If you are used to crowded rivers then you are in for a treat. The vast variety and quality of fishing in Ireland makes it the perfect destination for your angling holiday. The River Barrow in particular offers excellent pike fishing, along with trout and coarse fishing on a catch & release basis. Many locals use small boats for spinning but plenty of bankside fishing stations are available. Ask in your B&B or the local fishing tackle shops for advice (listed below).
Do I need a licence to fish in Ireland?
While currently 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. Get a salmon fishing licence from one of the shops listed below or online here
Spinning from a boat is a great way to catch pike. Large numbers of Dace introduced in recent years have led to monster pike, gorged on dace fry. 30lb pike are not unusual around the Goresbridge / Borris area, according to the locals.
“The River Barrow and canal sections hold excellent stocks of roach, rudd, bream, skimmers, roach-bream hybrids, rudd-bream hybrids, perch, dace and tench. Each year, many coarse fish to specimen size are recorded from this fantastic venue” River Barrow fishing guide from Fishing in Ireland
Twaite Shad fishery
The Barrow supports a fishery for twaite shad and plays host to a prestigious international shad fishing competition. The Barrow is renowned as a game and coarse angling river for salmon, brown trout, roach, rudd, pike, perch and tench with easy access to all parts of the river from the Barrow footpath. The excellent stocks of quality pike are one of the main attractions for anglers on the River Barrow, with abundant stocks of 20lbs.
Good trout fishing can be enjoyed at a number of locations on the river and its tributaries. The area behind the Dolmen Hotel in Carlow has enhanced fishing in this stretch. Between Goresbridge and Graiguenamanagh and at Milford the fishing can be very good and trout of up to 2lbs can be caught. Below the weir in St. Mullins the trout are small (.5lb) but plentiful. More info here
Local fishing tackle suppliers (with free local advice freely given!)
- McCullaghs – Bagenalstown
- Murphs – Carlow town
- Barrow Fishing Tackle Shop – Carlow Town next to Graiguecullen Bridge
Read Fishing on the River Barrow – “Six species in five hours fishing” – an Irish Angler’s world
Accommodation in County Carlow
Fishing Parties Welcome: – Excellent accommodation for fishing parties is available at the riverside www.garrisonwaterside.com which has four star 2 or 3 bed self-catering houses to let (and it’s own pub onsite!) See their website for more details. Ask to borrow fishing tackle.