When we lived in the UK, I was an avid fisherman. I used to love all sorts of fishing from fly fishing to carp fishing – it just did not matter. Of course, I had all the gear and for simple trips out with a few mates to go fly fishing for a few hours, it was grabbing a few things and go, but a whole day by the side of the lake for carp was a different matter. We used to take everything. You could camp out for a week with all the gear we loaded in the cars.
When we decided to move, I thought I would sell all my gear and focus on sea fishing, after all, we live 150mt from the sea so that would be the best idea. So I piled everything into the van and took it to the local boot sale. I had not realised that all my expensive top of the range gear would not sell, well it would but for crazy prices, I was never going to take, so instead, I decided the best of it should come to Morocco – there has to be a few lakes or rivers close by to fish.
I knew there were some big carp fisheries near Marrakesh, but little did I know that some of the best Large-mouthed Bass fishing was right on my doorstep here in Agadir.
I have only ever fished for Black Bass once and that was in a lake in South Africa, where I soon discovered why they are highly prized. They are difficult to catch, but when you do get one they fight like crazy. The lighter gear you use the better the fight. With all this in mind, I needed to do a recce of the closest lake to find out more and how you go about getting a permit to fish.
Our closest lake is Barrage Moulay Abdellah, near Tamri (approx 1.5 hours north of Agadir). Interestingly I had flown over this reservoir a few times on the way back to the UK, so knew roughly where it was, but there are very few signposts and it’s down to good old fashioned map reading to locate it. The road from Tamri is literally a single lane road and it goes all over the place, through deep gorges and over mountains but the scenery is spectacular.
Finally, we arrived at the dam wall and parked up to get a better look. The reservoir is very pretty, nestled in a wide valley. It’s full of wildlife, but at this moment in time is pretty low of water. As we walked along the dam wall, a lone security guard appeared and we soon got chatting with him. He told us that the lake is a catch and release venue (that’s good news) and you do need to get a very specific licence to fish it – he did not know where you go for it or how much it costs, but he did say the fish were big and there were lots of them.
Armed with this information, I set off to find out more and how to obtain such a permit. As with all things in Morocco, this is not as simple as you think. So, The Department of Water and Forests are responsible for all fishing activities in Morocco and they are very keen to promote sports fishing, particularly as a tourist activity. Throughout the Kingdom, there are specially developed areas for fishing including lakes, rivers and reservoirs and the species stocked include trout, pike, zander and black bass. The government website is pretty good at telling you all this, but there is no information on how you get a permit!
Since our visit to the dam, I still have not managed to get a permit. I have located the office but not managed to actually get there to buy a permit. The season starts in April and an annual licence costs around £60 – and then you can fish anywhere inland. You also have to pay a fee for special conditions (not sure what these are or how much it is) on certain dams, our two local dams being this type.
The other dam near Agadir is called Barrage Abdel Moumen and it is significantly larger than the other dam but I have not been there yet.
I will keep readers posted on how I get on and my first attempts to fish as soon as I can get a licence(we are in lockdown for Covid-19 at the moment). I intend to fly fish and lure fish for them so will let you know.