With a spectacular, tranquil landscape and waters that support a huge population of wild fish the River Shannon truly is an anglers paradise. Coarse fish species include bream, roach, rudd, hybrids, tench, perch and pike. 

Ireland has quality pike fishing to offer the visiting angler and a supporting tourist infrastructure which will help you to catch that pike of a lifetime.

Visiting pike anglers can tailor their holiday to target the huge network of pike lakes on the River Shannon such as lough Derg, Lough Ree. 

Many of our visiting fishermen like to tackle these lake fisheries by boat and hiring a cruiser is the ideal way to move from lough to lough and to take in stretches of the Shannon that produce specimen fish. You can also hire a dinghy and an outboard motor to get to the shallower areas and smaller tributaries. Local information is also available from your boat operator or from the numerous tackle shops that are located close to your departure base.

Ireland has quality pike fishing to offer the visiting angler and a supporting tourist infrastructure which will help you to catch that pike of a lifetime. Ireland is now readily accessible by sea and air from both UK and mainland Europe. The availability of low cost air and sea fares enables visiting anglers to tailor their visit and maximise their fishing time. Pike anglers visiting Ireland often target our huge network of pike lakes, many of which are concentrated in the Shannon and Erne River Catchments on Loughs Derg, Ree and Erne. Many fishermen love to tackle the lake fisheries from a boat – and hiring a cruiser is the ideal way to move from site to site. You can also hire a dinghy and outboard to get to the shallower areas and smaller tributaries. A good range of dead baits suitable for pike fishing is available from tackle shops from near most of our marinas.

There is no statutory close season for pike in Ireland and anglers may fish for pike all year round. Pike are now one of the most highly sought after sport fish species in Europe and North America and there has also been a huge increase in the popularity of pike fishing among Irish anglers. Ireland boasts thousands of lakes (Loughs) and several thousand kilometres of pike bearing rivers and canals which are largely underutilised. The availability and quality of fishing means that Irish pike angling can satisfy the expectations of specialist, experienced and novice anglers alike. Conservation measures have been put in place recently to ensure the quality of pike fishing into the future.

Irish Fishing Regulations

The Irish Boat Rental Association and Inland Fisheries Ireland welcome overseas anglers to Ireland. Fishing in Ireland is excellent and in most area’s there is easy access to the water and there are few regulations and rules, however, in any fishery it must be managed to protect, nurture and preserve the facilities for future generations of anglers to enjoy. Inevitably there must be minimum rules to ensure that the fishery is well managed and the fish stocks protected. Please read the following before setting out on an angling expedition to ensure that you fully understand the rules that are in place. 

To ensure that the rules and regulations are kept, Inland Fisheries Ireland have inspectors who patrol the waterways particularly, in the area of the Midland Fisheries Group of rivers. These inspectors have the right to board boats, inspect fishing equipment and catches. An on the spot fine of €150 can be issued for a range of fisheries offences e.g. fishing in a closed season, taking fish smaller than allowed for in a bye-law, taking more fish than a bag limit allows, using live bait etc. Inspectors can also confiscate fishing gear.
S.I. No. 363 of 2014 Inland Fisheries (Fixed Charge Notice) Regulations 2014

Do I need a licence to fish in Ireland?

While no licence is needed for trout, pike and coarse fishing in the Republic of Ireland, a rod licence is required in Northern Ireland. In both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, licences are required for salmon and sea trout fishing.

In the Republic of Ireland State Salmon and Sea Trout Licences are available as a National licence or a District Licence. A National Licence covers all Fishery Board Districts while a District Licence covers only the Fishery District in which the licence is purchased. A list of shops where licences may be bought is available on this site: Alternatively you can buy a licence on line here:   It should be noted that a licence does not confer the right to fish for salmon or sea trout and that permission or permits are required to fish most waters. 

Anglers in the Shannon Region must have a Permit (ticket charge) to fish for trout, pike or coarse fish in the Midland Fisheries Group of controlled waters. This area comprises the following river catchments; RIVER SUCK, RIVER INNY, RIVER BROSNA, LITTLE BROSNA RIVER and CAMLIN RIVER. This permit is not required to fish the main River Shannon or other fisheries whose fishing rights are NOT under the control of the Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Republic of Ireland Angling Regulations

When measuring fish you need to be aware of the difference between total length and fork length.


  • The only legal method to catch freshwater fish is by rod and line (Control of Fishing for Coarse  Fish in Fresh Water Bye-law No. 595, 1977.).
  • A person may fish with not more than two rods at any time (Control of Fishing for Coarse Fish in Fresh Water Bye-law No. 595, 1977.).
  • It is illegal to have or to use live fish as bait (Use of Live Fish as Bait in Fresh Water Bye-law No. 592, 1977).
  • It is illegal to transfer live roach from one water to any other waters (Transfer of Live Roach, Bye-Law No. 561, 1973).

Angling Bye-law No. 930,2014 This Bye-law prohibits the use of any fish hooks, other than single barbless hooks, and also prohibits the use of worms as bait in angling for all species of fish in the waters specified in the Bye-law

Foul Hooking

This bye-law prohibits the killing and possession of foul hooked fish (i.e fish not hooked in the mouth) in any fishery district in any year.


A State Licence is required to fish for salmon and sea trout, but does not entitle you to fish. Permits or permission from fisheries owners must be obtained.

There are special conditions and bye-laws for the fishing of salmon and sea trout and anglers should make themselves aware of these by visiting the Inland Fisheries Ireland website prior to fishing:

Salmon fishing opens on January 1 on a handful of rivers and after that the remainder of rivers open on various dates in February, March, April and May. 

Coarse Fish

  • A person shall not take and kill by any means more than 4 coarse fish on any one day.
  • A person shall not take and kill by any means any coarse fish greater than 25 cm in length measured in a straight line from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail.
  • Any coarse fish taken inadvertently in contravention of this Bye-law must be handled carefully and returned without avoidable injury to the waters from which they have been taken
  • It is prohibited for any person, other than in the Louth Area or Moville Area, to sell or offer for sale any coarse fish caught by any means.
  • It is prohibited to use or attempt to use live fish as bait in fishing in fresh water.
  • It is prohibited to transfer for any purpose live roach (Rutilus rutilus) from any waters to any other waters.
  • It is prohibited to fish for pike or coarse fish by any means whatsoever other than by rod and line.
  • A person may not attempt to fish for pike or coarse fish in freshwater with more than two (2) rods at any one time.   

LOUGH RAMOR CONSERVATION OF COARSE FISH (CATCH AND RELEASE) BYE-LAW NO. 862, 2009: This Bye-law provides for catch and release in respect of coarse fish in the harbour area of Lough Ramor. The Byelaw also prohibits the possession of any coarse fish or keep net in, or on the banks of, the harbour area and provides for the use of single barbless hooks only in angling for coarse fish.

Importation of Bait To minimise the risk of accidental transmission of Foot and Mouth Disease and other infectious diseases, visitors are advised to use local sources in Ireland.

  • If you must bring worms or maggots ensure they are not packed in soil or vegetable material, the importation of which is strictly prohibited by law.


Eel fishing is closed. Conservation of Eel Fishing Bye-Law No. C.S. 319, 2015 prohibits the taking, or attempting to take, fishing for or attempting to fish for, aiding or assisting the taking of or fishing for, eel in any fishery district in the State. It also prohibits being in possession of, selling or offering for sale or reward, or purchasing eel caught or taken by any means in any fishery district in the State.


  • It is prohibited to kill more than 1 pike in any one day,
  • It is prohibited to kill any pike greater than 50 cm in length,
    • It is prohibited for any person to have in their possession more than 1 whole pike less than 50 cm or more than 0.75 kgs of pike flesh.
  • (i) It is prohibited for a person to have in his or her possession more than 12 coarse fish for use as bait in fishing for pike
  • Where a person has more than 4 coarse fish in his or her possession for use as bait in fishing for pike, the person, in respect of fish in excess of that number and subject to the paragraph (i) above must have –

(a) Obtained the fish from a fish tackle dealer or fish bait supplier registered with the Regional Board in whose fisheries Region the dealer or supplier carries on business,

(b) Obtained and retained a receipt of their purchase.