Fishing report: Spearfishing vs Bolentino – Who Won?

Fishing report - Spearfishing vs “Regular” Fishing

Would like to know some details about fishing for boops, gilt-head bream, and other fish species from a boat?

You are in the right place! You too can do it, and it is simple! How do I know that?

A few days ago, my friends and I came back from the Pag Island (Croatia) and I have to say that we had a really good time! We caught a lot of fish!

Unlike last year, when we went to Krk Island, and experienced a fishing disaster. We didn’t really know the place and barely caught anything.

Island Pag on the other hand, we know very well in many ways. There is beer, very attractive girls in bikinis, and very attractive locations for boat fishing! All that is a recipe for a great vacation, and that is a reason why we return to this place often!

If you want to know the details about this fishing trip, fishing techniques used (including spearfishing), read on!



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Spearfishing vs “Regular” Fishing – Who Won?

Before I declare a winner, I have to explain what exactly I am talking about.

So, my friends and I have a tradition. Every year, once or twice we go on a sea fishing trip in Croatia. It has been so great that I can`t imagine skipping it.

Fishing report - Spearfishing vs Regular - Road

Although we go together, we have different fishing background. I prefer rods and reels, while they practice spearfishing, and they are good at it.

To know more about spearfishing check it out here. And to know more about legal requirements, see here.

Due to mentioned disaster on Krk last year, we decided to change location to Pag. One of our group members has a vacation home there, knows the area well, and knows where to find a lot of gilt-head bream, boops, and salpa which aere are my targeted species. They on the other hand, are ready to catch bigger fish.

And so, we went on a sea fishing trip.

Fishing report - Spearfishing vs Regular - Sea

You know how they say, “don’t change a winning horse”? Well, my horse was not winning anything last year.

On Krk Island I had a bad experience with my ultra-light rod and the whole ultra-light setup, so I decided to change the approach completely, and use different gear and technique.

What Equipment Did I Choose?

In my language, it is called “bolentino” fishing, and here I will explain what it is. Trust me, its very simple.

Basically, it is fishing from an anchored boat. Unlike trolling for fish, this approach requires less attention to the boat, and it is suitable for beginners too.

I have noticed that a lot of people go sailing and it became incredibly popular, so you can use this to catch a fish and create a great memory for your friends with a tasty dinner!

With everything I used you can catch a lot of species, including, but not limited to those mentioned above. Anything of a similar size will do, including sea bass, mullet, and other species.

But in order to catch all this, you will need some fishing equipment.

What Did I Use for Bolentino Fishing?

Two most important parts here are fishing rod and a reel.

Commonly used length of a rod for this kind of fishing from a boat is about two (2) meters. About three (3) meter rods are also recommended, and some serious and competitive anglers use rods up to five (5) meters long! What to choose depends on your ability to maneuver with long rods and boat size.

When it comes to reel, here is what you need to know about it.

You will be dropping your rig from a boat to the bottom of the sea. This means that 10, 20, or even more meters of fishing line will immediately go off the spool. Such fishing requires reels that can accommodate more line length. Because of that, a bit bigger reels are recommended not only to hold more line, but to fight a fish with ease, especially if something a bit bigger ends up on your hook.

Just for info - I bought a Shimano Alivio Boat AX 210 rod and a Shimano Cazna 4000 FA reel. This set did an amazing job and if you are in doubt, I sincerely recommend this Shimano gear.

Fishing report - Spearfishing vs Regular - Rod

Of course, in addition to the rod and reel, there are other things that you need to pay attention to.

The main line for this kind of fishing should have 0.25 to 0.30 mm diameter. Leader lines should be “invisible” and I used fluorocarbon for that. Adriatic Sea is very clear so visible lines are not an option.

And lastly, you will need hooks and lead

You don't need to exaggerate with the size of hooks, but when it comes to the lead, keep in mind that sea currents can be very strong or it can be completely still. Your setup has to be adapted to real conditions on a specific location.

If the current is strong, mount a lead weighing 30 or even 40g to be on the safe side. If there is practically no current, then some 20g of lead will be enough, and it won’t be carried around the sea bottom.

Now that you know all these basic things you need to catch a fish, the only thing missing is how to tie it all together. Here you can see how "bolentino fishing" looks like ...

How Was the Fishing?

I think I have told you everything you need to know about equipment, so let’s get back to the waters around Pag Island and all those breams, boops, and salpas!

As I already said - I was fishing from the boat, but the other guys were going under the water.

So, at one moment my friend Denis decided that he wants to stay above water with me. I don’t know was the cold beer what held him there, or he just wanted to try out "handlining". I always have this as a backup, and it gets used quite often.

Fishing report - Spearfishing vs Regular - Friend

So, what is handlining? It is an old fishing technique where you don’t use a rod or reel. Fishing line with a hook and possibly a lead is handled by hands, thus the “hand-lining” name. Here the line is simply wrapped and stored around rectangular cork “handle”, although around the world this line holding part can be different.

We call it “kančanica” and although it looks funny, you can fish quite well with it. And my friend Denis proved it.

He pulled out a lot of fish out of the water. Although they were small, it was a lot of fun!

We hung some chum from the side of the boat, and I was very optimistic that the fishing will be good. And it was.

When the boops started biting it was incredible! We landed one after another without pauses in between!

Fishing report - Spearfishing vs Regular - Fish

As everything good comes to an end, so did this. Slowly we had to start “fishing” for our friends who were below the surface with spears, and they too had a good catch.

Although they didn’t prove themselves last year in waters around Krk, I have to say that Denis, Boris, and Simon did the job perfectly this time!

As they dived out of the water, you could see breams, salps, and a few other species around their belts. GREAT JOB GUYS!

Fishing report - Spearfishing vs Regular - Spear Catch

And so we slowly moved from a boat, to the table on the shore. And on the table were freshy grilled fish, vine, and great conversations! Of course, those conversations started suffering a bit after every glass of wine!

This gathering of ours has become a tradition, and I am sure that we will continue this tradition in the years to come! Is that right, guys? Of course it is!

Fishing report - Spearfishing vs Regular - Grill


If you ever go on a boat, whether it is a planned fishing trip, or a sailing trip with people who are not anglers, always have at least the small basic handlining kit with you!

You may not catch a tuna on it, but no matter where you are, you will be able to catch smaller species and make everyone around you happy when you serve them fresh fish for dinner!

I wish all of you good times with good friends, both on the water and on land! All the good times I had you can check in my fishing reports!

About Me

Slo-fishing - About Us


I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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