Dubrovnik, Croatia (HR)
The dentex (Dentex dentex) is a common saltwater fish in the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and sometimes they appear in the Canary Islands, Morocco and Senegal. They have very strong teeth to feed on fish, squid and mollusca.
Dentex are a great species for sportfishing and are targetted mainly trolling or drifting with live bait. Squid or cutle fish are irresistable for these predators. A downrigger is a must to fish close to the bottom. Trolling artificial lures with intense colours (yellow, pink...) close to the bottom can also produce great fish. Drifting, a big weight can keep the bait close to the bottom. Jigging is another technique to fish for detex. They live around rocky areas, wrecks and reefs. The larger fish are 1m long and can weigh up to 15 kg (35 lb).
Distributed throughout the subtropical waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, the Canary Islands, Morocco and Senegal, the dentex live in inshore waters up to 100m deep. The best dentex fishing destinations are Spain (Balearic Islands, Barcelona, Costa del Sol, Alicante area), France (Mediterranean), Italy (Sardinia, Sicily, Imperia...), Montenegro and Croatia.
You can fish for Dentex from the boat or from the coast, using trolling live bait and vertical jigging techniques on the boat and spinning and live bait from the coast especially from the cliffs.
Spinning and live bait from the shore is a common technique in the warmer month, probably the cheapest way to fish for Dentex.
Strips of squid, cuttlefish together with the tentacles and the shrimps are good for Dentex that do not exceed the kg, and live bait is more suitable for adult fish.
Dentex is very good to eat and there is high market demand in popular fishing locations around the world. In Europe, it's a highly valued table fish in the Mediterranean regions such as Spain, France and parts of Italy.
The regulation for catching a dentex is 30cm (12 inches) or 15 fish in some places and you don’t need a license for fishing in the sea. There is no proper regulation for this species although there should be because the population has declined at least 50% within three-generation and fishing effort is not expected to decrease in the near future.