the equipment and lose it even if there was not for us danger (?). In any case, we arrived to save our equipment several times from being dragged into the sea. Finally, that night Iòrgos catched two striped breams, two sea breams over two kilos, a moray eel, and had two rig cut! I caught a conger eel, a sting ray, a small bream and I had two rigs cut. It is obvious that the small sea bream, the moray and the conger took the way back to the sea.

The next day, which was also our last day to Karpathos, we went on the beach Vathàs. In this beach the bottom is mostly sandy and very depth (thus the name, Vathàs = deep) with plaques on the shoreline and rocks scattered along the beach, while out to sea and up to great distance is just sand. We remained here several hours, about eight, but even no fish, so we return again on the pier of the port. This is the last chance to fish, the next day we would have to take the ship back to Rhodes. We fished all night but except to see continuous very small pulls, we did not catch any fish, we often took out the baits but just to control them: the only thing we saw were the “signs” left by the teeth of the fish that hung near the bait but without getting caught. So the whole night passed without catching any fish, and because the fatigue, we went to rest a few hours waiting for the ship. Now felt the joy of coming home, we left with the best impressions of Karpathos, having known friendly persons, always smiling and helpful and treated us really well. In Rhodes, I had heard the best things for the island of Karpathos and its people, but no matter how beautiful they are, do not give the real idea of ​​sociability and the "beauty" of this island of dreams!