VICENZA, Italy -- Sports fishing in Italy is neither expensive nor complicated once an individual understands his/her options and the rules regarding this exciting and beneficial activity.

Four options are available for sports fishermen here: (1) fishing on Italian public lands; (2) fishing on Italian private lakes and streams; (3) fishing in the Adriatic Sea or other saltwater options; and (4) charter fishing boats in the Adriatic.

Fishing on Italian public lands requires a minimum of two documents. In Vicenza province, there are 19 rivers and streams considered "Free Waters" and may be fished with a fishing license/tessreino. Fishing waters in Zone A is authorized from March 3 until Sept. 29. Fishing waters in Zone B is possible throughout the year. Make sure to take note: It is illegal in Italy to fish from any bridge.

Adults 18 through 70 years old require a fishing license. Youth younger than 18 do not require a license, but similar to adults, they must possess a Tesserino Regionale when fishing. This is a small booklet that is used to register days you fish, and the number of fish caught.

Foreigners can obtain a fishing license for €13, which is valid for 90 days. However, it is less expensive to purchase a yearlong license if you plan to fish year-round. The yearlong license costs €34, valid for a full year from date of purchase, and valid throughout Italy.

For the Tesserino Regionale, the cost is €1 and is obligatory to record fish captured.

There are five concessions with annual fees in the Provence of Vicenza:
(1) Agno-Champo: €3 to €70 depending on age
(2) Astico Leogra: €45 to €80 depending on age
(3) Bacchiglione-astichello-tesena: €20 to €100 depending on age
(4) Bacino Acque Fiume Brenta: €20 to €120 depending on age
(5) Concession Zone B: Includes the Bacchiglione River from Vicenza to the town of Colze and Lago di Fimon. Cost is €40.

Based on the above, a combination of license, Tesserino Regionale and Concession Zone B is my recommendation (total cost: €74) for the year, as it gives a sports fisherman the most variety of stream, river and lake fishing here.

There are 24 private "pay for play" lakes and ponds in the province. Prices include membership and separate fishing fees.

Membership fees run from €5 to €40 per year, and fishing fees cost between €15 and €20 per four-hour period. Some of these lakes/ponds have small bars, some have snack bars and at others, there are agritourism restaurants (agriturismi) offering specialty meals.

There are two organizations that have no membership or fishing fee, but any trout caught must be kept, and a fee of €7 or €7.70 per kilogram of fish is assessed against the fisherman when exiting these lakes.

Outdoor Recreation, located in Building 249 on Caserma Ederle, has more detailed information regarding these venues.

When fishing in the Adriatic Sea, along the coast of Italy, there are no licensing requirements or fees assessed. Charter fishing boats in the Adriatic offer the sports fisherman to try his/her hand at obtaining saltwater species of fish, including mackerel, small species of tuna and other fish. Boats are small and large, and catamarans are available. Larger vessels normally offer beverages and lunch or dinner depending upon the time of day the vessel is on the water.

For those ready to try their hand at fishing, Outdoor Recreation can assist with the following:

(1) Rental of fishing tackle (rod, reel and small tackle box of spare hooks, etc.)
(2) Italian documents to obtain fishing permits
(3) Copy of 2019 Province of Vicenza fishing regulation
(4) Information on local fishing venues
(5) Several deep-sea fishing trips during the fishing season, normally for groups of 25 or more. Vessels depart from Chioggia and several other ports in the local area.
(6) Assistance in organizing group fishing events for units or other large groups

Writer's note: The reference for this article is: Pesca 2019 rules for the exercise of fishing in the Province of Vicenza published by Ufficio Provinciale, Contra S.S. Apostoli 18, 36100 Vicenza.