Best Sea Fishing in Croatia: Split, Dubrovnik, Poreč ...

Best Sea Fishing in Croatia

Adriatic Sea in Croatia is one of the most popular sea fishing destination in this part of Europe.

Hundreds of islands and long, rugged coastline provide great fishing locations.

Except for that, Croatia is a popular tourist destination so anglers can combine fishing with other activities.

Numerous fish species represent a real fishing challenge.

Beginners can also enjoy fishing in Croatia as there is a lot of small, easy to catch fish.

Unlike some other places, Adriatic Sea is very accessible and safe. All that makes it a perfect location.

Here you will find a list of great destinations and everything else you need to know about sea fishing in Croatia!

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Sea Fishing in Croatia - very popular among both tourists and locals

Fishing in Croatia is very popular among both tourists and locals.

Abundance of fish and variety of fish species offer fishing possibilities for anyone. There are different fishing zones from the north to the south. Adriatic Sea differs in those regions.

Northern part is shallower and southern parts are deeper. Near the Istria coastline depths are up to 50 metres.

Different zones have different locations which include places with similar fishing conditions, such as depth, fish species available and bottom and shore characteristics.

Anywhere you go, you basically can’t go wrong.

Choosing a region is up to you, and while choosing a specific location within that region, consider what kind of fish are you searching for and what is the best place to find it.

More details about certain fish species are given in the following chapters.

For spear fishing enthusiasts, numerous locations are available too.

Adriatic Sea is safe, it has no huge waves, extremely strong currents or tidal waves, like oceans. So free diving with a spare gun is an excellent activity.

Despite that, always check the weather forecast.

If you are not fishing for any kind of special fish species, and you just want to enjoy, take basic equipment and mussels as baits. Find an average location and you will catch one of the various smaller species, like mullets. This option is great for beginners.


 

Big game (tuna) fishing in Croatia - dream of many anglers

Catching a fish like tuna is dream of many anglers.

Luckily, you can put your skills to the ultimate test in Croatia.

To catch a tuna, you need a special licence (more about that you can read in the following chapters). Except that, you need specialized equipment and a boat. And all that will not be enough if you lack experience.

State laws behind this are complicated, but to keep it simple we can say that there are concessionaires who are allowed to catch specific number of fish per year, with boats that comply with regulations and they have to report everything to the regulatory body.

You, as a sports fisherman can hire one of big game fishing agenciesand enjoy fishing without legal hassle.

Those options are available in different locations, and one of the best locations is island Murter.

Numerous surrounding islands on one side and open sea on other, depths up to 200 meters and heavy-duty equipment are a recipe for a fishing adventure of a lifetime.

Except bluefin and albacore tuna, there is a possibility to catch a swordfish or even certain species of sharks.

Another good location for big game fishing is Istria.

If your vacation plans include that part of Croatia, check for local big game fishing agencies.

Best Sea Fishing in Croatia - Islands

More Best Sea Fishing Locations in Croatia

Here you can find some best sea fishing locations in Croatia, like Split, Makarska, Dubrovnik and many others. Check ...

Fishing in Croatia, Split

Split is the second largest city in Croatia, full of tourists and numerous towns and villages in the vicinity.

The city itself is not a good fishing location as it is full of tourists and boats around it. If you are looking for a good location in the vicinity of Split, you will either need a boat or be willing to drive a bit further away. Areas around Rogoznica on one side or Brela on the other can offer you some possibilities. A lot of commercial fishing boats operate in this area and there is less fish. It is still possible to catch them but you could have a hard time doing so.

If you want to enjoy fishing in this region, try islands Veli and Mali Drvenik and Šolta island. Rocky terrain with a lot of cliffs offers great fishing possibilities. And it is close enough to Split city for a day trip.

Congers, breams and bass, together with dentex and scorpionfish can be caught here.

On the Split area coastline, near rivers Žrnovnica and Cetina, you can catch mullets, bass, bream and European eel.


 

Fishing in Croatia, Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik area is a famous destination for tourists, but it is equally interesting for fishing. Rugged coastline and small surrounding islands have some very good fishing spots. And this area is quite large, you can fish from Ston channel on one side to Boka Kotorska gate on the other.

Sea bottom is very diverse and it’s a good place for various fish species. Area around Elafiti islands offers both sandy and rocky bottom areas, while the rest of the region is mostly rocky. Depending of a location here you can find congers, bass, breams, mullets, dentex, scorpionfish, sargo, muraena, sharpsnout bream, annular seabream, two-banded sea bream and greater amberjack.

If you are unsure of fish species you want to catch, or you like to have various possibilities, Dubrovnik region is a good option.


 

Fishing in Croatia, Makarska

Makarska is further south from Split. Bottom is mostly sandy and muddy. Rocky parts and usual fish species for those terrains are almost non-existent. Sea is also very shallow here.

Most of those parts are not suitable for fishing, but there are some examples, like Klokun cove. Bass and bream are frequent visitors of this area, together with sargo and sharpsnout bream.

If you have a boat, or wish to rent one, some decent fishing locations exist away from the shore, where you can find common pandora and European hake.



Fishing in Croatia, Zadar

Zadar is located somewhere in the middle part of Croatian coastline. This area is very rugged and large, consisting of long shore and numerous islands. Zadar and Pašman channel, together with the sea around island Vir, are ideal for gilt-head bream, mullets, European bass, and large specimens of common pandora.

Another location is the middle channel where you can catch a lot of squid in colder months, while in summer you can catch common dentex, and common pandora.

If you have a boat or you wish to visit the islands around Zadar, you can have the best sports fishing experience in this region. Between island Pašman and Dugi otok island, you can find a lot of small islands which are a home to numerous fish species, in large quantities. Mullets, common dentex, European bass, gilt-head bream and common pandora are among various species frequently caught in this area.



Fishing in Croatia, Brač

Sea bottom around Brač island is mostly sandy, with areas covered by sea weed. Some of the fish species that can be caught here are annular seabream, striped red mullet and European hake.

Western and southwestern side of the island is surrounded by much deeper sea. In some places those depths are up to 80 metres near the shore. This part is ideal for common dentex, eel, conger, scorpionfish and muraena.

Further west, after Ražanj cape, you can find lobsters.

Brač and its various fishing conditions around the island can offer different experiences for anglers. Another good thing is that according to the winds and weather you may choose different location every day. Island itself is small enough for you to be able to go to any part of it for a day trip.

Fishing in Croatia, Poreč

Coastline around Poreč is the most rugged in Istria. This location is very good for European conger fishing. Among other species you can fish for gilt-head bream and European bass. Variety of coves and inlets, together with small islands near the shore, make the perfect hiding places for numerous fish species. Bottom is mostly rocky, covered with Cystoseria algae. Common dentex can be found in deeper parts, while other species come close to the shore, in shallow water.

Rugged coastline enables you to find a perfect spot, away for any distractions. Istria is a great fishing location and Poreč is one of the best places in that region. Except for that, it is easily accessible for anyone traveling by car from neighbouring countries.



Fishing in Croatia, Vrsar

Vrsar is located between Poreč and Rovinj in Istra. It is in the same fishing region and has very similar bottom characteristics and fishing possibilities as Poreč.

Rocky terrain near the coastline is ideal for catching congers, dentex, scorpionfish, squid, lobster and sargo. Sandy patches across rocky terrain are ideal places for bass and gilt head bream, together with sand Steenbras, salema porgy and greater weever.

Further away from the shore, you can catch European hake. This option is great for anglers fishing from boats.

Rules and licence for sea fishing in Croatia

Anybody who wants to fish in Croatia has to obtain a licence. There are two kinds of licences, sports and recreational.

To obtain any of those two, you will need a personal ID or a passport. If you are fishing during summer season, from May to October, keep in mind that fishing is not allowed in small ports and public beaches.

There are specific locations where fishing is not allowed or allowed under special circumstances, such as national parks or places where certain rivers flow into the sea.

If you decide to buy recreational fishing licence, rules are the following:

  • Maximum daily catch must not exceed 5 kilograms.
  • Maximum two fishing lines with three hooks per line.
  • Maximum two trolling lines with 3 hooks per line.
  • Foreigners can buy day or multi day licences while residents can obtain yearly licence.

If you buy a sports licence, rules are the following:

  • Maximum two fishing lines with three hooks per line.
  • Maximum two trolling lines with 3 hooks per line.
  • Maximum two underwater spear guns (this is not allowed with the recreational licence).


To obtain a sports licence you must be a member of Croatian Sport Sea Fishing Association or a member of similar foreign organisation. If you are not a member, you can become one before obtaining a licence.

Spear fishing at night or with scuba-gear is strictly forbidden.

For big game fishing, first you must obtain a sports licence and after that upgrade it to Big game. Maximum two rods with reels are allowed, with two hooks per rod. You can catch only one tuna or swordfish per day and you must check in the catch to the Fisheries Directorate.

When you buy your fishing licence you will get all the instructions about size of the fish you may keep according to the species and other detailed instructions that you must follow.



Fish in Croatia - Adriatic Sea is full of fish

Adriatic Sea is full of fish. From small ones like European pilchard to tuna fish.

That is one of the reasons why fishing in Croatia is so popular.

Fishing possibilities are endless, but here we are going to mention the fish species that are interesting for anglers.

Gilt-head bream

Gilt-head bream, called “Orada” or “Komarča” in Croatian is so called queen of the sea. Fishing for gilt-head bream is challenging and this fish is a real fighter. Don’t let the size fool you, usually around 35 centimetres long, this fish owes its popularity to its extraordinary taste. There are some bigger specimens, up to 70 centimetres long and weighing more than 5 kilograms.

Anglers trying to catch it should look for it near the coast during summer months, in waters up to 10 meters deep. If fishing in winter, slightly deeper and further from the shore. Rocks and sand on the bottom are an ideal place to find gilt-head beam.

Use larger baits, basic rods with spinning or baitrunner reels.

European bass

Called “Lubin” or “Brancin”, this fish is as popular fishing choice as the gilt-head beam. It is also extremely tasty so catch and release is quite rare. The bigger specimens can reach up to 1 meter in length and weighing 12 kilograms. Those are rare and most of them are up to half a meter long. They grow slowly and it takes years for them to reach adult size.

If you want to catch one of those, look almost the same places as for gilt-head bream, but with sea weed in the proximity. They can be found near small fish shoals.

Use longer rods for fishing and medium lures with natural appearance. Tidal change is the best time to fish for bass.

The best locations to catch them are western Istria, Novigrad and Velebit channel.



European conger

If you like night fishing and you want a real challenge that will put your fishing skills to the test, try catching a conger. They can be up to two meters long and weight more that 25 kilograms. Congers spend time inaccessible hiding places. While fishing for them you have to be quite skilful and prevent them to hide beneath a rock after they bite your hook, because getting them out will be impossible.

To catch a conger, you will need very strong fishing gear. Best places for conger fishing are rocky shores and rocky sea bottom with lots of hiding places. Use very strong and thicker lines and reels that can handle it.

Istria is one of the best locations for conger fishing.



Common Dentex

This predatory fish can be caught from the shore, same as those previously mentioned. Dentex prefers rocky areas. During summer, they will be in waters 10 – 40 meters deep, near the sea bottom. Summer is good for dentex fishing because at that time they become very aggressive.

This fish species can grow up to one meter in length and weigh 16 kilograms, although that size is quite rare. Even for a half of that size, dentex will be a challenge to catch.

Other

Depending of a season and location, you can enjoy fishing for smaller and “easier” fish, such as mullets, common pandora, scorpion fish and other. They can be caught from the shore using basic equipment. If you are fishing in winter and have a boat access, try fishing for squid. Adriatic squid is extremely tasteful. Or you can fish for something bigger ...

Best Sea Fishing in Croatia - Fish Tuna

Best tips for fishing in Croatia

When it comes to tips and tricks, there is a lot of them, especially if you ask a local angler. Some of those tips are the following:

1.) If fishing in summer, avoid areas extremely popular for tourists. Swimmers and boats will scare off the fish.

2.) Consider fishing in winter as it is peaceful and calm. Also, some species are easier to catch in winter.

3.) When fishing from shore try to get as far away as possible from the populated areas.

3.) Try night fishing – lower temperatures are very pleasant and maybe some European congers are there to be caught

4.) Consider the weather, same as everywhere rain and clouds increase your chances. When it comes to wind, avoid windless days and extremely calm sea. North-east wind is good for bass, dentex is active during west and north-west winds.

5.) Local shells and fish are great baits. Try to fish using mussels or small fish like pilchards. Pilchards are very good winter baits.

6.) If possible, try fishing from a boat, you will have access to unlimited places without other anglers and tourists

7.) Choose the right equipment, especially if fishing for predators or large fish.

Conclusion

Croatia is a great destination for sea fishing.

Equally interesting to beginners and experienced anglers, Adriatic Sea is full of various fish species, and some of them are very exciting to catch. Different locations and conditions provide fishing opportunities for anyone’s taste. By following basic tips, you may increase your chances to catch a fish you desire.

For those aiming high, big game fishing options are also available, and definitely worth the effort.

Make sure you familiarize yourself with rules and regulations, obtain a licence and enjoy your fishing vacation!

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