Fishermen in Puerto de la Cruz

A Guide to Tenerife for Anglers

Fishermen in Puerto de la CruzTenerife and the Canary Islands as a whole are amongst the finest fishing spots on the globe. Their location off the coast of Africa means some of the biggest game fish such as marlin, barracuda and tuna are there for the taking.

The coral reefs around the various islands are also fantastic for smaller fish. The Canary Islands are also amongst the best places in the world to see whales and dolphins and even though you won’t be able to catch them, there’s a good chance of seeing sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales on your trips.

Deep Sea Fishing

Deep sea fishing is arguably the most challenging but rewarding of all fishing disciplines and it’s also where you find the really big fish such as sharks, tuna and marlin.In fact, the waters surrounding Tenerife and the other Canary Islands are the current holders to over 50 world fishing records and attract anglers of all abilities.

These creatures test your equipment and your body to the limit. If you don’t have your own equipment then most boat operators will be able to supply some.

Generally, the best places to find the boat operators are in the main towns and ports such as Puerto Colon in the south and in the north, Puerto de la Cruz or Santa Cruz, the capital.

Experienced anglers are likely to be going after the big fish already mentioned but other fish such as dorado and dog fish are commonplace. Bream are an excellent fish to go after if you’ve only got light equipment or are fairly inexperienced, as landing a large blue shark or marlin certainly isn’t for the faint hearted.

Boat operators can charge in the region of €50 to €60 for a shared trip consisting of no more than 5 people or private charters which can cost between €200 – 300 and both types of charters can last anywhere between 3 – 5 hours.

It depends on the boat operator but this may include food and drink as well as equipment hire. If it’s your first time on the island, it’s recommended to use a tour guide as they will have the best knowledge of finding the fish. Depending on what you catch, you may be able to keep it (dorado in particular are fantastic eating) but the larger fish are often tagged and released.

Reef Fishing

There are lots of reefs and rocky sea beds that surround all of the Canary Islands and these are also great places to fish. Many of the same boat operators will offer reef trips as well and regardless of your experience level, you can have a great day’s fishing.

You’re not going to get the big fish in amongst the reefs but you are likely to find red snapper, grouper and moray eels besides numerous other varieties typical of the region. Octopus and squid are in abundance too and it’s not uncommon to land them too.

For reef fishing, you’re likely to need quite good tackle and to be safe it’s recommended not to go below 30lb test. Like deep sea fishing, live bait often works best. Mackerel, sardines and prawns are particularly effective. Again, it depends on the boat owner and what you’ve caught but you may be able to keep the fish for dinner that night. Grouper in particular is one of the best tasting fish on the planet but red snapper is also delicious.

A popular way of fishing is by using metal jigs which are lowered to the seafloor and then pulled up at high speed. This is a very effective albeit very physically exhausting way of catching the amberjacks that prefer to live among the rocks.

Shore Fishing

One of the easiest ways to get into fishing in Tenerife is to fish from the shore. Not only is this a very cheap way to start fishing, it’s also excellent for people of all abilities, especially children. It’s possible to get some good quality equipment for roughly €30 and go out and experience the island.
While you can fish from most beaches, the busier tourist beaches will have restrictions in place so you will need to check before you cast off. Many people fish off the many piers and rocks around the island too.

Necessary Permits

It’s important to note that to go fishing in Tenerife you need to have a permit from the council which can be bought from the council buildings in the relevant municipality. Alternatively, there are some fishing shops on the island that are permitted to sell you a license. It costs in the region of €15. If you are fishing with a boat operator tour then you will be covered by their license.

The island may already have a reputation as a sun lover’s holiday spot but more and more people are booking  flights to Tenerife to take advantage of some of the best angling on the planet as well as other available activities.

The islands as a whole are one of the most popular fishing spots in the world for all kinds of fishing. Which one is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.



  1. Although I don’t fish but I used to when I was little. But nonetheless, I would love to visit Tenerife and the Canary Islands.

    • It’s one of those activities that brings back fond memories of childhood.
      When I lived in Africa, we used to spear fish and really gets the adrenalin pumping.:)

  2. Thanks for the info!
    I’ve just moved to Santa Cruz and haven’t fished since I was a child, but have bought a cheap setup(for around 30EU as you said) and am keen to get into it!
    I hope to eventually get out on a boat after some big monsters one day too!

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