The May 10 cover-dated issue of our top weekly magazine, Angler’s Mail, starred EastEnders TV actor Scott Maslen on its front cover and inside. Here, in an extended report, we find out all about Gran Canaria’s carp fishing attractions through the eyes of Nash tackle director, ALAN BLAIR…

LAKE CHIRA – one of the World’s best carp fishing destinations!

“AFTER a no hassle four hour flight to Las Palmas airport in Gran Canaria I was met by Dave Beecham from Canary Island Carp Fishing Tours and driven up through the mountains to a destination of 3,000 feet above sea level to the 140-acre Lake Chira… nestled in amongst the cliff faces and rock of the surrounding mountains.

Canary Island Carp Fishing Tours can accommodate any angler’s needs and as I was on holiday with my girlfriend (half the holiday fishing and the other half on the beach) we took the option of booking out one of their beautiful apartments that overlooks one of the bays in the lake. The first night was spent in a decent bed but from the morning onwards we got on with our fishing deciding to fish one of the large arms that stretches out from the main body of water with an estimated expanse of 25 acres and depths down to 60 feet!

Lake Chira is an awesome setting...

Dave was extremely helpful with regards to locating suitable areas to fish and with all the equipment and bait provided it made for a nice change to be able to just get on and angle as apposed to lugging mountains of gear about and then having to set it all up.

After a couple of hours spent in the boat with a prodding stick and markers, I was happy with my chosen areas and ready to get some baits out for our first nights fishing on this different and extreme venue. I was opting to fish at range (in some cases up to 200 plus meters) with the hope of intercepting groups of fish as the passed between the arm we were fishing and the main body of water.

Due to the vast amount of rocks that the lake is lined with, strong snag leaders were essential along with Nash Weed Safety Bolt Beads to ensure I dropped the 4/5 oz leads as soon as the fish bolted off. The Rigs themselves consisted of a 12-inch Nash Armourlink Hooklink to which I used a size 7 Fang Twister fished blow back with a small section of silicone tube on the bend of the hook. I baited the rods with either a critically balanced 15mm Ic1 boilies and a small chop pop up with two Chain Reaction on the rig or double tiger nut hookbaits. Over each of the rods and after every take I fed approximately 1 kilo of mixed particle, crushed tiger nuts, ic1 Soluballs and whole and chopped Ic1 boilies.

Chain Reactions (top) boosted Alan's rig.

With all the rods out and the sun just setting, we sat down for a cold beer and soaked up the magical atmosphere that the Canary Island mountains had to offer. The first night proved extremely quite and when Dave came to see us at first light he didn’t seem surprised we hadn’t caught. He explained how very unlucky we were with the weather as from the moment we got off the plain; the sky was dull with LOTS of cloud cover and the odd rain shower. On this particular morning it was no different and we woke up in the rain, with thick cloud cover not looking like it was going to pass anytime soon.

Dave explained to me that these weather conditions are not good at all for the fishing over here – 90% of the year it is extremely warm with high pressure and this is what the fish are used too – not low pressure, overcast skies and rain – completely the opposite to how you want the weather when fishing in England.

Not getting despondent about the bad weather conditions, we got the spinning rods and Mepps spinners out and proceeded to work our way through the huge shoals of black bass that along with the carp are also abundant in numbers throughout the lakes on the Island. Both Chole and myself caught countless bass up to just over 2 lb 8 oz but with our carp baits in the water for over 24 hours and still no carp we were starting to get a little worried!

One of Alan's lively freshwater bass.

Sure enough things began to change and on the afternoon of our second day, the sun broke through and the takes began. First fish was to Chloe and after a lengthy battle we safely netted a new PB of just over 25 lb. For the remaining two days we had another nine takes landing seven of them with the smallest being 24 lb and the largest a new European PB for me of 44 lb 8 oz! It was a proper chunk and if I’m honest looked like it had never seen a hook before, a true creature of a fish.

What a whacker to finish with!

That late lump really did put a massive grin on my face that took days to leave – it was a special capture from a special venue and its made me want to get back there very soon to see what else the water has to offer. I’ve fished in lots of different countries in Europe for carp but this is one destination that didn’t strike me as the ideal place for a carp fishing holiday – well, my thoughts have now changed about that and I cant see myself returning to places like France any time soon.

When you actually sit down and work out the cost of a weeks fishing in the South of France in comparison to a weeks fishing over here then there really isn’t alot in it. And if you are wanting a break away with the girlfriend, wife or family then I really cannot recommend it enough as an ideal destination to combine both the beach and some proper exciting carp fishing.”