Summer is coming to an end and that means the end of warm temperatures in Central Europe. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop fishing! While hard-core anglers take to the local waters when temperatures dip below freezing, we’ve compiled a list of the best warm-weather destinations for the colder months.
The list includes popular destinations as well as perhaps lesser-known spots in various countries. However, they all have two things in common: the temperatures remain pleasant and the fishing is fantastic. The best conditions, then, for a winter fishing vacation!
1. Marsa Alam, Egypt
Marsa Alam is located directly on the Red Sea and has become a popular place for divers and other sea lovers in the last decade. Various fishing trips are also offered here, which can be enjoyed even in winter with pleasant, double-digit temperatures. Depending on the type of trip, you can spend up to 8 hours fishing for spectacular species such as barracuda, grouper and even fan fish or tuna.
After fishing, it is worth jumping into the water with your diving gear to experience the colorful underwater world up close. Numerous reefs and the wreck of the Hamada provide a varied habitat in great water quality.
2. Po Delta, Italy
Next to the Ebro in Spain, the Po, in northern Italy, is probably the most famous river in Europe for fishing really big catfish, or catfish. Catfish with a length of over 2 meters are not uncommon here and are accompanied especially at the Po Delta by carp and pike perch, also impressive in size. Near the delta there are some places directly on the river, so you can almost see the fishing grounds from the hotel window.
Also quite close are the beaches of the Adriatic Sea and after successful fishing in the morning invite you to a leisurely walk on the beach. If that is not enough for a vacation, you will find that there are also several other sights in the area. Venice, for example, is only an hour’s drive away! Temperatures in the Delta, with the exception of January, stay above freezing most of the time, so fishing (and sightseeing) remains pleasant.
3. Santorini, Greece
A classic Mediterranean vacation destination, Santorini, with its distinctive white houses with blue roofs and the most hours of sunshine in Greece, attracts guests from all over the world. What many do not know is that the fishing grounds there are also impressive. For avid anglers, amberjack and even mahi mahi are exciting catches here. A little closer to shore, you can land your next dinner with a variety of sea bream and the odd sea bass.
So a winter beach vacation in Santorini can easily be combined with a fishing trip, or two. The temperatures are perfect for fishing and rarely drop below 10°C even in winter. And when you’ve had your fill of fishing, you can soak up the sun on the beach, admire the monuments and ruins that can be found all over the island, or relax with a glass of wine, made from the island’s grapes.
4. Pattaya, Thailand
The tropical climate of Southeast Asia, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 °C, makes Pattaya a popular destination. Anglers will not miss out here either. On boat trips, yellowtail and king mackerel, barracuda and even blue or white marlin can be caught in the Gulf of Thailand. Even freshwater anglers do not have to give up their hobby. In fish ponds you can, for an entrance fee, mess with Mekong giant catfish, carp or even exotics, such as the alligator pike or the South American arapaima. Whether freshwater or saltwater, excitement is guaranteed when fishing in Pattaya!
For relaxation, check out the local beaches that Pattaya is famous for. Besides sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling, there are also some impressive sights. The Sanctuary of Truth and the Buddha Temple are cultural landmarks of the city that are always worth a visit.
5. Malé, Maldives
In winter, temperatures in the Maldives range from 25° to 30°C, similar to Thailand. In Malé you can find fishing opportunities at almost every anchorage. The most famous fish of the atoll is probably the thickhead mackerel, which provides fantastic fights all year round. Besides this species, other big game classics such as mahi mahi, blue and black marlin and various species of tuna are also found here. Especially the tuna are also often caught with traditional methods, which is a very special experience.
A visit to the Maldives is all about the sea. From fishing, swimming and snorkeling, to dolphin watching and paradisiacal beaches, everything is on offer here that makes for a tropical dream vacation in the sun. The individual islands and atolls are connected by speedboats or airplanes, so that an excursion is possible at any time.
6. Ponta Delgada, Azores
Ponta Delgada is located on the largest island of the Azores, São Miguel. In the Azores, the seabed drops steeply offshore, making it easy to reach the fishing grounds of spectacular species such as blue and white marlin, yellow and blue fin tuna, mahi mahi and spearfish. Where elsewhere it usually takes a full day trip, in the Azores you can get your fill of big game fishing even on shorter and cheaper half-day trips.
If you still have energy after drilling a huge tuna, the spectacular nature of the Azores awaits. Volcanic springs and lush plant life in the middle of one of the world’s richest fishing areas. With a frost-free climate, the Azores are also the ideal place to escape the cold of winter.
7. Bali, Indonesia
Bali is probably by far the most famous island in Indonesia. However, the fishing grounds off Bali are not only of interest to visitors arriving for diving. The recreational fishing may not have the same scope as that for snorkelers and divers, but it is no less spectacular. From the southern coast near Denpasar or the island of Nusa Penida, deep waters are the quickest to reach. Tuna, mahi mahi, snapper, amberjack, fanfish and many others provide strenuous drills after a leisurely ride on a traditional jukung boat, or a luxurious catamaran.
Luxury need not be limited to the boat in which you travel. Hot springs, wellness resorts, and yoga classes provide physical well-being as well as a chance for tired arms to recover after fishing. A climate with consistently warm temperatures invites you to unwind, so you come back from your Bali vacation rested and relaxed.
8. Havana, Cuba
The island of joie de vivre and legendary cigars already lured Hemingway to go deep-sea fishing. But you don’t have to get into a boat to be successful. Along the coast you can often find anglers fishing with floats made of condoms. These balloons carry the bait, thanks to wind and current, further out to sea than would be possible with a normal cast. For example, snappers and barracudas are caught here. Excursions by boat can of course also be made. For action in spin fishing and trolling then also marlin, mahi mahi, tuna and king mackerel.
After the action on the sea, it can continue just as exciting on land. Salsa parties and clubs invite you to turn night into day. Or you can enjoy spectacular Cuban cuisine in a restaurant overlooking the sea. A vacation in Havana offers, besides fishing, everything a vacationer’s heart desires, from average temperatures above 20°C to sunbathing on the beach and visiting cultural sights!
9. Side, Turkey
Side is located only about an hour east of the tourist stronghold of Antalya, on the Turkish Riviera on the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to impressive ruins from ancient times and fabulous beaches, the fishing here leaves little to be desired. With surf fishing, you can go directly to the coast with your fishing rod without any bureaucratic hassle. A permit is not required. You can catch from the shore, for example, various sea bream, mullet, scorpion fish or gurnard. Those who are attracted to the sea by boat will find popular species such as mahi mahi and amberjack during deep-sea fishing. The insider tip are the eels in the river Manavgat!
Temperatures stay above freezing, even though in winter, it can get chilly with 5° – 10°C. Especially for vacationers who like to explore the ancient world, Side offers a great destination. An old amphitheater, the rebuilt columns of the Temple of Apollo and many other ruins attract in the immediate vicinity. Nature lovers will also find numerous activities in the area, from water sports, to jeep safaris.
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