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.
When to Fish in Ireland
Salmon & Trout
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.
Coarse, Pike & Sea Fishing
There is no close season – fishing is available year round. In all cases winter weather can present a challenge!
Tackle & Equipment
Tackle is fairly widely available to rent, however if you prefer to bring your own these tips may help you decide what to bring.
Double-handed rods on big rivers and on spate rivers when in flood, 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.
A 7.5ft – 9ft rod matched to a floating line is good for river fishing, for boat fishing on lakes a longer rod would be better. On lakes, especially larger ones, a guide for the first few days at least is strongly recommended – these lakes can be dangerous and your guide will know where the fish are!
Pike & Coarse Fishing
Fishing for pike with live bait is illegal in the Republic of Ireland.
Irish coarse fisheries have large shoals of fish which require a lot of groundbait to hold – if you manage this successfully, you will need several keepnets!
Dead baiting, spinning or fly fishing will all give good results for Pike. For fly fishing you will need a strong ten foot rod matched with number 9 or 10 lines.
Where to Fish in Ireland
There is no way we can trump the information at Irish Fisheries, a totally amazing website with details about just about every fishery in Ireland, where to stay locally, what to expect, what bait and tackle is recommended locally and much more.
Even better there are up-to-date reports from each fishery and an active forum where you will get helpful and friendly advice.
My two sons and I will be traveling to Ireland in May 2018 from Wisconsin, USA. We would love to fish there and can travel, but would like to to stay near central Ireland or on the coasts. Any fishing would be fun. We fish for trout and pike here, however fishing in the land of my G. Grandparents would be a major bucket list item! Any help with guides or do it yourself hints would be much appreciated!