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jigging and popping the Adriatic


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#1 ExtremeFisherman

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:10 PM

 Blue fin popping is starting to really take off in Croatia , I plan on spending a month there this summer with my family , I will be checking all the charter boats and will also try to go out with some commercial guys as well .. The Adriatic bluefin are there year round , they also get swordfish , mahi ,dusky grouper, amberjack and other bottom fish .. We own two houses on the coast one on the main land and the other is on a island in a very small village . My wife told me you can see the tuna braking water from the beach in the summertime . This could be a great place to go popping for tuna .

http://biggame-fishi...me-popping.html

 http://adriatic-fishing.com/popping/

http://biggame-fishi...e-drifting.html

http://www.croatia-f...a-moru/jigging/

 

The Adriatic

Adriatic Sea

The Adriatic Sea can be compared to the Sea of Cortez in Baja California, Mexico, as it is enclosed between the Italian peninsula and the former country of Yugoslavia. This 430-mile-long basin consists of two main fishing territories: the North Adriatic, from Venice to Porto San Giorgio, which has a long, narrow, sandy-gold shoreline; and the Central Adriatic, from Porto San Giorgio to Santa Maria di Leuca, which has a rocky shoreline with some short white-sand beaches.

The major angling interest in the Adriatic is the giant bluefin tuna, although considerable enthusiasm is devoted to blue and thresher sharks, albacore, mackerel, and sea bass.

The bluefin tuna was likely the first big-game species encountered by fishermen in this region. They were subsistence fishermen, however, and far removed from the sophisticated population inhabiting Italy today. History suggests that the earliest meetings between tuna and man occurred in the Mediterranean Sea. The northern bluefin began its trek toward exploitation well before the birth of Christ. More than 4,000 years ago, the Phoenicians used the first rudimentary net traps in the Mediterranean to catch this species. The design of nets to catch these formidable fish has been handed down through the centuries, and today two remaining descendants of the practice, called tonnare, are still in operation out of Sicily—living legends and the last keepers of an old way of life on the sea.

It was not until the 1970s, however, that the first giant bluefin tuna was caught with rod and reel by trolling a dead mackerel just off the mouth of the Po River in the Adriatic Sea. This discovery became a catalyst for many inshore anglers, who decided to outfit their boats for tuna. The true impetus behind Italy’s bluefin sportfishery, however, was importation from the United States and France of drift-and-chum fishing tactics.

Schools of tuna of all sizes were spotted practically all along the peninsula in every region of the country. By the 1980s and early 1990s, hundreds of giants had been caught under International Gamefish Association (IGFA) rules and Italian law. (Italy allows only one bluefin tuna boated per day per boat, except during sanctioned tournaments.) The anglers observed that each size of bluefin—small (up to 70 pounds), medium (70 to 200 pounds), and giant (up to 900 pounds)—did not intermingle and engaged in different seasonal movements. It was eventually learned that small bluefin frequent the southern Adriatic, Ionian, and Ligurian Seas; medium-size bluefin run all along the Thyrrenian, Ligurian, and central Adriatic Seas; and giant bluefin prefer the Sardinian and Sicilian water, and the northern and central Adriatic Sea.

In late spring, after having spawned in the cool waters of the Ionian and Aegean Seas, hungry bluefin scatter in two main directions to pursue huge schools of bait. One moves toward the Adriatic Sea, the other passes through the Sicilian and Sardinian Channels to enter the Thyrrenian and Sardinian Seas.

In this erratic period, the bluefin that have gone the Adriatic way will follow the warm northward surface current that passes close to the Yugoslavian coast, arriving at their final destination in the northern Adriatic in early summer. Some schools of tuna are turned westward in the central Adriatic by a frontal eddy formed around Gargano’s Promontory, so the first giants arrive in the southern Adriatic in late spring.

The majority of giant bluefin remain in the shallow waters of the northern Adriatic until early fall, when they return to the eastern Mediterranean, following the hot southward surface current that passes close to the Italian peninsula. They return to the central Adriatic in late autumn.

In essence, the giant bluefin tuna season in the northern Adriatic runs from June through November; July, August, and September are the peak months. In the central Adriatic, giants run from April through December; May, August, September, and October are the peak months. The medium and small bluefin frequent the deeper waters off the central and southern Adriatic year-round. Fishing opportunities for medium tuna peak in spring and winter, and for small tuna in autumn.

At the beginning of the fishing season in the northern Adriatic Sea, giants feed more than 30 miles offshore from Chioggia, Albarella, Porto Garibaldi, Porto Barricata, Rimini, and Pesaro. All of the northern Adriatic Sea is characterized by shallow depths (maximum of 90 feet) and by an extremely variable demarcation line between the inshore and offshore waters. For these reasons the local sportfishing boats, which are small but fast, mount their fighting chair on the bow, so the skipper can chase the big tuna during their long, shallow runs.

The central Adriatic has a longer fishing season, and giants are landed from modern marinas at Pesaro, Porto San Giorgio, Numana, San Benedetto del Tronto, Pescara, and Termoli. It is possible at these sites to charter well-equipped sportfishing boats with experienced skippers and mates who have countless giants to their credit.

Incidental catches while drifting for bluefin tuna include thresher sharks, blue sharks, and swordfish. During the off-season for bluefins, however, anglers can count on a lot of sharks, particularly blues (February through May) and threshers (year-round), together with green mackerel sharks (November through May), and sea bass (year-round). These fish are regularly caught on light drifting tackle.


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#2 bowguide

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:48 PM

Sounds great. What do you think Kil.....road trip???



#3 Jelle

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 09:07 AM

Yeah I was also surprised when I started looking into the possibilities for the mediterranean. I'm orginally from Belgium so that would be my closest destination for some bluewater fishing. Even off the french coast guys are catching bluefin, mahi mahi, ... most of them just have 5-6m semi rigids and a lot of the action can happen close to the shore.

 

If anyone has some more info on species and general areas, I would gladly hear it!



#4 mag

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 01:29 PM

Thanks for sharing

 

I will visit Croatia and Rovinj the first week og july this sommer.

Do you know if the tuna go so far north?

What about the season of the tuna, is the first week of july to early in the season?

 

Regards from  Norway



#5 maguro

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 01:55 PM

@ mag the tunas migrate all the way to the northern most part of the adriatic sea! as a matter of fact the biggest fishes are regularly caught in the north! off the coast of Rovinj and in the Kvarner bay!

I have my boat right in that area, and tunas of over 200kgs are not uncommon! July should be right at the start of tuna season! normally the tunas show up around march / april depending on the watertemperature, then they disappear for a couple of month, and come back sometimes during the first week of july!

 

@ extreme fishermen: I know all the boats, and captains that you have posted! where exactly are your houses located? at the moment jigging for big AJs is red hot! if you need any more infos about seasons, places etc. contact me!



#6 ExtremeFisherman

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 02:48 PM

Hi maguro .. We have a place in  Zadar and Olib .. Thanks for the info on the season , what other species do you guys catch ? Also do you do any popping ? IF so what type of lure do you like .


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#7 maguro

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 02:59 PM

Lucky you :-)

both places offer excellent access to good fishing spots!

we do pop for tuna a lot! most effective lures are in the beginning of the season, when the tunas are feeding on small bait - small profile lures. Tackle House Flitz, Tackle House Int 45, Smith Super Surger, Smith Saruna Dragon, Duo Press Bait HD and the like!

Later on in the season also larger lures work like the Shibuki , Shout Engra, Baby Runboh... the biggest size lure I use is the Nature Boys Surfish Tuna

generally sticks work better than poppers!

since you have houses there, I assume that you are of Croatian descent?


Edited by maguro, 05 March 2013 - 02:59 PM.


#8 ExtremeFisherman

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 04:06 PM

maguro ,thanks for the info , My wife is Croatian and always spends the summers there with our children .  


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#9 ExtremeFisherman

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 09:54 PM


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#10 petardone

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:15 AM

Ciao Ragazzi,

dont forget Lignano Sabbiadoro............

many opportunites to cast at Tuna in front of Grado, and only 5 miles off the coast (Maguro know it very well).

last tuna i have notice was caught the 20 february with popping gear.........

April will come soon and they will jump !

sometimes they show closer to the coast at 1 miles !

nobody speak about it , is a secret ! sssssssshhhhhhhtttttttt !!

so if you have a small open boat you could have some chance to hook up a beautiful original BLUE FIN TUNA .

in the past the medium size was of 150 kg, a good one 250 kg, a big over 300 kg, we must say "thanks" to japan fisherman if they dont swim anymore,and also to the "poor" italian "sportive" pseudo fisherman.......



#11 ExtremeFisherman

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:41 PM

What color stick baits  do you guys like for tuna , I assume sardine,anchovy and mack patterns work ?  Also do you guys do any deep drop bottom fishing in 200m or more .. Any info on Lica ?

 

 Thanks 


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#12 petardone

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 03:27 AM

FLITZ FLITZ FLITZ !!!!!!!!!!

our BFT loves small baitsssssssssssss !

small jigs!

200 mts bottom fishing??????

everybody there, use to fish where the bottom rise very fast from the depth, where the amberjack , San Pietro and predator like to hanging around for the prey, also DENTEX DENTEX are there.

do you know PESCE SAN PIETRO ?

take a look on wikipedia, i dont remember the latino name, sorry.

P.S.

dont forget the to mention , that all the fishermans needs a licence in Croatia,and more important, if you do somethings forbidden you go in JAIL !!!!

As you know, the CAPITANJA ( guard coast) dont like very much the foreiners!

many many troubles happened to the tourist there,be careful !!!!!!!!!!



#13 niguevara

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 05:35 AM

How about Catch and Release?

How about following the law (sports fishing licence) and keeping only ONE big fish (above 5 kilos)?

Huge majority of these fishermen are breaking the law as we speak (wiping out populations of great amberjack or seriola dumerili)!

And not just breaking the law of state but the moral law too.

They obviously can't see (or don't want to see) tomorrows of us and our children.

 

Plus those kinds of fish massacres (again, by sport fishermen) are advertised in Croatian's largest sea fishing magazine...

I was born 10 meters from the coast of Adriatic sea, and this makes me sick!

What will be left in the years to come, why can't we learn from our past and mistakes others have made?

 

PLEASE!!!!  Adriatic sea is small sea, very closed and therefore much more sensitive than big open seas and oceans... Please think of future!


Edited by niguevara, 09 March 2013 - 05:40 AM.


#14 ExtremeFisherman

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 11:30 AM

I dont plan on wiping out the fish population or braking any laws , just wanted some info on fishing lol... 


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#15 niguevara

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 11:36 AM

I dont plan on wiping out the fish population or braking any laws , just wanted some info on fishing lol... 

 

I didn't point my finger on you... I just had to spill my guts about this that concernes me a lot... 



#16 ExtremeFisherman

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:10 PM

Ok then lets keep this thread about fishing  :)

 

petardone, PESCE SAN PIETRO is saint peters fish or john dory , we have same fish in the US.... When you say small jigs how many grams ? Im a lure builder and would love to know what color stickbaits do you guys like for bluefin , want to try and build some Adriatic stickbaits ..


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#17 niguevara

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:14 PM

Ok then lets keep this thread about fishing  :)

 

Ok but that has everything to do with fishing.



#18 ExtremeFisherman

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 01:43 PM

Listen I know all about fishing , trust me  ;) .. This thread is about fishing technics and tackle for fishing for your fish .. Not trying to argue with you about it , I was not offended by your post , I would be more concerned about big netters in the Adriatic than rod and reel guys ... I too want fish for the future but posting about it on a message board wont help one bit ,its government you need to address your concerns to , I wouldn't worry about it because once the tree huggers get there way there will be no more recreational fishing .......Amber jack taste like crap don't know how people can eat them especially those big reef donkeys must be full of PCB's  , I also would like to release any tuna caught , Iv killed hundreds and don't need to kill anymore ,unless its a bigeye then he's going to be food  :D ..

  I plan on sending my kayak out there and will do some exploring when Im out on Olib .. Fishing is only a small part of my trip , I 

will spend allot of time visiting family and seeing the sites ...My father in law has been trying to get me to come to croatia for over ten years and has lots of people for me to meet and places to visit ..


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#19 ExtremeFisherman

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 01:54 PM

New prototype Tuna stickbait I plan on testing on my trip 

 

top secret 


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#20 niguevara

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 01:56 PM

I agree that's governmental issue and I've sent them letters... 

 

Now, kayak is a great way to enjoy our beautiful coast and sea... If you get bored with jigging and popping and spinning, try the traditional way; live/dead bait. The best one is great sea worm (Eunice Gigantea).

 

The fish are not big but interplay between you and them is fun. 

 

Plus, I can pretty much guarantee you that your taste buds will never be the same after tasting fish from Adriatic Sea. EVERYONE I met has said that.

My mother has two sisters living in Cali with their families and as much as they love "their" fish, there's simply no comparison between.



#21 ExtremeFisherman

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 02:19 PM

 Thanks for the info niguevara ! We fish allot in the US with dead baits , im headed out tonight on a 100mile offshore trip to bottomfish in 200-300meters for tile and wreckfish 

 tilefish

 

yeah Im definitely looking forward to tasting the local fish especially the octopus ,my wife has told me the same thing about the fish tasting better there . 


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#22 Kilsong

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 06:04 PM

I never fished in Europe,  Fishing looks great there. 

If fishing is as good as they post, I got to go someday. :)



#23 petardone

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 11:23 PM

extreme fisherman,

the size of sardinas are of 10 cm (3'' 1/2), there also small one similar to anchovies but more slim , the tuna get crazy for them, do you remember PAC Man? they swim and eat very slwoly sometimes.

AWASOME !

i never sow tunas breaking the surface eating mackarels, only on the sardinas or the "papaline"(the small one).

small casting jigs works very well when they dont want stick baits, cast,1-2-3-4 move , reel on, 1-2-3-4, reel on, strikeeeeeeeeeeee !

but there is a big problem, the ring inside the metal is not strong enough and if you hook a 100 kg...........

somebody put a braided wire trough the ring and the hook at the end,but small jig could have problems to work in the right way.

sometimes on the surface you see 30/40 kg tunas, but 3/5 mt under there are the bigs one.

this evening i was talking with an aficionados of Dugj Otok, and he told me that Croatian dont know what is catch and relase.

the last time he was there he got many discussion with the captain about relasing a 7 kg Blue fin.........

our Tuna Club are very restrictive about and we are pushing hard for the C&R practice.

In Italia , if you catch a tuna when the season is closed, and cosat guard or other officer catch you, you MUST pay 25.000 euro for each tuna you have on your boat, and in some case the boat and the tackle confiscated.

every boat must be registred at the Coast Guard, only one tuna for boat, and written declaration in the 24.00 of the catch,by mail or by hand

The italian coast guard boats are veeeeeeeeeery fast !



#24 maguro

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 07:39 AM

i saw you found some of our videos!

dude your stickbaits look sweet! you can send me some, and I will try if they work for you :-)

deep dropping is not so effective in the adriatic sea. we have some good positions for bottom fish, but they are far away from where you will be!

you have some very good positions for Dentex (Snapper) around Olib! If you come over dont hesitate to contact me, regarding any information, maybe we can even set up a little fishing trip together!

by the way, the AJs from the med. are really excellent to eat!

 

niguevara, I know what you mean, and I perfectly understand your anger! maybe we can discuss this one day personally! I have now personally limited myself to just one fish, everything else goes back!



#25 niguevara

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 07:59 AM

Hey maguro, saw you on the TV the other day about VJ competition, you looked nice. ;)

And I was excited that one fish per fisherman was allowed to be kept. Good!



#26 jerome the belgian

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:16 PM

I never fished in Europe,  Fishing looks great there. 

If fishing is as good as they post, I got to go someday. :)

 

you would be very disapointed, mediterranean sea or adriatic is not CC :-)



#27 maguro

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 05:30 AM

Jerome is right! The med. sea is of course overfished, and heavy populated around it s shores! But when the fishing is good, it is REALLY good! However it lacks consistency! I would not go on fishing only vacation to the med. sea, but it is an excellent place for a holiday, and some fishing in between :-)



#28 fishnh

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:09 PM

Ryan, have a great trip. Those stickbaits look like fish slayers for sure. You have done some nice work on your plugs. 






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