Lake Bolsena is one of the toughest bass fishing lakes in central Italy, it's located 100/150 kilometers north of the capital Rome and almost same way south of the more northern Florence. It's a round shaped natural lake born right inside a volcanic holes formed thousands years ago. It was well know back at the Romans time, and they used the lake shoreline to move merchandises and different commodities between the region. It's one of the top bass fishing lakes for his excellent average size fish and also an official tournament area since more than 10 years.

 I cannot compare Bolsena with any other Japanese lakes I knew (I am only in confidence with Lake Biwa or Hashiguchi Lake near Mount Fuji), but just to give you an idea of what I am talking about, Bolsena look like an ultra clear water area, full of weed beads (hydrilla style), underwater rocks and flat sandy shorelines. The wind blow often over Bolsena and this cause water motion, weaves and so many problems for the inexpert boaters and bass anglers. There are lots of outdoor and recreational activities on the lake, and boating fishing is allowed with no motor limitations. Unfortunately do not exist any bass guide service on this lake.

 Japanese fisherman can take a real advantage from this area because largemouth bass are difficult to catch here, due to the heavy fishing pressure, and the general conditions of the lake are very similar to the crowded Japanese waters. That's why I mean that Japanese anglers are normally accustomed to fish "hard to catch" bass!. Some of the local most favorite techniques includes: light tackles and finesse, like down-shot rigs, small jig heads rigs or weightless presentations. The bass are normally schooling around the weed beads or sit well close to the bottom, and the best action happen at an average water depth between 2 thru 8 meters range.

 Based on the most successful angler selection tackles and rigs, we find more used here: medium light 6'6" spinning rods, rigged with 1/16 jig heads (hook exposed or no-weedless) and 4 inches cut tail or straight tail worms. The most experienced bassmen always spool their reels with 6 pound test fluorocarbon line, this because fluoro lines will help to feel more strikes and have an "invisible" approach with the bass. The down-shot is also getting popular among bass anglers as well as what we call "swimming grub", made by a 4 grams tungsten bullet weight rig and a 5 inches single tail grub retrieved at medium speed. The best time to visit Bolsena is before spring (for pre-spawn bass), beginning of summer (in june) and during the fall in October. As advised, the average size of the bass here is respectable, and bass over 2 kilos in weight are not uncommon; some friends of mine report 2,500 kilos on a regular basis during spawning and pre-spawning season. Even water temperature range between 8 thru 10 degrees at beginning of spring, up to 17 thru 20 degree of mid summer.

 Now it's food time! Nothing to say that food here is one of the best attraction for travelers all over the world and it's not so easy to describe the wide selection of dishes offered in this region. The food, ingredients combinations and tastes change in Italy from region to region, city to city, because a different kind of cultures, but a common line still follow any different cuisines. In Bolsena area, the most traditional dishes are made by pasta with spicy tomato sauce (penne all'arrabbiata), even pasta with fresh sausage and fresh cheese (straccetti con salsiccia e formaggio), and delicious lamb ribs barbequed or cooked inside the traditional oven (l'abbacchio). The wine produced here is normally white one with a bit of sparkling, and it's world renowned with the name of: Est Est Est. About accommodation and lodging we normally stay at a medium level hotels (fisherman do not like luxury), or even have a daily roundtrip from our home place, but some top class accommodations are available with lake saightseen.

 That's a real challenge for a dedicated angler who love to spend a wonderful vacation here in Italy, enjoying the monuments and churches sight seen of Rome ( or Firenze), making shopping between the world renowned Italian fashion brands, heating excellent food and fishing some nice bass spots.

Paolo Vannini


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