Surrounded by the ocean and home to a landscape that is bursting with beautiful lakes and rivers, Ireland is the perfect destination for a spot of fishing. Whether you fancy a quiet weekend on the lake, an adrenaline-fuelled boat trip on the Atlantic or a just a nice outing to catch your dinner, Ireland has something for every type of angler.
In terms of species, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You can fish for cod, carp, salmon, pike and even shark! But what you catch will largely depend on your location and whether you choose to go it alone or work with specialists who can point you in the right direction.
Either way, location is absolutely key when planning your fishing trip in Ireland, so we thought we’d make life a little easier for you. Below, we’ve pulled together a list of seven of the best fishing spots for you to choose from.
1. Lough Currane, County Kerry
Lough Currane is an ideal location for fly fishing but you could also choose trolling or spinning if you’d prefer. This is a huge lake which covers more than 2,500 acres and is Ireland’s crown jewel when it comes to sea trout fishing. Upstream from the sea, you’ll also find large numbers of salmon here and the trout can average anywhere between 4 to 6lb.
Another reason this is such a great location for fishing is its beautiful surroundings. Set in the mountains of the Iveragh peninsula, you might even be able to spot a white-tailed sea eagle as you fish.
2. The River Moy, County Mayo
The Moy is Ireland’s busiest salmon river, with catches reaching as much as 9 to 10lb. Plus, as many as 6,000 salmon are caught each year by visiting anglers, though April through to July is the peak season and perhaps the best time to visit. Several different styles of fishing are favoured here but the most popular are fly, spinning and bait fishing and locals will be able to advise on the best stretches of water depending on your chosen method.
However, if you’re looking for something a little more exclusive, there are also private stretches of water along the Moy where you can purchase a permit. Some of these clubs and locations also offer accommodation so you can stay nearby during your trip.
3. Lakeland Fishery, County Roscommon
If you’re looking for a peaceful location to do a spot of carp fishing, Lakeland Fishery could be the perfect place for you. The complex is 15-acres in size and made up of three different lakes. You’ll need a day pass to fish here but if you want to make a weekend of it you can even hire a yurt and multi-day pass so you can enjoy a tranquil fishing trip.
The biggest of the lakes there is called Swan Lake and this is the most popular amongst anglers looking to catch large carp. In fact, some of the carp to come out of this particular lake have weighed as much as 40lb.
4. Aran Islands, County Galway
The Aran Islands are located just off the coast of Ireland (to the West) and as such are an opportune place to go fishing. As these spots aren’t fished very regularly (unlike many of the places on the mainland) the islands offer an exciting opportunity. From shore angling to shark fishing, this spot is favoured by those looking for a little adventure. But if you do decide to visit the Aran Islands to fish, it’s best to seek a bit of local advice to help you find the best spots.
5. Cork Harbour, County Cork
In Cork, fishing is so much more than a hobby, it is a way of life and this is very apparent when you visit the Cork Harbour. Being one of the largest natural harbours in the world, this is a popular place for anglers and offers a range of sheltered bays, waterways and creeks for you to fish in. Here you’ll have the chance to catch a wide variety of fish including eel, cod, rays and sharks.
Sport fishing is popular at the harbour but you can also book yourself onto a deep-sea boat and head out for a day on the ocean. From larger day trips to small private boats, you’ll be sure to find the fishing experience you’re after in Cork.
6. Belmullet, County Mayo
Belmullet literally means ‘mouth of the mullet’ and is one of Ireland’s best-known fishing havens. Whether you want to try your hand at craggy shore fishing or get out on the water and see if you can’t catch yourself some tuna or shark, this is the place to do it.
That being said, the conditions here can be rough and stormy, so it’s not a spot for the faint hearted. But once you’re out on the Atlantic you’ll be able to bag yourself everything from dogfish and bass to flounder and plaice, it really is an anglers dream.
7. Killarney Lakes, County Kerry
Killarney is not only a great place to go fishing but it is also one of the nation’s top tourist destinations. As such, this could be the perfect place for you if you’re hoping to combine a day or two of fishing with a fun family getaway. As well as plenty of nearby rivers and lakes, mostly home to trout, you can enjoy an array of restaurants, great hotels and long hikes for a more adventurous and active family holiday.
Just be sure to check if you need a permit before you set up. The lakes are mostly free but some of the rivers require a fishing permit, so it’s best to do your research before you arrive or speak to the helpful locals in the tackle shops. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
Are you considering Ireland for your next fishing trip?
This is by no means an exhaustive list of places to fish in Ireland, but these are some of the top places to visit. The nation offers so many exciting fishing spots for keen anglers that you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for, whether that’s a relaxing weekend or a high-adrenaline boat trip.
Stuart Cooke is the Digital Marketing Manager at MyBaggage.com, luggage shipping specialists helping students all over the world.
Photo by Brady Rogers on Unsplash.