There you sit, legs outstretched with one hand tucked leisurely behind your head and the other resting on the fishing rod across your lap. You watch as the brilliant Irish sun that’s been warming your skin for the past four hours sends flecks of bright light dancing across the lake’s glassy surface and think, how can this possibly get any better? Suddenly, there’s a tug on the line! And in the five minutes it takes you to reel in your catch you realize, it just has. Because in Ireland, as many an angler would tell you, the waiting is half the fun. Guest blogger Kirsten Fruit goes fishin’.
It’s not surprising that a country famous for its abundance of sparkling seas, lush lakes and rippling rivers would also serve as a bona fide . For years, fishing fanatics from around the world have found a haven of sorts in Ireland’s waterways, and it isn’t hard to see why. After all, you never seem to be more than a stone’s throw from water, making our lovely little island the ideal spot to drop a line. And, the best part is: you don’t have to come as an expert to leave as one.
Angling guide Bodo Funke has made it his business to show folks a good time while reeling in their catches in . He reckons a good guide is crucial:
The guide would have excellent local knowledge – know the best waters, places and methods to catch fish. He’ll also have a sharp eye on the weather. It’s in the guide’s best interest for the clients to get a good catch, so you know he’ll do his level best to make that happen.
Full-time master ghillie for Ballynahinch Castle in , Simon Ashe, has spent the better part of his life guiding eager individuals around some of Ireland’s most gasp-worthy waterways. As he puts it, “having a guide adds 100 percent to an individual’s enjoyment on the river.”
So, what is it about angling in Ireland that sets it apart?
It’s not just the spectacular fish, it’s the whole experience: being in the outdoors, the friendly people you meet on or at the water, the craic and banter after a days fishing!
Simon simply puts it:
In Ireland, fishing is only an excuse to get out into the beautiful surroundings.
So, favourite spots to cast a line from the angling know-it-alls?
Simon goes first:
It has to be Ranji’s Rock, this little island on the Ballynahich River that you can only get to by boat. I brought a client from New York there and helped him catch his first ever salmon! He sent me photos and a letter when he got home too – very special reminders of the amazing time we had.
Lough Key is a magical spot – one of the prettiest lakes in Ireland with potential for a good catch. I have been fishing there since I was a child. Lough Gara is another great lake for its decent pike and coarse fishing.
Whether you fancy deep-sea angling for bass or cod off the coast, or trout and salmon angling on the inland waterways, Ireland has eh, plenty of fish in the sea!
License and permit regulations vary from species to species and from county to county, so it helps to have a qualified guide or instructor on hand to explain the details.
So, no matter where your journey takes you, you can rest assured that there will be a body of water teeming with a rainbow assortment of fish close by. And if that doesn’t hook your interest, we don’t know what will.
More information on angling and angling regulations in Ireland here.
You can let Simon take you for a splash and a catch from his base in Ballynahinch Castle, Galway.
Bodo can show you the ropes and rods of angling in Roscommon, just visit his Angling Services Ireland website.
For more ideas on what to do on our waters, you can trust us to have a blog post about it!