If you have not visited Italy and don’t have it on your bucket list, you need to stop right now and do it. Italy is a top tourist destination for a reason. Even better, one of the largest carp recently caught there weighed a massive 83lbs!
Best Carp Fishing in Italy
Now that you see why you should visit Italy for carp fishing, I’ll let you in on the best spots to consider. But first, here are some rules and regulations to keep in mind.
Rules and Regulations on Carp Fishing in Italy
Over 2 million people go to Italy every year for angling, as evidenced by the licensing data. Estimates also show that there are about 1.5 million sea fishermen. Fishing in the ocean is unlicensed and only loosely regulated as far as recreational fishing is concerned.
When it comes to coarse fishing in freshwater bodies, however, you need a license and a permit to fish legally.
There are two types of fishing permits you can apply for. A Category ‘A’ permit allows for professional fishing, while a Category ‘B’ fishing allows for recreational fishing.
The permits are regional and are issued by the provincial administration or Amministrazione Provinciale. You might be restricted to a specific area depending on the time of the year, type of permit, and existing ecological conditions.
You must be over 18 to apply for a permit if you intend to fish alone. However, the license can also be issued to youths between 14 and 18 who are accompanied by a licensed adult every time they go angling.
All you need for the license is the duly filled application form, two passport size photos, and a tax stamp (Marca da bollo) which you can obtain from tobacconists.
The validity of the license is one year and can be renewed at a fee. You must also be a member of the Italian Federation of Sport Fishing and Underwater Activities, FIPSAS (Federazione Italiana Della Pesca Sportiva e Attività Subacquee).
Once you have the license, it is relatively easy to get the permit. You only need to visit local fishing authorities or even park rangers and pay a small fee. The permit can last a day, week, or another appropriate period.
Carp Fishing Season in Italy
Italy regulates its fishing regionally, so the rules might vary from place to place. However, carp fishing in most places generally runs all year round.
The peak season runs from April to December, during which a lot of anglers from all over the world visit. One unique thing is that you can expect a lot of carp in the winter season in Italian rivers. They tend to go there away from the colder countries, so you can get an impressive catch in any season.
Night fishing is allowed in most places there, as well as spear and underwater fishing. Italians are pretty liberal, which makes the country one of the best to really pull all the stops.
Also, If you like to mix it up you can also read my blog post on how to find the best fly fishing spots in Italy.
Best Carp Fishing Spots in Italy
This is one of the oldest and best carp fishing lakes in Italy. It started out as a gravel pit over half a century ago, but an aquifer was hit and it was born. Neither is it just any other lake. It has an average depth of 15m/49ft and reaches 25m/82ft in some places.
The lake has 24 double swims in which you and a buddy can have the time of your lives fishing the massive carp in there. The current lake record stands at 35.8kb/78.9 lbs!
You can expect to catch carp of more than 50 pounds in weight regularly, thanks to the conducive conditions present. It has a nice growth of weed that the fish love to hide in, which also serves to protect them from the summer sun.
You can get electric boats out onto the water as well if you prefer to have a challenge. The lake can also be booked exclusively by groups, but there are a ton of rules designed to maintain the stock of carp healthy and big. Overall, Lake Atlantide is my number 1 recommendation for carp fishing in Italy.
Known globally as the deepest lake in Europe, lake Como also has a long glorious history of fishing. It has a full complement of coarse fish both indigenous and foreign, with some of the best and hardest fighting carp in all Italy.
Since I was last there, there have been rumors of a drop in the carp population. A few buddies who were there recently said that it is true, it is harder to fish for carp there than before.
What I think is that the lake has always been hard to fish in, especially when it comes to the big elusive carp. There are still many single-digit ones for the taking.
Lake Como remains my second best recommendation because it is one of the spots where you get to test your skills. With the right gear and patience, you will be rewarded with wild carp to suit your imagination.
River Po is the longest river in Italy, with a total length of about 403 miles/650 km. It is world-famous for its catfishing, but most people will also tell you that its waters are some of the best for carping as far as rivers are concerned.
The upper limits of the river are the best options, where not many tend to venture and you can get the really big fish.
There are many travel companies each allocated different lengths on the river, and it’s just a matter of choosing the best one. They will advise on the best spots, as well as provide gear, boats, accommodation, and more.
Fancy a helicopter ride and high-altitude fishing? Chiavenna Valley high in the Alps on the Italian/Swiss border might just be the perfect holiday idea. There are Alpine lakes so pristine the water is potable, where you can get to fish not only for carp but for other wild game fish.
Not many people, even Italians, know about the place. It will cost you a pretty penny though, but it is worth the experience if you are in the mood for a splurge.
Valle del Chiese
One of the valleys through which the Chiese river runs, the Valle del Chiese is a pristine high-altitude angling paradise. Lake Roncone is also present in this valley, where you can catch some magnificent carp.
Located just below the rustic village of Roncone, the lake occupies a gently sloping glacier valley with a towering amphitheater of mountains in the backdrop. What I’m trying to say is, it is what you imagine an out-of-the-way mountainside fishing valley to be.
Even better, not many people know of the location, yet it has one of the biggest varieties of wild carp, rainbow trout, and other exotic fish ripe for the picking. Local fishermen have been angling here for centuries, and have even built wooden platforms on which you can set up your rig on the lake or river.
While it is out of the way, the valley is easily accessible by car. There are also plenty of accommodation options, and many other activities to occupy nature lovers in case you travel with your family.
Oglio River System
The Oglio river system, and especially the Ogliolo branch, is a prime carp fishing location. The river goes on to join the Po river, which as I already told you is a carp fishing paradise.
It is no accident that the upper reaches of the same river are also great for carp. There are different torrents that have over time come to harbor magnificent fish from carp to trout and graylings.
There are different authorities controlling the river systems with different regulations, so make sure to ask for information first.
For the skilled fisherman. Val Brandet is known as ‘Trophy Area’ due to the huge size of the fish found there. Located on a forested hillside, Val Brandet has wild waters with natural wild carp for the accomplished angler.
You will never fall short of exciting options in which to angle for carp in Italy. Most people like to remain mum on their secret golden carp fishing spots, and I’m sure you will have one or two also. These 7 should really help you enjoy the country in all its glory.
Italy is known as the Beautiful Country or Bel Paese in classical poetry. The land is truly gorgeous, from the high mountains to the rolling hills and valleys, down to the lowlands. It has hundreds of lakes and rivers full of beautiful carp, where the most discerning anglers test their luck and skills.
If you’re yet to add Italy to your bucket list of travel destinations, it’s time to do so. Once you have fished in Italy, you will have attained a level of angling that can only be expressed as ‘nirvana’.
Niels Thomas is a wildlife expert and fishing fanatic that works with major fishing brands like Deeper Sonar, Abu Garcia, Berkley, PENN, BassPro and Pure Fishing. Through sharing the best fishing tips, tricks, gear reviews, locations and much more he hopes to inspire fishing fanatics to start their own journey towards becoming the King of the Catch!