Visit of the BBC Radio 5 Fish on Five programme organized by the Gibraltar Tourist Board.

This programme was broadcast last Saturday (20/04/02) and will be repeated in prime time over the coming weeks.

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BBC Radio Fish on 5 Live’s Nick Hancock and Mike Thrussell flew back from Gibraltar after enjoying a few days of hospitality shore and boat fishing as the guests of the Gibraltar Tourist Board.

Nick and Mike stayed at The Rock Hotel on the outskirts of the main town in one of the oldest hotels in Gibraltar. Set in beautiful gardens, the hotel has a genteel air about it and there are always plenty of people enjoying afternoon tea on its sun-drenched verandah overlooking the sea.

Nick and Mike fished the North Mole breakwater, catching bronze and white bream, but locals also catch conger eels, black bream, bonito, gilthead bream, bass and moray eels. They also found the beach at Rosia good for several species of bream, sole and bass. The same species are found on the other beaches on the east side of rock at Sandy Bay, Catalan Bay and Eastern Beach. Night fishing is best on the beaches. There is also rock fishing at Europa Point below the Lighthouse for bass fishing, spinners and plugs - though a rubber sand eel on a light trace would be the better bet.

Gibraltar is easy to get to - only a couple of hours by plane. Monarch fly from Luton and GB Airways fly from Gatwick, flights are scheduled and daily. Prices are around £130 return but this varies according to season, availability and whether there are any offers on. Once there you will find plenty of taxi's available to whisk you into the main town. Visitors can also hire cars at the airport through the usual outlets.

Gibraltar enjoys a Mediterranean climate, though in the winter it can be somewhat wet, but from spring through to autumn you’ll enjoy good weather - with temperatures up in the high twenties in the summer.

Mike Thrussell provided listeners with detailed advice about the first class fishing that Gibraltar offers its visitors. “There are good numbers of many different species of bream, but the pink dentex and the hurta bream are the most prized, both reaching in excess of 30lbs. Triggerfish are common too, especially on the eastern side of the rock. Big grouper and stone bass are caught in amongst the rocks in deep water fishing fish baits. For the adventurous - blue, porbeagle, mako and thresher sharks occur in the waters around Gibraltar, also the tope. Several species of smaller tuna can be targeted including the bonito, skipjack and little tunny - and trolled lures, take dorado, leerfish and amberjack during the warmer months. The biggest prizes are the bluefin tuna growing to a whopping 500lbs and bigger. Broadbill swordfish and even white marlin are caught.”

He added: ”The local anglers rate conch (a shellfish) as the all-round bait for everything. You can get this from the fish stall in the local market quite cheaply. Hermit crab is excellent for the bigger fish like the gilthead and hurta bream. It is also good for the bigger common bream. The fish stalls sell pilchards, mackerel and squid, which are the best baits for general ledger fishing, taking most species including conger and moray eels. “

Nick Hancock concluded “The best time to go are between the months of January and May – this is considered the low season. However, the local anglers rate June through to November as the best, with September the top month giving a wide variety of fish, plus the biggest tuna and sharks.”