Sicily fishing guide
Here you will find tips, the best fishing spots and top fish in Sicily. If you are looking for a fishing charter or skipper to go fishing, please visit our list of fishing charters in Sicily or search a fishing trip using the box below:
Sicily, the rugged yet extremely alluring southwestern Italian island is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Bound by the Mediterranean Sea in the southern half and the Tyrrhenian Sea on the northern half this beautiful island is home to the largest volcano in Europe, the Mt. Etna. Sicily is located in the middle of the Mediterranean in such a way that it forms the point of convergence of Italy, Africa and Greece.
The positioning of Sicily in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea has bestowed a typical Mediterranean climate on Sicily. The summers are hot and humid and the winters are mild and wet. Hence the best time to visit Sicily is during the Spring and Autumn season. Another most attractive aspect of the positioning of Sicily is that it is one of the best fishing locations in the world. Being an island state and having access to the Mediterranean Sea from all the sides makes Sicily one of the top ten fishing destinations in the world.
As mentioned earlier, Sicily has been bestowed with a Mediterranean Climate that makes the summers hot and dry and the winters warm and rainy.
Summer in Sicily begins in June and lasts till September with the highest temperatures getting recorded in July. The water temperatures also rise during the summer months and reach up to 25 degree Celsius during the peak of summer.
The winters are wet with frequent rainfalls. The temperatures drop till a little lower than 10 degree Celsius. The Autumn and the Spring months are the months with the best weather in Sicily. The months from October to November and from March till May are the the Autumn and the Spring months respectively.
Fishing in Sicily:
It is quite often said that if you are in Italy and haven’t been to Sicily, then you haven’t seen Italy at all. Sicily is an Italian city that is synonymous to fishing and the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea is home to a rich variety of fish species.
Fishing in Sicily takes place from several marinas, Syracuse and Favignana are a couple of them.
With over 12 years of experience of fishing in and around Sicily Captain Angelo of the Tourisfort boat tells us more about fishing in Sicily.
He explains that in Syracuse the fishing spots are located anywhere between 1 km to 40 km from the shore. Approximately 10 minutes of boat ride is required to reach the closest fishing spots from the shore. The boats are taken to fishing spots deeper into the sea that might take close to 60 minutes as well. The depths at which fishing usually happens range from 20 to 400 m from the surface.
Captain Angelo also says that at least twice a year he catches Tuna and Amberjack that weigh close to 100 and 30 kg respectively. Check Captain Angelo’s Profile here.
To book your fishing charter in Sicily you can click here.
Top 5 fish
Need I say anything about the mighty Bluefin Tuna? This is the largest of all the tuna species and the strongest. Their torpedo shaped body and retractable fins all make up for their great speed in the water. These characteristics of speed and strength are the ones that set them apart from other big game fish and make them one of the most favourite deep sea sport fish among adventurous anglers. An average adult Bluefin tuna can scale up to 2.5 m and can weigh close to 250 kg. However, the largest Blue Fin recorded by the IGFA is a giant weighing 679 kg and 3.7 m long.
When to fish for Bluefin Tuna in Sicily:
The months from June to November is considered a good time to fish for the Bluefins in the Sicilian waters among which May, August, September and October are viewed as the peak months. Medium sized Bluefin Tuna have a peak season during the winter and spring season and the small tuna are found in plenty between July and September.
Where to find Bluefin Tuna in Sicily:
The big Bluefin prefer to roam the Sicilian waters, giants are usually spotted off the Palermo and Egadi and Eolie Islands in Italy during the late spring season. During the late summers, the best spots are Siracusa and the west coast of Sicily.
How to fish for Bluefin Tuna:
Trolling with small feather jigs and drifting with dead sardines are some of the most common methods adopted by anglers in Sicily to land a Bluefin Tuna.
Not only in Sicily but in every part of the world the swordfish is considered a trophy fish by sport fishing anglers. Also known as the broadbill, this fish has attained its name from its elongated bill. These predatory fish are highly elusive and they put up a great fight when hooked. The Swords, as they are lovingly called are known for their spectacular jumps and stubborn fights. Landing a swordfish is very difficult and by the time you land one you will be exhausted with aching muscles.
The swordfish have elongated bodies and are known to grow to 4.5 m in length and can weigh a whopping 650 kg. Their best known characteristic is their speed which has been recorded up to 97 kph. Swordfish tend to stay in deep waters during the day and hence night fishing is considered the best to catch a swordfish.
When to fish for Swordfish in Sicily:
The best time to go looking for Swordfish in the Sicilian waters is during the months of April and December during which the peak season is considered to be during the months of May to July.
Where to find Swordfish in Sicily:
Swordfish are said to roam near canyons and submerged sea mountains. Local fishermen locate them in these areas frequently and even get four strikes per night.
How to fish for Swordfish:
As mentioned before, night fishing is more productive when it comes to swordfishing. Drifting dead or live squids through the water is the most common technique used in and around Sicily. Daylight fishing for swordfish can be productive during the months from March to May as this is the spawning season and at this time period the Swordfish are found drifting through the surface waters.
The Greater Amberjack is an inhabitant of the Mediterranean Sea and is the largest among the Amberjack species. The lightning speed with which the Greater Amberjack strikes and the deep plummets that these beautiful fish take when hooked all make the Greater Amberjack a fisherman’s favourite sport fish. In addition to this, an Amberjack is also known to put up a great fight before you get to land one.
The Greater Amberjacks can grow to weigh 70 kg with lengths ranging from 1.5 to 2 m. Since these fish tend to swim in schools, when you reel in one Amberjack will follow it to the surface.
When and Where to fish for Greater Amberjack in Sicily:
The Greater Amberjacks are found usually found during the spring and summer months lurking around reefs, shipwrecks and similar submerged structures.
How to fish for Greater Amberjack:
The most common fishing method used to land a Greater Amberjack is by trolling with surface lures. Live baits and strip baits are also used. Another popular method of Amberjack fishing is by jigging where a jig is dropped to a certain depth and reeled in very quickly using a jigging motion.
The Grouper is considered the king of all the bottom fishes. The Grouper is also a predatory fish and they feed on crustaceans, octopus and other fish. The Grouper is not built for long distance or fast swimming. Instead of chasing and catching its prey the Grouper likes to ambush its prey. The Grouper can grow to large sizes ranging from 1 to 2.5 m and has been recorded to weigh close to 310 kg.
Where to find Grouper in Sicily:
The Grouper tends to stay in the bottom of the seabed and tries to spend its time near underwater structures like reefs, wrecks and the like. This is because they like to seek shelter and hide when feel threatened.
How to catch a Grouper:
The best technique that has been adopted worldwide to land a Grouper is bottom fishing.
The Sea Bream is the fifth most sought after fish in the Sicilian waters. It reaches a maximum of 70 cm and can weigh up to 17 kg. They are found in plenty in the Mediterranean Sea feeding on shellfish. These Sea Breams are well-known for their white meat and are pursued by sport fishermen for the same.
When and Where to fish for Sea Bream in Sicily:
The Sea Breams are found in depth of up to 150 m under the water and are known to spend most of their time near reefs, surf zones and seagrass beds.
How to fish for Sea Bream:
The Sea Bream can be caught using a light tackle.
Fish and Fishing Seasons in Sicily