It was the year 2011 when shore fishing in Sicily and Andrea Giardina as a guide were featured in one of the episodes of a famous Italian fishing series.
The program is aired on the channel "PESCA TV Sky 236" (www.cacciaepesca.tv) of Sky TV Italy. The series is called "Hot Spot Italia", exactly after the content, the best fishing places in Italy. The episodes, conducted by Matteo de Falco (which is the editorial director of the channel) includes also a wide space about the sights, activities and other "non-fishing" attractions of the destinations conducted by the beautiful Anna Bassano. An interesting and useful guide to fishing in Italy.
The linked video is about some extracts from the original episode. In particular, it sums up the fishing action part, some comments about the fishing technique, the sea conditions, the fishing spots around the island, the typical fishing moments, the fishing strategy to approach the island, the fish species. The non-fishing part present in the video is about some historical information, the best beaches, coves and places to swim. There is also an interesting Sicilian recipe with Bluefin Tuna, explained spet by step by a chef.
The video, despite the date of its realization, is useful to get a rough idea about a shore fishing trip to Sicily, Italy, which is not only about fishing. During the film, the conditions of the sea, as said many times, were not good for this kind of technique. Despite the complicated condition (very calm sea), they manage to catch some fish. In particular, you see a jumping Bluefish, some Mediterranean Barracuda and an Amberjack. On the other hand, as the conductor says, calm sea and sunny day are perfect for a sunbath or swim!
The trip, a one-day in the video, is usually a something that is better to do in minimum 2 or 3 days. It is a complete adventure to discover parts of Sicily full of history, but while fishing!
Usually, accommodation, rental vehicle to move from a place to another one, particular restaurant sessions, and full-time guides are part of a shore fishing trip. Often, guiding for non-fishing activities part of the trip.
The place, in this case, is an island located off the west coast of Sicily. It's famous for the history of Tuna fishing. This place is perfect for an easy fishing trip to have a taste of Sicily, as well as a beautiful destination for the angler's family. There are some many beautiful and productive places in Sicily, depending on the Angler preference.
You'll see also some fishing spots visited during the recording. Some, where is necessary to walk on the stones and not regular ground, and some, the majority, very easy to access. Using caution when fishing these places is anyway suggested. Wearing helmets, proper shoes with good grip and other useful equipment is suggested. Renting a Guide is another good idea, for both safety and fishing results.
Tuna Steack with local sauce recipe in the video
Another great tradition of the island is the culinary art, and here the Atlantic Bluefin tuna win undisputed. The chef will propose us a local recipe, Tuna steak with Mediterranean sauce.
I'm with Nino, our chef. Ciao Nino! What is this delicious dish, I see here?
- So, this is a Tuna recipe, with bluefin tuna in a sauce typical of the island.
- What are the ingredients?
- Ingredients are raisins, peanuts, green olives, black olives, capers, fresh tomato. All typical products from the area!
- How do you prepare it?
- I start toasting capers with pine nuts in a pan, with extra virgin olive oil, Sicilian one! After that, put garlic on, lightly browned, then take it away. Put fresh tomatoes, some salsa, and then the Tuna lightly breaded in the pan, some water, the olives a the end, make it stew in the pan for a few minutes and it is ready to be served!
- But the touch of the chef is the "crostino"...(bruschetta)
- Well, the toasted bread it to accompany, also because using stale bread is a local tradition here!
- What wine we can put together?
- We can accompany with a dry red, pasty, very good with this kind of dish.
- Why don't we toast, then...
Some speech about beaches, sights and historical informations.
From the town is possible to reach a cove, with crystal clear water, hitting flat rocks, making it one of the most beautiful places where to swim in Sicily!
This place here is also important from the historical and archaeological point of view, in the 241 B.C. was the theatre of one of the battles of the 1st Punic War, between Romans and Carthaginians.
A so bloody clash that the water turned red, giving the name to the place.
Some of the major attractions of this place are the numerous coves and beaches, perfect to enjoy the very nice climate. Some beaches are reachable directly by walking from the town. Some big coves, similar to proper natural ports sheltered by the winds, hide tiny and private beaches, from where is possible to reach beautiful caves, swimming. Some are named after the amazing colour of the waters, with comfortable sand beaches, easy to access for everyone. Some other scenic places are located by old quarries, overlooking the rocky cliff, but always access to the sea.
Some other speech and subtitles in the video
There are many techniques which is possible to practise in this kind of environment;
but the technique that looks the best way to discover this marvellous, spectacular, incredible island is the Spinning with artificial baits (spin fishing);
But to know what is the program of the day
and more importantly, all the species we are going to target
let's meet our guide.
- Finally, we meet our guide, Andrea Giardina! Hi Andrea!
So, Andrea, you decided to take us here because is a place you frequently fish!
- Yes, this is a place I discovered so many years ago, and where I fish with friends and guests.
- Looks like there are really good fishing chances.
This is a hotspot, for a fishing technique that, in "Hotspot Italia" was not shown before! All the previous episodes were about boat fishing but today, as you probably understood we fish from Shore! Mother of all the techniques with artificial baits!
Let's say that to fish from shore with artificial baits requires energy and constancy, as this technique can be stingy with catches sometimes...
- So, a key thing is to insist, insisting, changing bait, jumping from a place to the other one (big advantage of these trips). Last-minute, last second, the last cast, when you may think you are done, that is the moment when the Strike of a beautiful fish arrives, to solve the day, week or Season!
- So we will basically do a round of the island, fishing the spots you better know and gave you results. Bluefish, Barracuda, Seabass...this is the main target...
- This is the base, but between what we can expect there is basically everything, False Albacore (Skipjack), Atlantic Bonito, Amberjack.
- Ok, let's also say that we are not in the best sea conditions to fish from shore, in consequence, everything will be more complicated. This is something we are not that scared about because we know what to do and how to move around thanks to Andrea and his mate Dario, which is behind the camera but you'll see him in action and probably with some good fish, I'm sure! We will be tree anglers to move on these cliffs...
- I see the wind is increasing, better condition for fishing!
- We will have sunset and sunrise as the best moments, this is one, is early morning, so let's start to cast our baits in the water and let's make our adventure in Sicily begin!
I don't know yet if, for this spot, you need to be a good fisherman or a good hiker!
But moving from a spot to the other one, into this environment that is almost unreal. Andrea told me is man-made to cut and extract bricks in the past, for building reason, otherwise, we would be on Mars!
You move through this maze, looks like ruins!
An Amberjack from shore is always a good catch!
Amberjack caught spinning from shore, Sicily, "Hot Spot Italia"!
Release, immediately! Because, there is something to say Andrea, an Amberjack of this size, fight as a 3kg Seabass! They are very powerful fishes! Using a lipless minnow, in a place that, doesn't look exactly an Amberjack place, considering the relatively shallow water.
- The particularity was also that she attacked the baits, showing up from underneath a submerged rock, almost like a Seabass! In fact, I had some doubts at the beginning, but then I saw the pink reflexes...
- What a show! The "Cavagnola", let's call it with the proper Sicilian dialect name, for a small Amberjack!
If I catch someone keeping an Amberjack like this size, I swear I break a fishing rod in his back!
Is a good spot also for my body, meaning that as I turned fat, and the idea to fish on this kind of coast, is an excellent physical exercise, then if you exercise on this postcard scenario, with the chance to hook some fishes, I think it is the maximum for an angler who wanna lose weight!
We are super excited as the change of light of the sunset is coming, one of the favourite moments in the anglers life, because the predators start to be active and frenzy starts in the water.
There is no activity at the moment, I would like to say it again, the conditions have been very difficult, because of no wave, no foam, and is not easy to let the mechanism start and predators coming inshore waves start to lift microorganism and even macroorganism from the bottom, like small worms etc, this attracts the forage fish, and as I always say, when you sheep, soon or later wolf arrives too. But we are quite excited, as the change of light is coming and this is a very good moment.
And also Dario, while I talk, catch fish, he caught a beautiful Bluefish, probably a couple of kilograms, beautiful because the Bluefish is a very technical prey, and beautiful because of his spectacular attack, a proper classic "bluefish attack", meaning a vehement attack, made with power at I think half a meter from shore!
As proof that is important to stay always concentrate and ready, and the attack can arrive in every moment.
Unfortunately, we can't release the fish as it was badly injured, probably because of the ferocity of the attack, it wouldn't make sense to release a fish that was going to die. Catch and release is something very important, I always say that, but let's do that when is possible and have a sense in doing that, not just to tell that at the bar.
And this was a nice fish, proof that if you know where to go, even in a difficult situation like this, fish came out!
Interest in the Mediterranean Barracuda is growing because is present is good quantity and is a fish that often gets enticed by a well-moved artificial bait. So, honour to the Mediterranean Barracuda, which is always an interesting catch.
The sea conditions are better now for fishing because of the waves, probably because of some storm happened off-shore, hope it will last more as I think is probably the effect of something happened in the open sea and it may not last so much, but these are good conditions.
- So, I stopped fishing, because we should have met here to have dinner all together
- I did an aperitive! It took more than expected!
- Ok I understand, but you only to eat and go shopping! Is not correct to let the fishermen wait!
- Today I eat... because there were no shops open...!
- it's not right to let the fishermen wait after an intense and very fun day, in a really marvellous place
- because I did, I'm extremely happy, because I did one of my favourite fishing techniques which is the spin fishing, in conditions, I have to be honest, really complicated, but we managed to hook some fish anyway because Andrea knows one joke more of the devil.
- I also know a person like this...
- In fact, he really took us on the best spots available on the island, until we manage to find some active predators, also because he took his mate Dario who caught some interesting fish too, a fantastic day, in a place I have never been before, truly wonderful.
- But tell me what you did instead?
- I didn't know this place too, but I can tell you I'll come back here for my holiday. I've been moving around with a bike, you have been to the best places where to fish, I've been to the best places to swim, to visit, etc..
- Are you able to cycle?
- Yes, I'm and I did it in heels!
- It is not allowed!
- Yes, it is and it brings good luck!
- Ah, ok, if you say that...
- And I met beautiful and interesting people, after that, here there is a unique cordiality..
- And did you know that we are in the "Cathedral of Bluefin Tuna"? Here there is a fantastic story about Tuna...
- Well, while you were casting baits, I was eating the local Bluefin tuna steak!
- So, the Tuna steak is something I wanna eat too because today I burned something like "87.000 calories" going up and down the fishing spots, and some of them need attention and an expert guide is highly suggested, so be careful if you decide to fish here by yourself.
All that said and said also that, now, all together we go to the restaurant..
- Me for the second time...
- You, for the second time, because you have no limits...
I would like to thanks all the people who accompanied us during this fantastic adventure
Obviously, Andrea Giardina,
and special thanks from the jury for Dario who gave us some very important strikes...
It was a really particular thing...
- I see you particularly happy
- I'm very very happy
Instead, we thanks to them for the love and passion they put in watching all our adventures around Italy and give you an appointment...
appointment for the next episode of "Hot Spot Italia"!
Travel, fishing and action. If you mix those ingredients, my life comes out! Fishing Guide of Sicily, but always looking for remote shore fishing destinations all around the world.