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Top United Kingdom Destinations

Top United Kingdom Regions

Fishing in United Kingdom

The United Kingdom comprises of two main islands, four countries, and hundreds of prime fishing spots. Located between the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, each coast offers a different variety of fish. Fishing UK waters has to be on your bucket list, and not just for the variety of species and locales. The rich history and stunning landscapes will capture your imagination, too, just like they have for so many legendary artists and writers.

 

There are three main types of fishing you can do around the UK: coarse fishing, sea fishing, and game fishing. While game fishing is focused on Salmon and Trout, coarse fishing is focused on other freshwater fish, such as Barbel, Bream, Carp, Chub, Perch, Pike, Roach, Rud Trench, Zander, and almost the entire Carp family. Coarse fishing is popular with anglers in England, whereas in Scotland it’s all about the game fishing. 

 

Sea fishing trips in the UK occur off the coast of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. You’ll target different species depending on where you are, but top catches include Dogfish, Wrasse, Pollack, Strap Conger, and Thornback Ray. A guide is recommended, as these choppy waters can be hazardous to those who don’t know them well.

Fishing Spots in the UK

Each country that makes up the United Kingdom, and each region in them, specialises in something different. This ranges from the gear and tackle used, the species targeted, and even the preferred techniques. This gives you plenty of options when fishing in the UK to find your niche.

England

England is the best place to go for coarse fishing, which is more popular here than anywhere else in the UK. Head along the River Severn, and you’ll find almost every species of coarse fish available! The river Avon and Trent also offer excellent coarse fishing. You’ll find the native Carp as well as the non-native Barbel and Zander in these waters. After a hard fight, it’s standard to release your catch to fight another day. This makes coarse fishing more challenging, so be ready to adapt your techniques at the drop of a hat. Big Carp fishing holidays are popular in the UK.

On the west coast, you’ll find warmer waters, affected by the Gulf Stream (whereas the east coast is colder due to the North Sea). This makes the waters around the Isle of Man, between England and Ireland, a fantastic fishing spot.

Accomplished anglers visiting England should show off their skills and try match fishing. This sport is popular here – the English team has won more medals than any other nation. The main difference to other tournaments? Catch as many fish as you can in five hours, to be weighed at the end of the time.

Scotland

In Scotland, it’s all about the game fishing. There are great numbers of Atlantic Salmon and Brown Trout to catch between March and October. Fish along the Spey for the best Salmon run in Scotland and perfect the ‘Spey’ cast (a casting technique for targeting game fish made famous here). When you’re done for the day, you can swing by the famous Speyside whiskey distilleries.

The Scottish coastline is bordered by the North Sea, Irish Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean. Where you choose to cast off will have a drastic impact on what you catch. The waters of the Solway Firths will have you hooking Dogfish, Wrasse, Pollack, Strap Conger, and even a Thornback Ray if you’re lucky. Fishing off the islands that make up the Hebrides in the north of Scotland is your best chance of catching a Halibut.

Wales

With over 750 miles of beach to choose from, there are ample opportunities to go sea fishing in Wales. The Bristol Channel is the hot spot for sea fishing there. For almost the whole year, Ray fishing is highly productive. You can also catch Ling, Conger Eel, and Bass a short 20-mile ride out. Head north out into the Irish Sea for record-breaking Bass, as well as Flounder. Top spots to head out from include Bangor, Conway, Colwyn Bay, Rhyl, and Rhos.

Northern Ireland

One of the most productive places in Northern Ireland for anglers is the River Erne, the second longest river in Ireland. There are ample opportunities to go coarse fishing, as many of the locals are solely focused on game fishing instead. Ride into the North Atlantic Ocean off the Irish coast to target Shark, Ray, Tope, Skate, Monkfish, and more.

Fishing Tips

  • You won’t be using outriggers or downriggers in England. Methods instead include downtiding, uptiding, and drifting with heavy pirks up to 1 kilogram! These can be baited or not.

  • Try out methods that were first coined in the UK. These include ‘The Sheffield’ (you might know it as the ‘fine and far off style’), Nottingham style, and London style (aka tight lining/pêche à l'anglaise).

Need to Know

Dress for the weather – you’ll want to bring extra layers! The temperature can change quickly, and rain is likely to strike – raincoats should always be packed.

Regulations

All rivers are closed for coarse fishing in England and Wales between March 15 and June 15. Spring is the quietest time for fishing in the UK due to this and the low levels of saltwater fish across the islands.

Anyone over 13 will need a rod licence for fishing in England and Wales. On top of this, when game fishing, you’ll need a permit for targeting Salmon and Trout across the UK. Throughout the UK, each area has different bylaws and regulations for permits needed – these are for each species rather than an area and need to be researched before heading out.

Sea fishing in the UK does not require a licence.

In Scotland, different stretches of river are owned by different people or organisations. These ‘beats’ can have varying prices for permits to fish there too, depending on the stocked level of fish and the season.

Budget

Sea fishing trip prices are marginally more expensive than trips inland. Overall, around the UK, you can expect to pay between £250–£300 for a four-hour trip, and up to £500 for a full day trip.

The United Kingdom might not have Mediterranean weather, but by golly, fishing in UK waters is varied. Grab your tea thermos and sandwiches and come see why!

United Kingdom
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Top Fishing Charters in United Kingdom

United Kingdom Fishing Seasons

Celebrate the life of Robert Burns with the Burns Supper tradition in Scotland. Cod is biting great this month.

In England, the whole family can join in the Coastival Festival. For those itching to get out on the water, Cod and Whiting will still be productive now.

There’s nowhere better to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than in Ireland! Remember to plan your fishing trip the day before instead of the morning after.

On land, celebrate Shakespeare's birthday (April 26) with a visit to the Globe Theatre or in his hometown. Brown Trout is hot now.

In Wales, pop along to the Hay-on-Wye festival for a great day out. By the end of May the waters are heating up, and a lot of fish are becoming active!

 

Blue Sharks are arriving around the UK. Expect them to stay until October. On land, don’t miss Glastonbury festival.

The music continues with the British Summer Time Hyde Park music festival. All eyes are on the UK for Wimbledon.

 

In Scotland, it’s all about the Edinburgh Fringe festival, and in Wales, everyone is talking about The Eisteddfod. This is a great month for fishing all over the UK.

 

The finals of the Scottish National Stillwater Championship are usually held in September or October. Do you have what it takes to win big?

October is all about the Fish’O’Mania in England, a coarse fishing tournament. October is a great month for Salmon and Flounder.

Winter waters are perfect conditions for the British Pike Championship. This is the largest predator competition in Europe.

Head up to Scotland for their legendary Hogmanay celebrations. In London, the Winter Wonderland will keep the whole family entertained for hours.

United Kingdom Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About United Kingdom

"Full day fishing 29.12.18"

Ruth R. fished with Bonwey Charters on December 29, 2018

Wrap up warm with lots of layers and don't forget the legs need to keep warm as well.

"Half day trip with Stuart"

Ross M. fished with Fish Loch Ness on September 4, 2018

Definitely go earlier in the season. September is a little late in the season and the fishing seems to be slow.

"full day"

Paul W. fished with Bonwey Charters on August 27, 2018

Would highly recommed this skipper and deckhand, Made the day a good experience, being helful and knoledgeable. I cannot wait to book up another trip in October.

Top Targeted Species in United Kingdom

Cod

Cod

Seabass (European)

Seabass (European)

Mackerel (Atlantic)

Mackerel (Atlantic)

Whiting

Whiting

Dogfish

Dogfish

Conger Eel

Conger Eel

Brown Trout

Brown Trout

Salmon (Atlantic)

Salmon (Atlantic)

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