Angling on the Barrow

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).

Fisherman spinning from boat near Clashganny

Fisherman spinning for Pike near Clashganny. Photo by James Burke

Fly fishing, fishing, angling, coarse fishing, slyguff, river Barrow, Ireland, south east,

Fly fishing, river Barrow, Ireland. Photo / vintage poster: James Burke

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

More info on coarse fishing is linked here (including info in other languages)

Local angler John O'Neill with a small Barrow Pike. Pike fishing, Ireland

Local angler John O’Neill with a small Barrow 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.

Trout fishing

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!)

fishing, angling, river barrow, ireland,

Spinning for Pike on the River Barrow at Ballytiglea.

Other websites:

Read Fishing on the River Barrow – “Six species in five hours fishing” – an Irish Angler’s world

River Barrow Piker – Pike fisherman’s diary

An Irish Angler’s World

ballytiglea, river barrow, pike fishing, spinning, boat,

Pike fisherman on the River Barrow. Photo James Burke.

Accommodation in County Carlow


Fishing Parties Welcome: – Excellent accommodation for fishing parties is available at the riverside 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.

Local Advertising:

AirBnB Borris, Carlow, Ireland

Stay at the coolest Air BnB in Ireland ! Plenty of fishing advice available from Mim Scala.

irish knitwear, handmade in the Barrow Valley

Roco Knitwear. Authentic Irish knitwear, handmade in the Barrow Valley