Coarse, Game and Sea Fishing – Northern Ireland has it all! Anglers are most certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to fishing in Northern Ireland. The three major disciplines of Coarse, Game and Sea fishing can be partaken in numerous unspoilt locations with delightful scenery.
Coarse fishing is for those fish with a coarser appearance due to size of scales and a less delicate flavour. However it is often classed as advanced freshwater fishing where the thrill is all about the catching of the fish with the vast majority being returned to the water unharmed. Pike is one of the most sought after coarse fish with some reaching in excess of 30lbs. Northern Ireland is widely regarded as one of Europe’s top venues for coarse fishing with many competitions organised particularly on Lough Erne.
Game fishing is therefore for those fish which are deemed edible and may end up in your supermarket for example brown trout and salmon. Game fishing often involves fly fishing and can be carried out in Northern Ireland between February through to October.
Sea fishing as the name indicates is fishing in the sea. Northern Ireland can boast a long unspoilt coastline with a wide range of species ranging from, pollock and mackerel from the rocks, to cod and turbot from the shores, with a wide range of fish from the deep such as skate shark and tope.
How to get started
The most cost effective and successful way to get started is to take lessons with a professional instructor. They will provide you with the necessary equipment and tackle then teach you how to use it. Their advice on the various licences and permits will also be invaluable.
Is it easy?
Fishing does not have to be a physically demanding activity and with some basic instruction it is technically quite easy to start; all that is required is a little patience.
Care should be taken to ensure you have the correct rod licence and permit for the type of fishing you are partaking in. DCAL and the Loughs Agency are the best contacts regarding queries on this area.
Is it expensive?
A “starter kit” of Rod, Reel, Line and Tackle can be bought for under £100.
A DCAL (Dept of Culture Arts and Leisure) seasonal permit which covers 64 fisheries throughout Northern Ireland costs only £2.00 for a juvenile angler and £72 for an adult angler.
Rod licenses cost £2.00 for a juvenile angler and £17.00 for an adult angler.
There are also reduced rate concession permits and licenses and indeed 3-day and 14-day permits which suit visiting, tourists and occasional anglers.