Croatia's network of lakes and rivers makes for some fabulous and extensive fresh-water fishing. There are about 60,000 hectares available plus 12,000 hectares of carp fisheries. The basins are geologically diverse which has led to diverse fish populations. There's the Danube basin, the Adriatic basin, the subterranean rivers of the Dinaric karst and the renowned Gacka River. Be sure to check the fresh-water fishing regulations before planning your trip.
The Kupa River is 296km long with a four km long section in Risnjak National Park, part of the Kvarner region. The best fishing is from the source of the river up to about 20km below Brod na Kupi. The Kupa is one of the best rivers for fishing grayling but there's also river trout, California trout and carp that is stocked from fisheries at the end of autumn.
Also in the Kvarner region, this 30km-long river is composed of two distinct parts. The upper part is salmonid habitat with grayling introduced in 1962. The lower part also has the salmonid species but huchen are predominant. The very lowest part houses pike.
With a length of 116km, this attractive river rises from Plitvice Lakes. The river is known for pike and some river trout. As a road runs along the river, it is highly accessible.
Located in Karlovac county, the Mreznica runs for 56 km and was once known for its salmonid species until 1952 when pike were introduced. Now it is the predominant fish and trout have become rare.
The small (4.5km) but beautiful Slunjcica flows into the Korana river near Plitvice Lakes in a series of impressive waterfalls. Below the falls you'll find river trout and grayling. It is ideal for fly-fishing.
Ah, now you're talking fishing. One of the best trout and grayling fishing spots in Europe, the Gacka is a subterranean river that runs 21km. Only fly-fishing is permitted and only in the upper part of the river. Catches of trout of 3 to 4kg are not unusual. Most anglers stay in and around Otocac.
With a length of 214km, the Una River winds its way in and out of Croatia and Bosnia. The Croatian part is populated almost exclusively by trout and grayling. The Bosnian part houses huchen in the summer.
As this river flows through canyons for 65km, you'll need to be in good condition to fish for the trout that swarm through here. The fishing season begins a month earlier here than elsewhere. The numerous cascades and torrents have made it an ideal rafting spot.
Beginning and ending with the waterfalls of the Krka National Park, the Krka river winds through canyons and is teeming with river trout. Large parts of the river is accessible only with difficulty but the pristine beauty makes the effort worthwhile.
Second only to the Gacka for sprouting trout, the 100km long Cetina is a rushing river with several power plants. The flow of salmonid has been impeded but not entirely disrupted. Grayling and carp have been successfully introduced without disrupting the ecological balance. The Cetina is also a big destination for river rafting.
The powerful Drava River is 200m wide in some parts but has been extensively dammed which has nearly eliminated the salmonid population. Now you can fish for catfish, pike, pike-perch and carp. The mouth of the Drava as it enters the Danube is a popular fishing settlement.
Europe's second longest river forms a border between Croatia and Hungary and Serbia and contains the largest population of freshwater fish in Central Europe. Look for catfish, carp, pike-perch, sturgeon and bream. The best time to fish is after the spring floodwaters have receded (around June) and the best places are at the confluence of the Drava and the backwaters of Kopacki Rit.
This beautiful, clean little lake near Plitvice is populated exclusively with river trout, making it ideal for fly fishing. When water is scarce the trout retreat into subterranean passages only to emerge in the spring and autumn high waters.
Vransko is the largest natural lake in Croatia, covering over 30 sq km. The lake is fed by springs and is the most productive lake-fishing destination in Croatia, producing 130 to 150 tons of fish a year. Catfish, carp and pike are the dominant species and come in jumbo sizes. A 136kg- catfish was a record. Part of the lake is a protected ornithological reserve.
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