Carinthia in the south of Austria
The modern carp angler has plenty of opportunities to practice his hobby, but there is no other place with a richer choice than Carinthia in the south of Austria. When it comes to fishing Carinthia is without doubt the holiday destination of the future. Fishery Steffan is based right there, and it is precisely their goal to fulfil every single wish a carp angler could have. Surrounded by fantastic nature and truly unique water bodies, anglers will find comfort and recreation combined with a hint of adventure and top class services.
Absolutely no cars are allowed into the resort. The fishing spots can be reached by bicycle, e-scooter or our very own shuttle service. Anglers can enjoy the convenience of having food, drinks or fishing supplies delivered directly from the resort’s fishing shop to their fishing spot.
The 14.5ha (35.8 acres) Lagoon I is located in the direct vicinity of the accommodation and is home to some of the biggest fish in the entire resort. Lagoon I offers nine swims for a maximum of two persons each, and has around 700 carp to a top weight of 35kg (77lb 2oz). Throughout 2015 until August 2016, no fishing was allowed at the L1. During this time, we fed the fish with sufficient amounts of high-quality feed, which allowed certain specimens to gain up to 10kg of extra weight. In August, September, October and November 2016, we invited anglers to fish the L1 more or less sporadically, and we did our best to draw up a list of the current fish stock. During those nine weeks of fishing, 18 anglers managed to hook a third of the top fish.
Lagoon II is about 2km away from the resort. It takes a short 10-minute motor boat ride to reach the L2 from the resort – and our boats are very spacious, by the way. There are seven swims, each designed for up to two anglers, and each has a rowing boat. This water body is slightly over 8.5ha (21 acres) and the average depth is about 1.5m (5ft). The total stock of 150 fish is below that of L1, and the heaviest fish currently range from 21-23kg (46-51lb). Due to the relatively heavy growth of aquatic plants and the water’s excellent clarity, “micro location” is a top priority at this spot, as the fish must camouflage themselves and seek sheltered spots. That’s exactly why this idyllic water body is so special.
The next water body is the Völkermarkt Reservoir, which is one of Carinthia’s largest water bodies at more than 1100 ha (2720 acres) and borders the resort directly. Here freedom-loving anglers can enjoy their hobby to the fullest, and if you feel that our own river section could be too small for you, we can organise licenses for the other sections of the Reservoir. Anglers can make use of our rowing and motor boats, and our delivery service to some of the fishing spots that are located within our own section. Besides professional support and advice from qualified staff, the resort’s fishing shop also has a detailed depth map of the Reservoir. The carp stock is excellent and their average weight has increased significantly in the past 10 years due to an explosion in the number of signal crayfish. The majority of the carp population ranges from 8-15kg (17-33lb). There is a good number of fish that weigh more than 15kg (33lb), but catches heavier than 20kg (44lb) are rather exceptional. In recent years, the largest fish we know of reached just over 25kg (55lb). However, no real targeted carp fishing has taken place in this water body in recent years, so you might be in for many surprises.
The Oxbow Lake, which borders the resort directly, is the fourth water body. Here it is possible to fish directly from your accommodation. This section measures about 15ha (37 acres) and is directly connected to the Reservoir. In spring, the Oxbow Lake’s shallow water warms up quickly and offers a productive habitat to a large number of fish. Only rowing boats may be used for exploring and fishing in the Oxbow Lake. In the past years, the heaviest known fish reached slightly more than 24kg (53lb).
Finally, we would like to share some feedback we received on Lagoon I from film maker and globetrotter Oli Davies after his stay in October 2016: “Lagoon I was to be my first proper fishing trip to Austria, and although my first priority was filming and not fishing, I was looking forward to hopefully catching an Austrian carp or two. When we arrived early in the morning there was a thick fog shrouding the lake. As the sun burnt through it revealed itself and some spectacular scenery surrounding it; hills that almost looked like the rainforest and snow-capped mountains in the distance. The striking feature of the lake is the large railway viaduct spanning it at the point where both parts of the lake join. This is what makes the fishing really quite interesting at Lagoon I. On one side you have a narrow channel with bays and arms and plenty of weedbeds, and on the other an open expanse of shallow water with bars, gullies and sparser weedbeds; two very different environments. In the channel using a boat to position baits in holes in the weed was a good tactic, but out in the shallow water of the large expanse I think the boat spooked them a little.
“On the first morning I found a few fish in a quiet corner. As all the others had chosen their spots, and couldn’t be persuaded to have a go for these fish that were obviously feeding within casting range, throwing up silt and bubbles, I decided to have a little go myself – it would have been rude not to! After stalking a couple of the smaller fish down the margin, I got the rods out in the swim, not really fishing Euro tactics. I still had my short rigs on my 6ft rods from England! I fished one 20mm bait on a very long hair, hoping that this would prevent hooking too many carp and spooking the bigger fish in the process, and using just 30g weights. I decided not to put any bait in, not wanting to cause too many fish to feed in the swim. Sometimes fishing can be quite simple!
By first light, I’d caught a bream and smaller carp. In the night I had a proper take and played in something heavier. It kited round in front of the swim, through what was obviously a deeper channel in the shallow water, and I landed it around the other side of the little point. I was sure it was just a good twenty until I lifted the net – it was much bigger at 41lb! I sacked the fish as it was raining, and replaced the rod close in the deeper channel. Within an hour it was away, and I landed a plump 30lb mirror, closely followed by a beautiful scale perfect common also of 30lb on the other rod. A crazy couple of hours, and a mad photo session!
“The following morning I had another two carp, and at 8am I had a slower more deliberate take. This was a heavy fish and it kited from weedbed to weedbed. It turned out to be another big mirror, weighing just under the magic 20kg mark. A very nice old fish, and I have some amazing pictures with the mountains in the background.
“The activity stopped in the bay, the water cleared and it was clear that the fish were gone, so I moved for the final night and bagged another two carp. There were plenty of carp caught that week by all, including quite a few big ones. The fishing is not easy and the smaller, fast growing carp make you think about your approach. These fish are the future though, and they will all be 30-pounders in a couple of years, but it is rewarding when you get through to some of the lake’s big original fish.
“In terms of environment the swims are all really spacious, well spaced and mainly grassed, and one of the great things is you can drive round the whole lake. The lodges look like they are going to be very comfortable too and the main house of the resort is perfectly situated.
“Also worth investigating is the river that runs next to the Lagoon I. I would love to return and have a go there one day, especially having photographed a mega 17-kilo common for Thomas, along with plenty of smaller fish. It was also enjoyable fishing for some of the other species in the lake, some of which grow very large. I caught some beautiful big perch, one of my favourite fish. There is something for everyone for sure!
“So we all had a very enjoyable week at a very lovely and special place. Austria was very kind to me and I look forward to returning soon.”
All anglers who would like to arrive and depart by plane should know that Fishery Steffan offers an excellent airport transfer from Ljubljana Airport, Slovenia, and Vienna and Graz Airports in Austria. All equipment can be rented on site. The resort rents out high quality Nash equipment such as bedchairs, chairs, FS brollies, unhooking mats, nets, weigh slings, banksticks, buzzer bars and even fishing rods, if required. Anglers only need to bring their own rollers, bite indicators and other small equipment. In the fishing shop you can purchase feed and other fishing equipment at fair prices. The resort’s restaurant serves different menus daily and offers an ample breakfast buffet. All food and drinks can be delivered directly to the fishing spot or accommodation by e-car. Besides plenty of fishing action, Fishery Steffan offers a wonderful atmosphere for a perfect family holiday. For detailed information on all offers and options, please visit www.fishery-steffan.at.