Sea Fishing Trips

Fishing In Fethiye Gulf

Four o’clock on this late June morning, the air was warm and the sea was glass smooth. The Fethiye Times Editorial Team are guests of local resident Stuart Aikman who is lucky enough to have a wife who sells powerboats in Fethiye.

We arrived at the Ece Marina and went to the mooring of the ‘Princess Dilek’, a sleek Mercan 550 fitted with a powerful Yamaha 80hp 4-stroke outboard. This style of boat is ideal for inshore fishing and, most importantly, getting to the fishing sites quickly. The boat is fitted with Fish Finder and GPS.

After we had cruised quietly past the Ece Sarayi Hotel and out of the harbour, Stuart pushed the throttle and the bow rose as the Mercan 550 cut through the smooth waters of Fethiye Bay. (For a chart of the bay see here).

In a few minutes, still in darkness, we rounded the peninsula passing the 5-star Hotel Letoonia with Şövalye Island on our right (starboard for you nautical types) into Fethiye Gulf. We powered on towards Çamlı Cape then Şahin Cape, here we cut the engine and prepared the rods.

We were using Alba Star Boat Rods purchased locally in Fethiye with multiplier reels and 20-kilo line. Today we are using Mustad Rigs with the Hook Tinsel Mackerel Trace and topping that off with Yo-Zuri lures to imitate squid. Having set the rods in the rod-holders Stuart set the Yamaha outboard to low revs to give us about 3 knots and as dawn broke over the mountains we trolled back in the direction of Fethiye.

The sea, even out here in Fethiye Gulf, was still remarkably calm with only a slight swell. We were following the shoreline and now, as the clear light of dawn illuminated the scene, we could see the detail of the shore that had been hidden by darkness. The rocky shoreline plunges steeply into the sea; pine trees cling precariously to ledges only inches from the sea and the whole scene is set-off by the dark blue sea, which this morning looks like smooth steel.

It is still before 6.00 am as we move in and out of coves with their hidden beaches, often inaccessible from the land. Luxury yachts are moored up for the night in tiny coves where they have that idyllic scenery all to themselves.

We landed Barracuda and we could see the Tuna chasing the Flying Fish and catching them as they landed after skittering across the surface. The tuna proved more elusive than the barracuda.

Stuart’s boat is fitted with a Humminbird Fish Finder. This shows a screen displaying the depth of the water, the shape of the seabed and any fish that are directly under the boat. Fish show-up as either individual large fish or shoals. We could see plenty of large fish down at 120 Meters but we were not fishing there today.

After a while we stopped in Turunç Bay with its small beachside restaurant still in the shadow of the cliff face behind it. The breeze is warm and scented with pine. The sea seemed even deeper blue here and there were signs of people beginning to stir on the handful of luxury yachts moored around the edge of the bay. We sat and drank our coffee (provided by the Fishing Editor) and munched cheese and sandwiches (provided by the Editor) in this magnificent scene. Once again, the splendour of the Turkish countryside overshadowed our mission: fishing seemed secondary at that moment.

We swapped our bait for Rapala lures with a diving tips, well suited to inshore trolling work, but our fish catching was over for the day.

After snagging a line on the rocky bottom, we decided to haul-in and call it a day.

So, with only Barracuda to show, we sped back to Fethiye harbour at the end of a perfect morning’s fishing; in fantastic scenery; on a glass-smooth sea; on a beautiful sunny June morning: why do we live in Turkey? This why we live in Turkey!

If you would like to share a fishing story, I would like to hear from you. Please e-mail me, and outline your story. If you have a photograph to illustrate the story let me know. I reserve the right to edit your account where necessary. The story should have a connection to the Fethiye area and we would like as much detail as possible to help other fisher folk who may benefit from your experience.