Fishing in Ireland
Ireland's reputation as one of the best fishing experiences in Europe makes it a popular destination for this sport! In Ireland you can fish in rivers, lakes or sea, using whichever angling techniques you prefer. Irish fish make fierce opponents, and are not easily caught!
In Ireland fishing is considered a sport and the mentality of an Irish angler is somewhat different from the French fishermen - therefore the quest to catch a fish is more important. Very often they will release the fish alive afterwards. This is called the "catch and release" or the "no kill". This technique helps maintain good quantities of fish, and thus allows each angler to continue leisure pursuits each year. In addition, the fish caught and released will be able to grow even bigger!
It is advisable to learn about your fishing grounds before you go to Ireland, because each regional body (Fisheries Board) has different rules. In Ireland you do not need a licence to fish for trout, coarse species or in the sea. However, if you intend to fish for salmon or seatrout you must have a State Salmon and Sea Trout Fishing Licence.
You can always feel free to request information from local fishermen, who can give you valuable advice. Most fishing lakes and rivers have excellent facilities and easy accessibility for anglers.
It should be noted that wearing a lifejacket is compulsory for fishing and navigation on Irish lakes.
Ireland offers many different types of fishing including fishing for trout, salmon and pike, as well as deep sea angling.
You can fish for trout in numerous rivers and lakes throughout Ireland. The brown trout is native to Ireland and is one of the most widely distributed freshwater fish in the country. The lakes are often difficult to access, so trout fishing from a boat is more popular than fishing from the bank of the lake. The most popular fishing season is 'Mayfly', where you can catch the larger specimens of fish. Regarding sea trout angling, the fishing is regulated, because trout have sometimes suffered diseases due to salmon farming. A State Licence is required to fish for sea trout and permits from fisheries owners must be obtained.
Salmon fishing is one of the more attractive sports for many fishermen, salmon is easy to access in Ireland, but the fishing is highly regulated. Salmon can be caught in Irish waters from January through to October and the largest specimens are usually caught the first months of the year. The price of salmon fishing is reasonable in Ireland and catching a salmon is considered a great joy for each fisherman. County Mayo in the west of Ireland offers landscapes, lakes and beautiful salmon fishing rivers, with fine specimens of salmon, if you are lucky enough to be able to catch them!
Many stories circulate about the formidable Irish pike, and Ireland has quality pike fishing to offer the visiting angler. Despite the substantial number of pike caught there, no doubt there are many more of the species still hiding in Irish waters. Irish pike grow fast and can reach almost 20kg in some places. However, you will most commonly find smaller pike (9kg) in lakes and rivers. Indeed, the record for a pike in Ireland is 19.39kg in lake fishing, and 19.05kg caught in a river.
Again, check the legislation before you go fishing for Irish pike, as it can be subject to change.
Sea Fishing / Angling
Ireland is one of the most popular sea fishing destinations in the world, thanks to its location and because it benefits from more than 5,000km of coastline. You can fish in the sea by bank fishing, inshore or offshore fishing.
For inshore fishing, you use a small boat from five to six meters, you can bring your own boat or rent on site. Regarding fishing offshore, boats can be chartered by small groups of fishermen.
These different fishing methods are aimed to help the angler in his quest for a big fish, which is one purpose of your trip to Ireland. In addition, you might want to try your hand at shark fishing.
Some of the most suitable fishing regions are counties Mayo and Connemara. Many lakes such as Lough Mask and Lough Corrib and fishing rivers in Mayo offer good opportunities for a rewarding catch after a day fishing. In addition, while you fish you can enjoy the pleasures of a fabulous landscape, reminiscent of the song by Michel Sardou and his famous "Lacs du Connemara"!