fishing in Ireland

Ireland is regarded as one of Europe’s most popular sport fishing destinations; this is largely to the country’s immense variety and quality of fish. However, it goes further than that, the geography is ideal; Ireland measures around 500 kilometres in length by just about 300 kilometres in width, and having a water to land ratio of 1:35, almost everywhere you turn there’s an exciting and new location to try out fishing.

With clement summers, mild winters, and only moderate rainfall throughout the year, Ireland’s climate seems tailor-made for fishing. The North Atlantic drift, which gently bathes the south-west coast in well-traveled, tropical waters, gives the country a much warmer feel than its geographical latitude might suggest.

Bringing all these aspects together, as if by design, provides a fantastic collection of warm and cold water fish, diverse and eclectic enough to appeal to both the specialist angler and the casual fisher on their family vacation. And, besides all these plus points, the advantages of a relatively small land that’s crammed full of excellent fishing spots means that the family is free to explore the rest of the region, while the fisher can indulge their passion, if needs be.

Therefore, in no particular order, here are some of the best spots to fish in Ireland:

Donegal Bay

Sea fishing in the mighty Donegal bay, it is big enough to be bordered by Donegal, Leitrim, and Sligo, offers fishermen the chance to catch Wrasse, Cod, Pouting, Conger, Skate, Ray, Monk and giant Bluefin Tuna. Try hard enough and you may even find a Blue Shark.

View of Donegal bay

Rosses Point, Co. Sligo

Just over 10 minutes’ drive from Sligo itself, this beautiful setting offers quality shore fishing, with deep water access alongside muddy and sandy beaches. Fish in the area include Pollack, Coalfish, and Mackerel which, when in season, are ripe for the taking. The deeper marks allow you to catch codling at slack water, in the winter, while Dogfish, Ray and Summer Tope are waiting over the sandy marks in the summer.

Lough Muckno, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan

Lough Muckno is hemmed in by a number of smaller lakes, including Gas Lake, Smith’s Lake, Malone’s Lake, and Killygola which, together, offer an astonishing variety of fishing by themselves. However, Muckno is especially enticing, thanks to its huge stocks of Bream, Rudd, Roach, Tench, Perch and Pike. Lough Muckno is around 25 kilometres from Monaghan Town.

Delphi, Co. Mayo

A famous beauty spot, drawing visitors from miles around to see the way the sun light plays off gorgeous its scenery, this part of Ireland also happens to be a prime location for salmon fishing in Fin Lough. Delphi is nearly 40 kilometres from Westport, but it’s a drive through some of the loveliest scenery in Ireland.

Lough Corrib, Connemara, Co. Galway

A huge expanse of water, something like 40 kilometres long, and well known for its Trout and Salmon, Lough Corrib is only 15 minutes from Galway City. That said, the other end can take over an hour to reach.

Connemara Fjord

Screebe House, Connemara, Co. Galway

A Victorian fishing lodge found on the Atlantic coast of Connemara. The local waters are the property of the estate and are famous for their stocks of Salmon, Brown and Sea trout. The estate itself consists of 40,000 acres of sporting rights, dozens of fishing lakes, and Screebe House itself is less than 50 kilometres from Galway City.

River Rye, Co. Kildare

Just minutes outside Dublin City, there are mostly undiscovered secret spot on the River Rye, filled with Trout and Pike.

Waterville, Co. Kerry

For lovers of fly fishing, the various loughs at the foot of the Coomcallee Mountains, in southwest Ireland, offer amazing opportunities to fish for Salmon, Sea trout and Brown Trout, as well as Bass for those enjoying the waters around the Ring of Kerry. Waterville is a great base to use for these waters, about 1.5 hours around the Ring from Killarney.