For a start, you have to differentiate between fresh (river, lake, canal) and sea water fishing. In general, Europeans talk of (sea) fishing, but for example in the UK, the sport is predominantly (but not exclusively) the domain of the fresh-water enthusiasts. As such, the fresh-water sports fishing industry is much more advanced and catered for in the UK than, say on an island in the Mediterranean, where sea fishing’s all you’ll find. Add seasonal highs like the salmon and sea trout runs in many Scottish and several English rivers and the sea vs freshwater issue becomes pretty complex.
In general, if you like your freshwater fishing and have the cash for a salmon/sea trout pass, you cannot go far wrong by targeting Scottish rivers. The Tay which goes through the town of Perth, the Spey and the Tweed (that originates in Scotland but enters the North Sea in North-East England at Berwick upon Tweed) are highly regarded by fishermen. Sea fishing in the UK is becoming more popular, especially with a new breed of kayak fishermen. In general many British seaside towns offer day trips on boats that provide the rod, line and bait with cod, pollock and mackerel common popular Summer catches.
In the Mediterranean, the deep seas off the island of Malta offer probably the most exciting European deep water sports fishing, with shark, tuna and marlin caught regularly. Similar fishing experiences can also be found around the Canary Islands, which although classed as part of Spain, lie off the coast of North-West Africa. Lampedusa Island, south of Sicily, in Italy is also quite well known for bluefin tuna and swordfish catches.
The Aegean and Ionian seas around the coast of Greece provide lower key sport fishing. The generally calm waters contain a variety of tasty fish like bream, mackerel, mullet, small tuna and many others, as well as octopus and cuttlefish that are delicious – but you may be so charmed by your surroundings that you will not concentrate much on the fishing!
Make sure you know the local rules regarding protected species and catch sizes/numbers before you set off – although European sea fishing has been generally easy going till recently, emerging conservation rules can catch you unaware. For these and in addition for safety reasons, it’s best to consult a local expert before you set off.
Posted : Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 at 11:00
As well as writing about travel, Karen Bryan offers tips on saving money, frugal living and how to live well on less, on her site Help Me To Save