The Irish climate is well suited to sport angling. It is temperate and kind to the angler with moderate summers, mild winters and adequate rainfall throughout the year. The warm waters of the North Atlantic Drift lap the south and west coasts, giving us a milder climate than our geographical location would indicate.
The result is a fabulous mixture of cold and warm water fish species, capable of exciting the specialist or casual angler on the annual family holiday. In fresh water, they range from carp, more attuned to warm waters, to the Atlantic Salmon, which is a north Atlantic species. The marine species range from the cold water Cod and Coalfish to the Mediterranean loving gilthead bream and Bass to the mid Atlantic Blue Shark. Many Irish people enjoy fishing but we are happy to share our “riches” with our fellow anglers from all over the world.
Few of us, however, fish for coarse fish (freshwater species other than the salmon and trout family) which means that our magnificent pike, bream, tench, roach, and rudd are largely left to the tourist, as is much of the sea angling, particularly along the south and west coasts.
Lakes, rivers and coastal stretches are surveyed and mapped, fisheries are managed and stocked, while banks and access routes to the waters edge are developed to ensure the visitor gets directly and easily to the hotspots.
Most of the angling is organised around recognised angling centres which specialise in catering for the angling tourist. Salmon and trout fisheries are usually the property of an individual, club, organisation or the state and permission to fish is generally required except in the case of the state owned lakes, such as the Great Western Loughs and the Lakes of Killarney.
Some waters have seldom, if ever seen a rod and line but exploration is always an enjoyable part of an fishing holiday, so do not be afraid to “have a go”, it might well result in the fish of a lifetime.