Beach Fishing on the Costa del Sol – An Amateur’s Guide

This Beach Fishing guide is written by a female fisherwoman, so read and follow at your own peril!

My husband and I took up beach fishing in Estepona on the Costa del Sol, about 5 years ago.  It was my husband’s idea because he gets fidgety just lying on the beach for hours, he needs something to occupy him.  For my part, I like any excuse to make a picnic and drink a few cold beers and/or a chilled bottle of wine.

A friend had already told us that we must have a license to fish from the beach, the police do check on people from time to time.  Sounded ominous but it was dead easy. This website sells all types of hunting and fishing licenses.    Shore Fishing (Licencia Orilla) is the one you want, and all they require is a copy of your DNI (NIE). At  the time of writing, it only costs 45 €  and is valid for 3 years.  It is for one person, with up to 2 rods.

So, having got the license, and ALL the gear…. we started to learn our new hobby.  My husband already had some knowledge (and Youtube videos) so he taught me how to set up my rod, my line, my bait and how to cast (that’s been an interesting learning curve!!).  Next, a bit like stalkers, we watched the other fishermen, checking out their spot, what bait they were using, how far they were casting.  We could have gone up and asked but my Spanish hadn’t stretched as far as fishing vocabulary yet.

Bait used for beach fishing in Spain

We go to Miguelitos Pesca  fishing shop in San Pedro de Alcantara to buy our bait. There is also a bait vending machine near Estepona Port at Ramirez Nautica   As it is primarily a male pastime here, I love how quiet it goes when the blonde English girl walks in asking for Corianos! It’s like the hush of a saloon bar.  Corianos is what they recommend in the shop, they are sea worms.  Americanos also, they are much fatter! (Strange but true!).  However, we have seen people using prawns, clams, razor clams and pieces of sardines.  We actually caught fish once with bacon…. so as you can see, it’s all a bit of a mystery.

Where to fish on the Costa del Sol

There doesn’t seem to be too much of a rule over this, however, like this guy,  some are very obviously flouted!!

These are the main rules, but these can vary in different municipalities:

  • Your rods should be at a distance of at least 100m from swimmers.
  • Through the colder months, ie. October to April, you can fish at any time of day.
  • Fishing times in “bathing season” – in Estepona this is 1 June to 30 September – are  from 9:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. the next day, if there are no swimmers, then it’s any time.
  • No fishing in sign-posted prohibited areas or marine reserves.
  • you are allowed two rods and a maximum of 6 hooks per license.
  • If you are Spinning, each artificial lure counts as a single hook.

What to bring when you are going fishing

Remember this is written from an amateur, fisherwoman’s perspective! In order of importance…

  1. Lightweight beach chairs or beds – comfort is key!
  2. Small foldaway table for the picnic – somewhere to rest your drink
  3. Large coolbox with picnic, drinks, BOTTLE OPENER!, cups, cutlery, plates
  4. Binbag – be responsible, take away ALL your rubbish
  5. Polystyrene coolbox – you can get these brilliantly cheap coolboxes from the Chinese stores, and they are great for holding the bait, the ice, and hopefully, anything you catch
  6. Rod holders, rods, reels, fishing toolbox.. all the gismos
  7. Kitchen Cloth and Hook remover – for when you actually catch something, it’s good to have something to hold the slippery, sometimes sharp, fish with while you remove the hook.  We are always putting back small ones, so we try to be careful.
  8. Fishing net – if you catch something that big well done! We’ve never used ours!
  9. Fishing at night? Bring a torch and also mini glow sticks for the end of your rod so you can see if you have a bite.
  10. Patience
  11. A love of simply relaxing and enjoying the view

No one seems to be catching a lot, but when you do it’s very exciting and satisfying.  To be fair, we don’t stay up all night or get up at dawn to fish which I’m sure must be the best time, so we don’t catch a lot, but we love it anyway, and I don’t think I should be the only woman fishing on the beaches of Marbella and Estepona!

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