Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Fishing in the Aeolian Islands: Part 1 - May 2012

I headed off to Sicily on the 16th May for a couple of weeks holiday. As I have been working flat out for the last year I wanted to have a lazy relaxing holiday this time and do a bit of fishing. We spent the first few days in Sicily, had a trip to Mount Etna on the second day but unfortunately there was a gale blowing across the flanks of the volcano which was not too pleasant.

On 20th May we got the ferry to Lipari Island, one of seven volcanic islands off the northeast coast of Sicily. Our hotel  - Hotel Mea - was on the hill overlooking Lipari Town and harbour, a very nice setting.

The first day we roamed around the old town and down to the harbour to check out the fishing potential. I also spotted a fishing tackle shop in the town!!

The next morning after breakfast I headed down to the pier, stopping at the tackle shop on the way to buy a box of rag worms and a carton of maggots. I also got some squid and prawns in the supermarket. Unfortunately the wind had strengthened again and was whipping across the harbour. Initially I tried fishing off the end of the pier but then found a more sheltered spot on the seaward side of the pier. It was closed off with wire mesh but somebody had forced it open. There was a walkway there with a low wall in front so it was perfectly safe.

I tried a variety of lures and bait but the fish were only taking the rag and occasionally the maggots. Fishing was slow at first but then I moved along the pier to shallower water closer to shore and it picked up. As is typical for the Mediterranean all fish were small requiring small hooks, size 10 or 12. I caught Saddled Bream, Two Banded Bream, Ornate Wrasse, Bogue and a Salpa.

After dinner we stopped in a bar whose tables had spread out onto a pedestrianised street in the old town. We ordered a couple of beers and got a largest collection of free snacks I have ever had in my life. We need not have bothered with dinner.

22nd May - I had intended hiring a small boat but the wind was still very strong and the sea was very choppy so I headed back down to the pier. However, this time the Bogue were proving to be a pest. They were on to the bait like piranas, as soon at it was in the water about 50 or 60 of them would be on to it in an instant and whipping the bait off the hook. But I did catch 13 of them plus Saddled Bream, Two Banded Bream and Rainbow Wrasse.

23rd May - The wind had died down but the morning was very overcast and later there was a period of persistant light rain. After the Bogue infestation the previous day I decided to try a rock mark below the citadel which dominates the skyline of Lipari. It was sheltered and provided access to a mixture of shallow and deep water. I caught Comber, Painted Comber, Two Banded Bream, Ornate Wrasse, Peacock Wrasse and another bunch of Bogue. I finished up early as the rain became more persistant.

24th May - This was the last full day on Lipari Island. We did a bit of tourist stuff, walked up to the citadel and had a look around. I had been thinking of hiring a boat for the last day but it was again quite windy so in the afternoon I returned the the rock mark I fished the previous day. It was sunny and warm with the shelter of the cliff behind. This time I had Ornate Wrasse, Rainbow Wrasse, Painted Comber, a couple of Salpa and again plenty of Bogue. Melissa had a go and got a Comber.

The next morning we got the hydrofoil for Stromboli for a four night stay and some more fishing. See next post.

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