The Ionian islands in the west of Greece seemed like a good place to catch a bit of sun at the end of another disappointing UK summer. This wasn’t a fishing trip per se, but I usually pack a tiny six-piece rod and a small box of tackle when travelling. After four nights in Zakynthos, I caught the ferry to Kefalonia. A pre-arranged driver took me to a hotel on the island’s northeast coast. A rocky jetty in front of the hotel and a nearby harbour looked likely locations to try a little ‘light rock fishing’ with the intention of catching some new species. I knew the fish would never be sizable, but I never turn down any opportunity to wet a line.

With my assembled rod in hand, a bag of bread and a new packet of pink Isome worms I made my way down to the harbour at Sami. In a corner of the quay I tossed chunks of bread to attract some fish. Shoals of small silvery fish attacked the bread.

I’d learnt a lesson from my trip to Sardinia last year. The Mediterranean species I was likely to encounter close to the shore would have small mouths; size 10 hooks wouldn’t cut it. This time, I’d brought a packet of size 22 hooks.

I baited the tiny hook with a flake of bread and dangled it among the fish. The bread didn’t stay on the hook long enough to catch anything, so I broke open the packet of Isomes. These are an artificial sandworm imitation, with supposedly an attractant to entice the fish. They had worked well for me before in the Med (and Newhaven). In the clear water I could see damselfish swarming over the bait but they just wouldn’t swallow the hook. Eventually an ornate wrasse, which I hadn’t noticed in the water, shot up from the depths and took the hook. It’s a stunning looking fish, and a species I’ve not caught before.

ornate wrasse, Thalassoma pavo

Moving on around the harbour, past the waterside tourist restaurants, I arrived at the outer breakwater where car ferries disembark. The crew of a Jamaica-registered super yacht eyed me suspiciously.

With the same technique as earlier I caught another ornate wrasse, and finally a couple of damselfish big enough to take the hook came along. There were a few bream species present too, but I couldn’t snag one today.

Damselfish, Chromis chromis


I resolved to return the next day for another go at the bream.




Total Catch:

  • 2 Ornate Wrasse
  • 2 Damselfish