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Fishing in Ireland

With a temperate climate, a varied coastline and an abundance of well-stocked rivers and lakes, Ireland has a lot to offer fishing aficionados of every sort. In fresh water, you will find Carp, Trout, Salmon and Char, as well as excellent Pike fishing. Sea Anglers can enjoy fishing for Bass, Ray, Flounder or Dogfish from the miles of easily accessible rocky shoreline or do battle with Mullet from a harbour wall or pier. Fish for blue shark off the south and west coast, for conger, ling and cod from sunken wrecks, for tope and flatfish over sandy ground.

Inshore fishing, deep sea angling or fishing wrecks is easily arranged with many charter boats available for hire in fishing centres all around the coast. With so many different species to catch, there is something for everybody in Ireland to catch.

In both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, licences are required for salmon and sea trout fishing. A license is also required for trout, pike and coarse fishing in Northern Ireland – you can purchase these online. In both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, sea fishing for marine sport fish does not require a licence. On a number of trout and coarse fisheries, a local permit may also be required. There are currently conservation laws governing salmon, sea trout, brown trout, sea bass and pike.

The perfect spot for those looking to fuse fishing with an adventurous family trip, Killarney is Kerry’s prime tourist territory, a spot sat close to the wonderful Ring of Kerry, with restaurants, hotels and hikes on your doorstep. While a permit is required for the nearby rivers, the lake fishing is free. Here your primary target will be chunky trout, peaking April to September. Another great spot for trout is the The Great Western Lakes (or Lough, the Irish word for lake) These are some of the last remaining wild trout limestone lakes in Europe. They are recognized for the quality of trout fishing. These lakes include Lough Corrib, Mask, Carra, Conn, and Cullin. The lakes are limestone based, making them highly productive due to their alkaline nature. These lakes have excellent populations of wild trout, averaging one to two pounds and many over five pounds. The king of these lakes is the ferox trout, fast-growing fish that can easily top 20 pounds. Salmon are also caught in Corrib and Conn, while pike are found in all of the lakes. Galway is the closest major city to these lakes for food and accommodations. Fishing is free, except for salmon license requirements, and guides are readily available on all of the lakes.

Another awesome location is called Cork Harbour. When you arrive in Cork Harbour, it is evident that fishing is a way of life here, which is why it is one of the best places for visiting anglers to target. This is one of the largest natural harbours in the world. Its unique characteristics, like a sheltered bay, indented shoreline, shallow mudflats, sandy beaches, and waterways that go from deep shipping channels to quiet creeks, make it an angler's paradise. Fly fishing anglers enjoy sport fishing for sea bass and mullet, which are the most common catch. Other species include the blonde ray, cod, pollack, conger eel, and blue shark, which can be found offshore from the mouth of the harbor.The Moy is Ireland's most famous and productive salmon river, with anglers hauling in more than 6,000 salmon a year. Spring salmon come into the river April through June, averaging nine to 10 pounds. July is the peak time for the salmon run on the River Moy, but smaller summer salmon, called grilse, return in large numbers beginning in June. The most common methods for fishing on this river are fly fishing, spinning, and bait fishing with worms. There are certain stretches of water that are more suitable for each method than others. Out-of-towners can usually get advice from a local bait shop and from Inland Fisheries Ireland. You will find a number of private and club-owned stretches along the river, but most offer permits at a reasonable price.

The salmon and sea trout season begins between January 1st and March 20th, depending on the fishery. Brown trout fisheries open between February 15th and March 1st. Most fisheries close on September 30th, a few are open until October 12th. You can fish for pike year round with no regulations whatsoever. So whether you are a trout fisherman, or love to chase pike, or anything in between, Ireland needs to be on your list of fishing destinations to visit!

Latest reviews


I was lucky enough to have David as a fishing guide. right from the start i felt like i was fishing with an old mate. i cannot speak highly enough of the way David bent over backwards to help me achieve my goal of catching my first pike. This happened despite the heat and the tight time line.i would recommend David to all serious fishers as the go to man. Thanks again David.Tight lines Peter Fahey.