Our Top Tips on Fishing in the Ionian Islands
Ever tried fishing? Well if you have a week or two at sea you might as well give it a go! Here are some first-hand tips from our ex-flotilla skipper (and very own office fishing expert) Charlie to get your lines tight. Give it a go and we reckon you’ll be hooked...
Tackle for your Mackerel!
All fishing tackle can easily be bought locally in Greece and you don’t need as much as you’d think. No one wants to be ‘that guy’ who turns up with all the gear and well...you know the rest! I’d recommend a simple hand line reel with about 75 meters of 20 – 30 lb line, quite strong, in case you hook a big old Tuna!
You're also going to need a couple of lures. Here are some examples (below). They aren’t the manliest looking lures but we find the glittery squid work a trick! On the other hand if you are really trying to save your Euros (and have had a few beers), or even if you are just a real eco warrior, we hear these bottle cap lures are very effective!
Trawling - The need for speed
Simply trawl the lure about 30 – 50 metres behind your yacht under sail or under motor. Fish will still take when you are sailing at 8-9 knots however around 3- 6 knots is perfect (these are Greek fish remember, they are a laid back bunch). You will know when you get a bite! Remember to wear some gloves if you get the chance to pull one to save the line hurting your hands.
If you haven’t had luck out at sea, the harbours normally have plenty of fish in them which are fun to catch. You will need a whole new set up for these fish, mainly small sea bream and mullet. About a size 16 hook and 4 – 6lb line would do the job with a small hand line off the front of the boat or quay. The best bait has to be small pieces of white bread on the hook – the perfect use for lunchtime leftovers!
Best Fishing spots in the Ionian Islands
Charlie’s top three:
1. The channel between Corfu and Albania – although we don’t advise fishing the Albanian side, they like their fish!
2. The west coast of Paxos is a top spot. It is definitely worth sailing around the island anyway to see the cliffs. The best time of day for this is in the morning as the west coast can get choppy in the afternoon.
3. Between Ithaca and Atoko Island in the South Ionian. There are often whole schools of fish there. We once caught a sword fish!
Most common types of fish in the Ionian Islands
Trawling at sea: Tuna, Dorado, Spanish mackerel, Mackerel, Bonito and our pick of the bunch Sword Fish. Dorado and Swordfish shown below by Judy and Jon who caught these sailing with us in 2015.
Harbours and bays: Mullet and a few different types of sea bream. The sea bream caught from bays and clean harbours are good for the plate.
If you were to catch a decent fish you could either cook it yourself on board or if you want to show off your catch (and don’t want to miss out on the social aspects of the evening) most Tavernas will happily cook it for you. Doesn’t get fresher than that!
It is well known that the Mediterranean has been hugely overfished in recent years, but never fear, line fishing is the most sustainable method. The rate at which you or I will catch fish trawling is very sustainable, and shouldn’t make a notable dent to fishing populations, trust me! Just remember good things come to those who bait...
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