When you think of Portugal, and fishing, thoughts immediately go to saltwater fishing off the great coasts where boats unload sardine, mackerel and tuna. But there is also a growing interest in bass fishing and Portugal became part of the BASS Nation in 2014 bringing with it over 190 members that competitively fish the waters of Alqueva Lake and Cabril Dam.
The Rod Glove is proud to have Rui Fernandes as part of our Pro Staff team and we recently had the chance to get his story.
Q: How did you get into fishing?
A: I started fishing by myself, I don't know why, but one day it felt like it would be some thing I would love to do from that day on I was hooked. I started fishing as a little child with a (as you call it in the US) bobber for pumpkinseed/bluegill and other panfish. Also I fished for carp, and bass. I would use almost everything on a hook to catch fish (worms (nightcrawlers), crickets, asticot/maggots, grasshoppers...).
Q: When did you decide to competitively fish?
A: This year, I will only participate on the Portuguese bass cup. I would love to do some competitive fishing, some bass competitive fishing. I hope in the near future I can be on the Portuguese tour.
Q: What type of fishing techniques do you use? What species do you catch?
A: Now I just fish for bass (here in Portugal we only have largemouth bass), and for that I use the techniques most bass fishermen use. Texas rigging soft plastics (weightless and weighted), topwater, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, carolina rigs, jigs, dropshot, splitshot....You name it. If there is a technique that catches bass I might give it a try....
Q: What are your fishing goals for 2016?
A: My goal for this year would be to catch a 7 plus pounder bass. Around here we don´t have big bass as you have. There are big bass over here but nothing like those 2 digits bass from over there. And of course to get a good place on the Portuguese bass cup.
The Largemouth bass were first introduced in Portugal in 1898 in Seven City Lagoon in the Atlantic islands of the Azores, according to Moreira. Bass from a French pisciculture (fish farm) at Clouzioux were stocked in mainland Portugal in 1952. Moreira rates Alqueva Lake (the largest man-made reservoir in Europe) and Santa Clara Lake as the best bass fishing waters in his country.