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.
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.
Not Fishing in Ireland? You can check out more venues in other location guides found on the AD blog.
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.
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.
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.
|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.|
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.
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.
|TOP TIP: A 7.5ft – 9ft fishing rod paired with a floating line is ideal for river trout fishing.|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
|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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.