For many sports boaters who are on the move in Croatia with their own or chartered yacht, it is simply part of the game: fishing and sport fishing. But what permits and licenses are required, how much do they cost and where can they be obtained?
First the bad news: recreational anglers 14 years or older generally need a permit in Croatia if they want to indulge in their hobby. But there’s also good news: the “permit” is available not only from local sport fishing clubs but also from the Croatian Sport Fishing Association HSSRM (Hrvatski savez za sportski ribolov na moru). The operates a clear website where interested parties can easily acquire the desired documents.
Under hssrm.hr one selects in addition simply the menu option Webshop, which gives it thank-worthily also in English, then one can select directly the desired fishing license. There are fishing licenses for “Lake” and “Lake – Big Fish”. Fishing licenses for “Lake” cost 60 kuna (about 8 euros) for one day, 150 kuna (about 20 euros) for three days and 300 kuna (about 40 euros) for seven days.
150 day license for recreational boaters who are in Croatia for a long time
If you are in Croatia for a longer period of time with your yacht and want to fish, a 150-day license may be worthwhile. This costs 10 kuna (1.34 euros) for minors, 600 kuna (about 80 euros) for adults up to the age of 65, and 60 kuna (about 8 euros) for anglers older than 65.
In the “Lake – Big Fish” category, a one-day license costs 120 kuna (about 16 euros), a three-day license 300 kuna (about 40 euros), and a weekly ticket for a full seven days is available for 600.00 kuna (about 80 euros). Note: In addition, there is a membership fee of 50 kuna (about seven euros) for each ticket. However, this fee is waived for foreigners if they can show a membership card of a local fishing club, so you should always have it with you on your trip. Payment is also made online by American Express, MasterCard or Visa card after entering the required data.
Licenses also for underwater sport fishing
By the way, the same price also applies to underwater sport fishing (simply select corresponding button in webshop on the right). It should be noted that according to the Sea Fisheries Act, the annual license for sport fishing is generally issued in the period from December 1 to March 1. Special licenses for traps, harpoons, bottom lines and the use of artificial lighting can only be obtained if an annual license for the corresponding year is available.
Here there is a special feature for foreign anglers to note, because the annual licenses are generally sold only to persons who can prove permanent residence in Croatia. Moreover, special licenses can generally be purchased until the end of each current year. And: fishing with a harpoon is not allowed with a sport fishing license.
To note: special rules for special fish
Incidentally, recreational fishing of tuna (Thunnus thynnus), swordfish (Xiphias gladius) and Mediterranean spearfish (Tetrapturus belone) in the Republic of Croatia is regulated by a separate law, according to which, for example, the catch quota and specimens per license are specified, It also refers to the catch and release rule (tuna), the permitted fishing gear such as rod, reel with one hook on each gear or bait with two single hooks, double hooks or triple hooks on each gear, as well as reporting obligations in case of a catch.
To engage in recreational fishing for these species, it is mandatory for the person to have an extra license for tuna, swordfish and Mediterranean spearfish. This has a validity of one, three or seven days, and the above prices apply. Recreational fishing for swordfish is prohibited from March 1 to March 31 and from October 1 to November 30. And, actually of course – it is also not allowed to sell or offer for sale the fish caught in recreational fishing in Croatian waters.
Fishing licenses are also available at the local fishing club
For those who do not wish to purchase their fishing license online: recreational fishing licenses are also sold through HSSRM member clubs throughout Croatia. The list of individual clubs, as well as addresses and contact information, can be easily found at hssrm.hr/udruge. The list is long and currently includes 202 clubs, covering almost the entire Croatian coastline and many islands.