Angling in the Mediterranean

Angling holidays with a bite

Idylle am Mittelmeer - Spanien
It is always the same question: "What fishing gear to pack when I go on vacation to the sea?" Actually it is quite easy to answer, if the destination is a country that borders on the Mediterranean. If I want to fish from shore, in most cases a breakwater and a spinning rod are completely sufficient. Lures can be well left at home, perhaps with the exception of some small jigs, carousels and spoons. On the Mediterranean coast you mostly fish with natural baits which you get fresh on location.
At many seaports or fishing villages smaller and larger boats start for fishing trips out to the sea as in France, Italy and recently even in Croatia. The easiest way is to inquire at your resort what's on offer. Often there are signs advertising the tours right at the harbor. These tours range from the standard tours going for mackerel or different perch and species of bream to big game fishing tours hunting for swordfish or different species of shark likethe  blue or thresher shark. Often you do not have to go far out as in many places the water gets very deep near the coast, dark blue and crystal clear.
Angling from the coast
Rugged, rocky coasts are typical for the Mediterranean with steep edges and picturesque, beautiful bays. But there are also long sandy beaches, for example, on the North African coast or in Italy. Here it is worthwhile to have a breakwater rod in your luggage. Striped barbs, typical sand bottom dwellers, which incidentally occur throughout the Mediterranean reach up to three pounds and are really delicious fish. They are best caught on ragworms or muscles meat. At dusk, you can expect large stingrays that get well into the shallow water zone for hunting. Therefore, you should offer your bait as a precaution on a steel leader. Not least because of the sea bass, which are lurking right in the surf.

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Angling from cliffs
On the Spanish east coast, I have observed local anglers who were 50 meters above sea level on the cliffs and fished "blind". They cast out wide but could not see where the cord dipped into the water. Nevertheless, holding their rod in hand and using fish scraps and worm as baits, they caught sea bream, wrasse and weever. You have to be careful with the later as it has poisonous stings on its back that can cause painful injuries that can require hospital treatment at worst. Sometimes swarms of mackerel pass round the headlands off the cliffs and you can hunt them from the shore using carousels or floats.

In the waters around the Greek islands fishing is intense and, as a consequence, the average size of your expected catch from shore will be rather small. But bream and wrasse can be caught here. Likewise, needlefish, which can be tricked with rags or slender indicators in the Mediterranean close to the surface. This is, incidentally, the same kind, which is also found in the North and Baltic Seas.

Angling in harbours
What I personally always find very exciting, is fishing in ports. As long as these are not excessively dirty, they are home to a surprisingly great number of different fish. No matter in which country you are, there are always some locals who sit on any mole or boat and hold a rod or rope in their hands. They usually catch various sea species of bream, often directly on sight. A very popular harbor fish is also the thicklipped mullet that can easily be lured with bread crumbs, bits of ragworm or clip isopods that crawl around all over the moles.
Hafen von Menton

Auch die Häfen sind erfolgversprechende Angelplätze, wenn sie nicht verschmutzt sind

Under lamp posts
If there are streetlights on the harbor walls, it is always worth a trial in the dark: The fish have learned that plankton, amphipods and juvenile swarms are attracted by the light. In its surroundings you can often catch sardines or mackerels using a standard hering carousel. I have already caught buckets of sardines. Also squid sometimes congregate in the area outside of the beam and can be targeted with squid wobblers. They follow them into the beam so that you can even watch them bite and react immediately. I watched a guy in the port of Villefranche sur Mer who caught squid of one meter length this way.
A lot of action at the Ebro
It is not only fans of sheatfish who get excited when talking about the River Ebro - also sea anglers can enjoy good fighting fish on their hooks at the mouth of the famous Spanish river. The most popular in the Ebro Delta are palometa and bluefish. The Palometa is a kind of sting makarel the Spaniards call Palometón (lat .: Lichia amia). The name Palometa actually means a smaller species but has acclimated itself to the German tourists. Palometa and bluefish are aggressive predators and come to the delta mainly from April to October.

A boat is required
Palometas can reach more than 50 pounds, bluefish to about 20 pounds. The really strong ones can be hunted with trawled bait fish and wobblers. What you definitely need for success, is a boat. What also works well is ground fishing and lure fishing from an anchored boat. While bluefish are around the delta for most time of the year, palometas rather occur in batches during their extended hunting. Bluefish have razor-sharp teeth (steel leader!) and taste wonderful. Your equipment should include a rod 2.5 meter long, casting weight of 150 grams, 300 meters of 0,50 strong monofilament line, strong stationary or multiplier reel. Triplets 3/0 to 5/0; Basic Leads between 30 and 200 grams. Steel leads. Possible bycatch when fishing in the delta: bonitos to eight pounds, dolphinfish to 10, amberjacks to 50 and seabass to 20 pounds.

Text: Michael Janke
Source: Rute & Rolle
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