As well as being a popular tourist destination attracting millions of visitors a year, Ireland is also on the top spots of many anglers.
Surrounded by thousands of miles of coastline there is no shortage of fishing areas for saltwater anglers. If fresh water fishing is your sport there are a multitude of lakes, streams, and rivers to select from.
Here we will take a look at 15 of the best fishing spots along rivers, coasts, and lakes, that Ireland has to offer.
1. Lough Currane
The Lough Currane has a great selection of salmon and sea trout and is regarded by many as one of the best fisheries in the area. Good for fishing by novices and experienced anglers alike this area is located close to the Ring of Kerry.
Situated close to the town of Waterville this area offers good fishing from the months of January through to October. The Lough Currane is the best and the largest in a chain of lakes that are known for their good quality fishing.
The lake covers an area of over 2500 acres and is famous for producing large sea trout of specimen size. The lake can be fished from various areas along the shore line, but boat fishing typically yields the best results for fishermen.
Some of the more popular areas of the Currane are Black Point, Church Island and Rough Island. Anglers are commonly seen along these areas and typically enjoy productive fishing in these locations.
2. The River Moy
The River Moy covers an area spanning across 2 counties and is over 1000 miles in total length. It is a very popular area for fly fishing and bait fishing and produces a decent number of good quality salmon.
Sea trout can also be caught in relatively large quantities in the area. The River Moy has a wide variety of fishing areas and tributaries that offer all types of fishing, but the most popular area is the main channel which is over 40 metres wide and quite deep.
Vast numbers of salmon are caught every season in this area, making it a favourite among anglers. The average salmon catch over the last decade is in excess of 7000 fish. Most fishing methods are allowed on the lake with the exception of using shrimp as bait.
3. Galway Bay
If sea fishing is your thing head to the waters of the Galway Bay. There are plenty of fishing tours, boat rentals, charter cruises, and deep sea fishing trips available to choose from so you can test your skills.
For experienced and novice anglers there are many different breeds and species of fish that can be caught from Galway’s waters. Some of the more popular types include sharks, ling, cod, pollock and ray.
Fishing in the waters of the bay is available all year round and getting out on a fishing tour is a great way to experience views of Galway Bay and its surrounding areas.
Even though fishing is available the year round mid summer seems to give the best results. For those that do not relish the idea of being out on the open ocean there are plenty of shore stations and fishing piers to choose from. Shore fishing is also available in the area.
4. River Boyne
There are a number of popular fishing areas along the Boyne, some of the fishermans favourites are Blackcastle, Dunmoe and Kilarn.
The fishing is good all the year round but mid May gives the most results. There are tours and fishing guides available in the area to assist novices in finding the best spots and provide advice on the most effective bait and tackle to use. The Boyne is a home for sea trout, salmon, brown trout, bass and pike.
The waters are suitable for various styles of fishing, fly fishing, spinning, and bait fishing. Salmon and sea trout fishing is best in the lower areas of the River Boyne with fish being caught up to 20lbs, though the typical average is around 7 to 12 pounds.
Pike and Bass are more prolific in the County Meath and neighboring areas. Bass fishing produces decent sized fish with catches ranging between 3 and 6 pounds on average.
5. Lough Allen
This region is in the heart of Ireland Lakelands and is surrounded by other smaller fishing lakes and the River Shannon. This unique formation of waterways provides some of the best fishing in the country of Ireland. Besides the RIver Shannon the Arigna River and the Yellow River flows into Lough Allen.
The entire area provides a wide variety of fish, locations and fishing styles that will suit everyone from the novice angler to the expert fisherman. There is an abundance of shore fishing available in the area.
A good number of piers or jetties to take advantage of, and kayak fishing is popular with many fishermen paddling out into deeper waters to chase the bigger fish.
There are also a number of professionally managed fisheries around the area. The Lough Allen waters hold a wide variety of fish species with Bream, Roach, Rudd, Tench, Perch and Pike being among the more popular.
6. The Dingle Peninsula
Whatever your style of fishing you will find whatever you are looking for available on the Dingle Peninsula. Sport fishing, shore fishing, deep sea fishing, salmon and trout fishing are all available in abundance throughout the area.
The Owenmore river is a good spot for game fishermen with wild salmon and sea trout, and Lough Caum is a well known area that is stocked with brown trout and rainbow trout. Fishing permits are available in the area and can be purchased on the day.
If you are the kind of angler that prefers shore fishing there is miles of shoreline to choose from on the Peninsula. All manner of beaches and surf conditions ranging from wild to quiet can be enjoyed and anglers come to this area in large numbers to catch rays, bass, skate, plaice and flounder.
There are also piers and rock pools that can be fished and produce pollock, eels and wrasse. A number of fishing publications are available covering the Dingle Peninsula which advise on the best areas to fish for various species and what the best bait is to use to get results.
If deep sea fishing is what gets your blood pumping there are a good number of charter tours to be found or for a fee, you can rent your own boat and head out to the open water.
7. Donegal Bay
This bay area contains excellent areas for shore fishing along its coastline. Anglers catch mackerel, pollock and sea trout in good quantities usually by spinning in shallow waters.
Out deeper the catch is typically flounder or ray. The Donegal Bay area has some notoriety among anglers as it was in this area at Raithlin O’ Beirne Island that a huge 440kg Bluefin Tuna was caught by Adrian Molly, a local charter fisherman.
He caught the monster on a squid and it smashed the previous record by almost 200 kg which had been set just the year before. Since then anglers have made a pilgrimage to the area in the hopes of catching their own record breaking fish, Several catches have been in the 200kg area but Adrian’s record breaking catch still remains intact for now.
Anglers also enjoy good quality boat fishing in the area and catch cod and ling. Flounder, dogfish and mackerel are abundant in the area at the mouth of small streams and boat fishermen enjoy catching turbot dabs and ray just beyond the casting reach of shore fishermen.
Pier fishing is also popular in the area and many anglers head to Killybegs which is Ireland largest commercial fishing port. The waste and cut fish dumped into the water attracts fish that come to feed.
Large specimens of tuna, wrasse and even shark have been caught. For those that prefer to night fish there have been several conger eels caught from the port area. Eels close to 27kg in weight have been caught with relative frequency.
Located in the Ring of Kerry this area provides fishermen with a break from the summer heat. For those anglers that want to cool off a little these waters provide a cooler area in which to enjoy fishing.
There are many fishing charters to pick from and shark are commonly caught in the area along with tuna that are brought in by the Guf Stream. The angler can choose to go out with experienced fishing guides or hire their own boat to fish Waterville.
From the shore, there are good areas to fish for mackerel, dogfish, bass and Pollock as well as a large variety of many other species. The Cummeragh River runs in to the area and yields catches of salmon, brown trout, and sea trout.
Many fish run into larger or even championship sizes so select an appropriate tackle. Salmon caught in the area run to an average weight of 11lbs in weight and weights of 15lbs is not uncommon. Fly fishing is popular and the largest salmon caught in the area using this method was 32 lbs.
9. River Rye
River Rye is a fast flowing river with a stoney bed, that is known for its good quality trout fishing. Anglers frequent this spot with the most productive months being May to September. Fly fishermen regularly score catches that average 10oz and many trout have been recorded that are around the 3lb mark.
Access to the area is restricted with sections being owned by Intel Ireland and controlled by Angling associations. As such fishing permits and membership ID’s should be carried and/or displayed at all times. The area also enforces angling Bye-Laws that prohibit the use of worms as bait and the use of any hooks other than single, barbless hooks.
10. Rosses Point
Located near the town of Sligo in the north western area of Ireland this area is good fishing and frequented by anglers looking to catch mackerel, sea trout and bass. Rosses Point is at the entrance to inner Sligo Bay and yields good catches.
Those looking for flounder can fish the area around Coney Island, the Island itself is only approachable from land at low tide. Around Strandhill there is a popular seaside resort with a nice beach. Flatfish and occasionally bass can be caught from the southern end of the area. There is a nice selection of beach or boat fishing in the area.
The Turbot Bank is a popular spot for boat fishermen and produces ray, turbot and dogfish. An even more well known area is The Ledge just out to the west side of Coney Island. It runs to depths of 27 meters and anglers can catch cod, ling, conger and tope.
If large skate fish are your target then head to the area known as Wheat Rock. Its sandy bed is an area for large skate to congregate. There is also a small harbor in the area which is good for fishing tope and skate inshore.
11. River Fane
If you are an avid salmon fisherman make sure you check out the River Fane. The headwaters of the river comprises many small tributaries and the River Fane is known for its good run of salmon and sea trout that it experiences. The most productive months are September and October. The fish can be caught from late July but the main run happens late in the season.
Several clubs and angling associations operate within the area and there are a good number of salmon pools to choose from. The area can be prone to some flooding so the general consensus is that the pools upstream of Iniskeen can produce the better fish after flooding. The lower pools are also very heavily fished and the more experienced anglers tend to give them a wide berth.
12. River Bandon
This is a good river for salmon and sea trout fishing, and very popular with area anglers. Almost every style of angling is permitted on these waterways though some sections are restricted to fly fishing only. This river covers 235 square miles starting in the west Cork mountains and stretching to Kinsdale Harbour.
The season runs from mid February to late September and the river enjoys a decent run of fish during those months. The runs and success of anglers can be dependant on the water levels in this area and anglers should check with fisheries in the area before fishing.
13. Crana River
This is an area controlled heavily by an angling association but with a purpose built angling center. For the experienced or novice fisherman this center provides bait, tackle, equipment hire, boat hire and more.
The Cranna River is a 12 km long waterway that flows from the Eskaheen mountains and flows into Lough Swilley. It is and area that tends to fish late in to the season and experiences good catches of grisle, sea trout and salmon. It boast a best catch of a salmon weighing 22lbs. It is not uncommon for fish to be caught around the 16lb weight each season.
14. Fullerton Reservoir
Fullerton Reservoir is a 400 acre reservoir and has a large population of wild and stocked trout. Fly fishing only is permitted and the area has several boats that are available for anglers to hire.
The best trout that has been reported recently was 9lbs and caught by a local angler, though in the past a catch has been recorded of 15lbs. Salmon run in the reservoir late in the season.
15. Easkey River
A very picturesque river that’s a popular place for fly fishing. It starts high in the Ox mountains and runs out to the sea at Easkey. Sea trout and salmon run well in the area until right to the end of the season. There area has many productive and secluded pools to fish.
On the lower end of the Easkey River there is the Fortland Fishery which provides 3 miles of double bank angling in an unspoilt and private estate setting. Anglers can enjoy fishing for salmon and sea trout at the fishery.
The country of Ireland has miles and miles of coastline with every variance of landscape imaginable. Flat sandy beaches, craggy cliffs and rocky peninsulas. Surf conditions that range from calm to wild and an abundance of lakes and rivers to add even more options for the avid angler.
Every style, type and method of fishing is available in Ireland, fly fishing for brown trout in rivers, or sea fishing for massive tuna on a charter boat, the options are endless.
So whatever our style of fishing check out this amazing country, it’s coast and its waterways for some of the best fishing you will ever experience.
This guide details some of the more common and popular fishing locations in the country to get your started.
Don’t forget your permit and make sure you abide by the rules of each waterway, river, or area. The rules and regulations can vary dramatically depending on which location you’re in so make sure you study the rules carefully.