Fishing in Ireland – Your Guide to the Best Fishing Spots

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Fishing in Ireland – Your Guide to the Best Fishing Spots

To celebrate St Patrick’s Day, we here at Team AD thought we would run through some of the top locations to plans a fishing trip to Ireland. Known for its vast green scenery, historic castles, and seaside cliffs, Ireland offers anglers mild temperatures, consistent, clean waters, perfect for fishing. 


What to Consider at Fishing Venues

Before we jump into the top fishing locations in Ireland there are just a few things to consider other than where the venue is and what fishing it offers you.

Fishing License: In the Republic of Ireland you will need a licence for salmon and sea trout fishing. In Northern Ireland, you will also need a license for salmon and sea trout fishing in addition to a rod licence

Fishing Permits in Ireland: In addition to a You’ll need a licence for certain species, permits and day memberships may be required on certain bodies of waters. If you are unsure, we suggest contacting the local tourist information centre, angling association or centre.  Also, be sure to check how to get to the water’s edge without crossing private lands.

Catch and Release in Ireland: Release and capture of fish differ depending on the species and size. Check the official details here. 

Closed Seasons in Ireland: Most fisheries for Salmon & Trout close between September 30th- October 12th and open by January 1st. There is no close season for Coarse, Pike & Sea Fishing – fishing is available year-round.

Upon arrival: It is important to figure out if there are water features, channels, drop-offs or anything else that will attract or funnel fish into a run that you can tap into at the venue. Check for facilities, car parking and wheelchair access if required. 

Tackle & Equipment: When travelling overseas, it may be good to know that fishing tackle is widely available to rent in Ireland, depending on the venue and accommodation.

Flights, Hotels & Car Hire: Although we are currently under travel restrictions, you can start planning your trip to one of Ireland’s best fishing spots today and have something to truly look forward to for your next fishing adventure.

Visit Skyscanner for hotels, flights and car hires for your trip to Ireland.


Not Fishing in Ireland? You can check out more venues in other location guides found on the AD blog.

Fishing in Scotland - Your Guide to the Best Fishing Spots 

Fishing in England - Your Guide to the Best Fishing Spots 

Fishing in Wales – Your Guide to the Best Fishing Spots


Top Fishing Venues in Ireland

View the map below for all locations mentioned in this guide.




River Boyne, Meath

Surrounded by rolling farmland and marshy meadows, the Boyne is a home for sea trout, salmon, brown trout, bass and pike in the east of Ireland. The river Boyne is ideal for salmon and trout anglers, especially for fly fishing between April to June, although its open to fish from March 1st - September 30th. Great locations along the river Boyne include Slane, Navan, Trim and Kells all in the county; Meath.

  • If you fish within Navan, you an pick up a Day Ticket from the Navan Anglers Club costing €15.00 (roughly £13) per day for Trout fishing and €25.00 (roughly £22) per day for Salmon.
  • Nearby eating and toilets facilities can be found near the river by the Navan Shopping Centre where both Tesco and McDonalds are present.
  • Free Car Parking is situated at Boyne Road River Walk Car Park.
  • There are also near-by B&B’s; Athlumney Manor B&B and Newgrange Hotel.


River Blackwater, County Cork

Located in the South-west of Ireland and otherwise referred to as River Munster runs through Cork and Kerry, offering a charming space for fishing, especially when targeting roach and dace during colder months. For a fishing trip, whether it’s a day at Blackwater or a week, check out The Fortwilliam Fishery offers 3 ½ miles of double bank salmon and trout fishing across 5 beats, including the Lismore Castle beat.

  • Ideal for an angling holiday, The Fortwilliam Fishery provides for individuals, groups and families, just let them know via its online form and they will contact you with prices.
  • As well as permission to fish, Fortwilliam House also provides accommodation so you can use its facilities as well as a variety of catering options from packed lunches to fine dining. Although other eating options are available within Lismore.
  • Car Parking whilst fishing the beats of the River Blackwater is secure on the grounds of Fortwilliam House.


River Barrow, Athy

Located this stretch of the Barrow in the County Kildare, will offer anglers the chance to catch Brown Trout, Salmon, Eel, Pike, Perch, Bream, Rudd and Tench. The Barrow is a top spot for pike anglers as a record of 42lbs came from the river.

  • By purchasing an annual membership from the Athy and District Coarse Angling Club (for €25) you will have the fishing rights between the Fort of Dunrally, Vicarstown and Maganey Lock on the River Barrow. 
  • Pay & Display parking can be found at Barrow Quay Car Park, Athy, County Kildare, located next to the river. 


TOP TIP: Fishing for pike with live bait is illegal in the Republic of Ireland, instead, use dead baiting, spinning or fly fishing methods (with a strong 10ft rod, with No. 9/ 10 lines) for pike.


River Lagan, County Antrim

As a major river in Northern Ireland, the River Lagan runs 53.5 miles from the Slieve Croob mountain in County Down to Belfast with fishing permitted on the western side of the river. An ideal spot is situated in the upstream stretch starting near Belfast Boat Club and Shaw’s Bridge. If you are fishing in this place, you would be able to catch good numbers of pike, perch, gudgeon, Rudd, and Roach along with some amount of bream. 

  • A short-term, 3-day, adults DAERA angling permit can be purchased on the Northern Ireland Government website for just £6. Short-term fishing licences are also available and ideal for tourists. 
  • There is a path along the river by the Shaw’s Bridge beat which is flat and easily accessible to wheelchairs in addition to fishing stand just downstream of a canoe slalom course at Shaw's Bridge which is accessible to those with slight or moderate difficulty walking.
  • The nearest public toilets are located in Malone House in the Barnett’s Demense signposted from the Malone Road/Milltown Road junction which is open 9am to 5pm (11am to 4.30pm on Sundays).
  • Car parking can be found for free at Shaw Bridge’s Carpark on Melone Road. 


River Rye, County Kildare

River Rye is located at a distance of few minutes from Dublin City and incredibly fast flowing, making is perfect for trout and pike fishing. Trout angling is most productive during May – September with Fly anglers averaging with 10oz trout to as big as 3lbs.

  • Fishing the stretch of the Rye Water from Sandford’s Bridge to the Leixlip Aqueduct requires a membership with Leixlip and District Angling Association. You can contact Michael O’Callaghan on 087 2042149 for more details.
  • Safe parking is available in the Intel Multi-level car park.
TOP TIP: A 7.5ft – 9ft fishing rod paired with a floating line is ideal for river trout fishing.


Other Notable Rivers to Fish in Ireland:

River Moy: A famous salmon river, over 1000 miles in total length.

River Ilen: Top salmon spot.

River Laune:  Great for fly fishing for salmon, brown trout, and sea trout.

River Drowes:  Salmon are caught early on into the year due to its northwest location.

Strabane, County Tyrone: Ideal for brown trout, sea trout, grilse, and salmon fishing, it consists of the River Mourne, River Finn, the River Row and the River Faughan.

Delphi, County Mayo: Dazzling scenery accompanies waters that house salmon in great numbers and sizes.



Since Ireland is surrounded by coastline consisting of the Atlantic Ocean and the Celtic Sea, it is no surprise that sea fishing is popular for sea trout, flatfish, rays and Atlantic blue shark.


Galway Bay, County Galway

A great sea fishing location for both experienced and novice anglers, Galway Bay boasts many different species of fish such as sharks, ling, cod, pollock and ray. Boat fishing from the open sea is popular but anglers also fish from shore stations and fishing piers.

  • The Galway Bay Fishing team at An Spidéal, offer both full-day trips (€60) and evening trip options (€35) on their boats or you can charter their boat for a private fishing trip. 
  • All equipment needed, such as rod and tackle, is available onboard the Galway Bay Fishing shipping vessel.
  • The Maighdean Mara also has tea and coffee facilities, as well as facilities to make sushi or have a barbecue on the boat. A packed lunch can also be arranged if desired.
  • There is a public toilet just off the main road; Barr Na gCurragh.
  • Plenty of parking away from the main road.


Teelin Pier, Donegal Bay

Donegal Bay has many fishing locations along its coasts, one being Teelin Pier, just off the road to Slieve League. With the water level reaching over 20m from the rocks on the seaward side of the pier, it offers the chance to land specimen Conger, most species of flatfish and some dogfish. Try fishing for pollack and mackerel at high tide and codling and whiting during the winter.

  • Fishing from the Pier can be fun but you can also book a charter boat with Slieve League Boat Tours for just €30 per person in groups of 4-8 per boat. 
  • For food and facilities, Anglers can make use of the local cafes and pubs such a The Rusty Herring which also happens to be a lodge.
  • There is plenty of room for car parking at Teelin Pier, just ensure you do not block the slipway for the other pier users.


Cork Harbor, Cobh

As one of the largest natural harbours in the world, Cork Harbor offers perfect angling features such as a sheltered bay, indented shoreline, shallow mudflats, and quiet creeks. It’s a popular spot for fishing for sea bass, mullet, blonde ray, cod, pollack, conger eel, and blue shark, both offshore and from the mouth of the harbour.

  • Cobh is a common departure point for sea angling charters, offering day trips with guided fishing and all gear provided. 
  • There are many local pubs and B&B’s in Cobh for food and facilities.
  • Parking can be found along the sea wall by Glenbrook Wharf.


Blacksod Pier, Belmullet

With the literal meaning of Belmullet being ‘mouth of the mullet’, it is no wonder that it’s a fishing haven. Due to the powerful nature of the Atlantic, anglers are warned to take caution from the stormy conditions. Belmullet is home to a hefty amount of dogfish, coalfish, bass, flounder, plaice, turbot and many more. You can fish both from the craggy shoreline or for shark and tuna from boats.

  • With Belmullet Boat Charters, all fishing gear is supplied and the boat leaves from Blacksod Pier. 
  • The hotels and ample bait shops within Belmullet.
  • Parking can be found along the R313 road.


Rosses Point, County Sligo

With plenty of opportunity for shore fishing in the deep waters over sand and muddy beaches, Rosses Point is home to mackerel, pollack, coalfish, codling, sub-species of Ray and Dogfish. There’s a great pollack fishing spot called ‘the ledge’ just a few miles offshore, too.

  • As well as beach fishing, the is a charter company called Sligo Boat Charters fishing boat trips along the Wild Atlantic Way, offering the chance to catch plenty of game species. Prices start from €220.
  • Car Park at the near-by Pier.
  • Facilities can be found at local cafes and pubs in Rosses Point.


Other Notable Sea Fishing Locations:

The Dingle, Peninsula:  Located along Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way, in the southwest region of Ireland. Boasts a great variety of species including sea bass, blue shark, and several species of ray.

Mullaghmore, County Sligo: Great spots include fishing from the harbour walls and boast fishing for sharks.

West Cork:  With many shipwrecks in the area, its a prime spot for fishing for eels, sea bass, monster coalfish, cod, and pollack.



Located on the western edge of Europe, Ireland has a marvellous variety of lakes that are without the scourge of industrial pollution resulting in cleaner, fresher air and waters.


The Great Western Lakes, Galway

The Great Western Lakes comprises of Lough Corrib, Mask, Carra, Conn, and Cullin. As wild limestone-based lakes, the water is highly productive in alkaline nature providing excellent populations for trout, salmon and pike.

  • Boat Fishing the Lough Corrib can be arranged by The Fishing Lodge 
  • Fly fishing tuition can be provided by The Fishing Lodge as well as accommodation and meals.
  • Parking can be found on the property of the Fishing Lodge.
TOP TIP: Best to use single-handed rods for low water summer fishing and lake fishing. At least two matching fly lines will be required, a floating line and an intermediate or sink tip line. Waders are a necessity and chest waders are recommended.


Lough Boora, County Offaly

Lough Boora Discovery Park, close to Tullamore has some excellent fishing lakes, ideal for family holidays. Lake Boora has plentiful stocks of adult tench, as well as roach, with no closed season, making it a great spot for beginner and junior anglers. 

  • The Discovery Park offers access to public toilets and a café in its visitors centre.
  • There is a picnic area and car park (€4 to use) close to Boora Lake.
  • For information on the permits required to fish on each lake, please contact Tom Egan on 086 2896397.


Lakeland Fishery, Roscommon

Based in the northern centre of the Lakelands region, this fishery boasts a 15-acre complex with 3 lakes to fish from. The largest lake; Swan Lake is ideal for specimen carp anglers.

  • Fish across the complex with a day ticket that costs just €10. View website
  • Open 7 days a week. 9am – Dusk.
  • For multi-day trips, you can rent a yurt on the property and package lodging and fishing.


Upper Lough Erne, Enniskillen

Just on the Boarder of Northern Ireland, Ballinaleck Quay is a top angling spot to try on Lough Erne, offering bream, roach, perch and pike as well as fly fishing for trout.

  • You do not need to worry about passport or customs checks on the border (Check with Brexit Updates)
  • There are lodges in the area of Kilmore Quay, which is a small fishing village, such as Watermill Fishing Lodge
  • The Watermill Lodge not only caters to anglers by providing fishing equipment on-site but offers a fleet of boats and guides.
  • Make sure to sort your short-stay permits and licences for Lough Erne on the Offical Northern Ireland Government Services. 


Lough Muckno, County Monaghan

Based on a Public park, Lough Muckno offers a vast choice of angling, Lough Muckno is home to rudd, bream, tench, roach, pike, hybrids and perch. There are also surrounding, smaller lakes to fish from including Smith’s Lake, Gas Lake, Killygola and Malone Lake.

  • To book or enquire about fishing at Lough Muckno message the Facebook page or call +353 87 250 5317
  • Accommodation can be found at the Muckno Lodge where costs start from €120 a night


Other Notable Lakes to Fish in Ireland

Blessington Lake, County Wicklow: The largest reservoir in Ireland, offering great catch and release pike fishing all year except October.

Lough Ennell, County Westmeath: With boat rentals from Liliput Boat Hire, anglers enthusiasts can fish for trout, pike and perch fishing. 

Connemara, in County Galway:  With sporting rights of about 40,000 acres, Connemara is a mountain region west of Galway with an abundance of lakes such as Lough Inagh and Lough Corrib full of salmon and trout.

Lough Derg, Ireland’s Lakelands: Located on the broader of the Lakelands region, the Derg boasts plenty of coarse fish (bream, roach, tench, and rudd) and pike as it shares with the River Shannon.

Killarney Lakes, County Kerry:  Based near the Killarney National Park, there are 3 lakes; Lough Leane, Upper Lake, and Muckross Lake which primary stock: chunky trout but are all free to fishing.

Annagh Lake, Cavan: Housing rainbow and brown trout and found in the village of Butler’s Bridge, this popular fishing destination is in season from May to September.


We hope you found this list of best fishing places in Ireland helpful and are enjoying St Patrick's Day. For more locations not mentioned in this article, and advice for angling in Ireland, visit Discover Northern Ireland or Angling Ireland

Have you fished at any of these venues or can think of some great places you have cast your line that is not mentioned? Let us know about AD’s social media.

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REMEMBER: Before you head off for your next fishing trip to grab all your needed tackle at your local AD store or from Angling Direct online.

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