Dublin is a great place to live in and a popular travel destination for tourists. But one thing that you probably didn’t know about Dublin is that it has an established community of fishers, and there are many spots in and around Dublin where you can catch anything from trout to mackerel. In fact, there are many services offered to fishers where they can go out on a boat and spend a whole day trying their luck in catching some fish. Fishing in Dublin usually doesn’t require a license, and you are free to fish all year round. However, if you wish to fish for salmon, mollusks, or sea bass, you’d need to have a state license, as these species are protected by law in Ireland. You also might need a fishing permit if you want to fish on a privately owned body of water.
How to get around Dublin
But before you can spin your bait and wait for that lucky catch, you need a way to get around Dublin. Getting on public transportation is probably not your best choice as you’ll be carrying a lot of fishing gear. That’s why it’s best to either have a local friend who can give you a lift or catch a taxi to whichever fishing venue you’re going. Taxi can also be your preferred choice if you want to go out into the suburbs to fish in the Dublin bay area or along the coastline.
Freshwater fishing in Dublin
Even though Dublin is so close to the seaside, there are surprisingly many freshwater rivers and lakes in and around the city that are great for fishing. In general, fishing in Ireland isn’t overregulated, but you do need to adhere to some laws. For example, you can only catch freshwater fish by rod and line, and using more than two rods at a time is illegal. It’s also illegal to use live fish as bait, and some waters may have "fly-only" regulations. Depending on ownership or location, some other restrictions may be in place.
Phoenix Park is a popular spot for coarse fishing. There’s a lake about 2 acres in size on the premises of the park, which holds different breeds of carp, like the common and mirror carp, as well as more exotic koi or ghosts that people have released into the lake. You can also get your chance at catching some rudd, eel, perch, roach, bream, tench, and hybrids. River Liffey is running along the southern border of the park. You may need to walk around for a bit to find good access to water, but it’s well worth the effort. It’s quite an amazing experience, and you don’t even need to leave the city for it.
River Rye holds sufficient numbers of trout and pike. It’s a spectacular spot located just a few minutes away from Dublin City. There’s a lot of wildlife, and the view is truly picturesque. There’s a great chance that you won’t meet another angler when fishing there, which makes for a satisfying experience. River Rye produces a generous variety of species, including dace, trout, grayling, and chub.
Fun fact! Just about half an hour away from Dublin, there’s the Lyreen Fishery in Maynooth with a thriving carp lake. There were instances of people catching fish that weighed well over 40 pounds. However, the new records haven’t been officially documented.
Rifer Liffey is also quite popular when it comes to coarse fishing. You can often see large shoals of mullet swimming around, even more so if there’s a tide coming. The river is deep and fast flowing in some places, so it’s excellent for fishing for wild brown trout, salmon, and even sea trout. A popular fishing technique here is using bread on the float or crab baits. Ground baiting is essential for a good catch. Bottom fishing may produce the occasional flounder and some bass.
Sea fishing in Dublin
When it comes to sea fishing in Dublin, there’s a lot of spots you can check out. The whole of the east side of the city neatly hugs the Dublin bay, giving you a diverse and lively coastline with lots of species roaming in the waters. Coarse fishing might be more popular, so sea fishing and shore fishing are like a hidden gem yet to be discovered.
Howth is an outer suburb of Dublin, located 15 km from the city centre, which occupies most of the Howth Head peninsula. It’s always been a major fishing center, and even now, there’s a busy commercial fishing port in Howth. Many find it a good place for angling and game fishing as well. Seasoned fishers say that it’s better to wait till summer to get a good catch in Howth. But if you venture out as far as Greystones, you might get lucky and get some doggies, whiting, or rockling.
Tip! The harder the access, the better the fishing. This sounds like some kind of old wisdom passed down the generations of fishermen. Yet, it carries some truth in it. Probably, the reason for this is that if a spot is harder to access, fishers are less likely to exhaust the supply of fish. So, they may say that there’s plenty of fish to catch in the sea, but it really depends on where you’re going as your fishing destination.
Sutton on the Northside of Dublin and right next to Howth is another fishing destination you might want to consider. Anglers here can try pier, rock, and boat fishing. If you go over to the channel, bottom fishing there will produce flatfish and even bass. Or, if you want to gather crab and mussel, go to the low water at the rocky ground east of the Martello Tower.
Fishing charters and boat angling venues
Dublin is a bay city, which opens a lot of opportunities for fishing enthusiasts. Spinning off the pier is popular with both locals and tourists. Many boat owners offer fishing charters. They’ll take you out into the sea, and you can spend the whole day trying to get that catch. There are even guided tours for those who want to go fishing for Atlantic salmon and sea trout, and others offering pike fishing by boat. The variety of species roaming in the sea is alluring. When fishing on the pier or at anchor over sand, you can get ray, codling, dogfish, conger, dogfish, dab, codling, whiting, or even mackerel and flatfish when in season.
As surprising as it might sound, despite being a capital city, Dublin still has something to offer for those who prefer more of an outdoorsy kind of entertainment. So consider choosing it as your next travel destination, and don’t forget to pack some of that fishing gear!