Top experiences: fishing in Slovenia


Before the coronavirus epidemic, the fishing tourism in Slovenia was blooming and it is expected to stay that way after the conditions go back to normal. But why is Slovenia such an attractive destination for foreign anglers and what makes it better than other countries?

Slovenia has many lakes, rivers, and streams where anglers both domestic and foreign are allowed to go fishing. Explore the top experiences in Slovenia and go fishing with us this week.

Main characteristics of fishing in Slovenia

Slovenia can basically offer everything an angler could possibly want. Beautiful lakes, rivers, and streams can be found all over the country, it even has a small part of the Adriatic sea. That’s why the question that tourists are asking themselves is not why come fishing to Slovenia but which of many species are they going to be fishing for when they visit?

River Soča

Fly fishing is for more demanding guests who are prepared to travel the world for a great fishing experience and Slovenia can definitely offer that. With various types of rivers, from fast-flowing Alpine jewels to slow, curvy ones that run through fields and meadows, down to small, hardly accessible streams packed with wild fish, the country offers something for every fly fisherman. Not to mention the fish that are above average and some of them, as you will find out, even endemic for Slovenia.

Carp fishing also has a big potential with the fish over 30kg (66.1lbs) being caught in several lakes across the country and even in a river! Slovenian record of 34kg (75lbs) carp caught in Šmartinsko Lake has been broken in the beginning of May 2020 with a catch of 37kg (81.6lbs) carp from Sava river. The fact that a river carp of this size has only been caught in fewer places over the world, makes this record even more significant.

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Šmartinsko Lake

Spin fishing also offers a variety of fish since Slovenia has a few top-of-the-food-chain freshwater predators inhabiting our rivers and lakes, with a catfish of 248 cm (97.6 inc) also caught in the beginning of May, setting a new high for Slovenian monster fish. Not to mention huchen and pike, prehistoric creatures that live and grow to over 100 cm (39.4 inc).

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What can Slovenia offer to anglers from abroad?

Besides fishing itself we also have many other advantages that make us unique in the world of fishing. First one and most important is our preserved nature. Fishermen do not pay just to be able to catch big fish; they could do that for much less in China’s concrete pools with loads of fish in it. No, they are here also to enjoy beautiful surroundings, clean rivers and unspoiled nature, which we have plenty of.

Another advantage is an easy access to almost every fishing spot in our country.  Slovenia is small and therefore even if nature is untouched, civilization, at least a windy forest road is always nearby. That makes fishing a lot easier, since there’s no need to travel across vast lands for 2 days and camp in the wild to fish a particular stretch of river. Here you can fish the top fishing spots throughout the day and dine in a cozy hotel by nightfall.

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With that being said we can talk further on about the fishing offer for tourists. Fishing represents a fairly big part of Slovenian tourism, especially in parts of the country with famous fishing locations (Tolmin, Bled, Bohinj etc.). That’s why hotels are adjusting to the fishermen’s needs. Making early morning breakfasts for fishermen who leave at dawn, providing information and guiding, setting rooms to store and dry fishing gear, selling permits… just to give the tourists a good reason to come back.
As for the permits, hotels are not the only place to buy them. To encourage fishing tourism, many fishing associations across Slovenia have decided to offer an online sale, so that anyone can easily get permits, even in advance.

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River Radovna

What makes Slovenia different from other countries when it comes to fishing?

A very important aspect to attract many fishermen is that fishing has been incorporated in our country’s history for a long time. Many generations of fishermen have passed in a spirit of caring for the water sources, restocking fish and fishing for them. In rural areas, where the culture has been preserved the most, you will hear fishing stories or find a part of fishing heritage in almost every home. This fusion of fishing and history is still present until this day and the foreign anglers can feel this vibe upon arrival.

Slovenia is also special because of the fish that reside in our rivers. As I’ve mentioned in the beginning, a few endemic and extremely rare fish species live in the country’s many waters and some can be found only in Slovenia or in a very few other corners of the world.

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Marble trout in Slovenia

Marble trout is definitely the most iconic fish in Slovenia. Pure Marble trout only resides in Soča and its tributaries where it grows to immense sizes. 120 cm (47.2 inc) and 22.5 kg (49.6 lbs) is the fish record and when it was caught, it stirred up the fishing community across the world.

Huchen, the king of rivers is also a very rare species, found only in a few world rivers, most famous of them being the Danube. Because of the huge fish population in Slovenian waters they grow very big and by being on top of the food chain they have no natural enemy.

Carp is also on the wish list of many anglers that come to Slovenia. Not many countries have that many lakes with such big fish in it. Once the first carp in the lake reaches a magical weight of 30 kg (86 lbs), the lake becomes popular in the fishing industry and attracts many anglers. In Slovenia, there are quite a few waters like this.

Famous waters in Slovenia

For every type of fishing there are some top destinations known to almost every fisherman worldwide. Slovenia has at least two.

Lake Bled carp

Fly fishing on River Soča

Containing previously-mentioned Marble trout and many other species like Brown trout, Grayling and Rainbow trout, Soča is one of the top destinations in the fly fishing world. With such beautiful surroundings and many other activities in that region, it attracts even the most picky guests.

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Soča River in Slovenia

Carp fishing on Lake Bled with its unique island church and 30+ kg (over 66 lbs) carp swimming in it is just spectacular. Being so popular and mentioned in practically every fishing magazine, it faces a fishing explosion so big in recent years that Fishing club Bled had to change something about it, so they limited the number of permits to 10 per day. However the interest is still so great that they were already sold out in March for the whole season ahead. The epic picture with a big carp and an island in the background is most definitely the thing for every fishing bucket list.

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Lake Bled carp fishing

Last but not least, I can mention one more thing why the number of fishermen in Slovenia is so high. Fishing can be done all year round. Different types of fishing and different fish, but nevertheless, there is always something to aim for. So whoever comes fishing to Slovenia is in for an amazing fishing adventure, no matter when.

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Marble Trout

If you are looking for more information about fishing in Slovenia, or want to book a fishing trip, you can contact Fishing Guides Slovenia, a guiding company that offers Fly, Carp, Spin and Sea fishing trips around Slovenia.