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There’s no better hobby that evokes the statement “Patience is a virtue” than fishing. But once you start reeling in some wins, you’re sure to be an instant fan of this activity – hook, line, and sinker.
Thankfully, there is an abundance of lochs (Best Lochs To Kayak In Scotland), rivers and fisheries in the country where we can try our luck. Read on for our list of the best fishing spots in Scotland!
Located on the Scottish Borders, the River Tweed is one of the best fishing spots in Scotland. It’s one of the ‘big four’ salmon rivers on the east coast of the country, along with Tay, Spey and Dee.
You can also find 20 other fish species in the river including sea trout, arctic char, stickleback, and European eel.
If it’s your first time fishing in the River Tweed, we recommend booking a guide, like Callum from Scotia Fishing. He’ll give you the rundown on what to bring and how to get a good catch.
Part of the ‘big four’ rivers for salmon fishing in Scotland, River Spey is a 107-mile expanse of water with stunning scenery and lots of fish, particularly Atlantic Salmon.
The best time to come here is around April to May for warmer temperatures when there are bigger runs of Spring fish on the river. But if you want bigger salmon around 20 to 30 pounds, visit around May onwards.
The two best corners on the river for salmon fishing are by the pivot pool in front of the Glenfiddich Distillery and the lady’s hawk, by the tail of the Upper Craig pool.
Loch Lomond is not only the largest loch in the UK by surface area; it’s also one of the most beautiful locations to go fishing with its vast clear waters and majestic Munros (Best Munros Scotland) in the area.
The fishing season in the loch starts from February to October. You’ll find various species like salmon, sea trout, pike, rainbow trout and more here.
Avoid the northern part of the loch since the water’s too deep and not the best for pike fishing. On another hand, the southern end has a swallower depth so it’s easier to catch some fish.
Found in the middle of the green expanse of Inverness, River Ness is a perfect spot for some salmon or trout fishing. It’s found at the northern end of the famous Loch Ness where our bashful friend Nessie often turns up.
Before you start fishing, make sure to pay the visitor fees at Inverness Angling Club Website which ranges from £20 to £30 per day for adults and £10 for kids under 17 years old.
The best time to go here is around July onwards when it was reported that around 1,000 salmon were caught.
Note that the Ness follows a strict catch and release policy to ensure that there is little to no effect on the reproductive capacity of the freed salmon.
Apart from being part of the ‘big four’ rivers for salmon fishing, the River Dee is the highest river in the UK which has an elevation of 4,000 feet in the Cairngorms Mountains.
This 81-mile-long river is known for its Spring run. It flows past various historic castles like the Balmoral Castle, Ballater and more.
Instead of the traditional Black & Yellow fly, go with the deadly Dee Monkey for baiting salmon on the River Dee.
After River Dee, the River Tay completes the ‘big four’ rivers for salmon fishing in the country. Stretching for 120 miles, this is the longest river in Scotland where you can go spinning, harling and fly-fishing.
The best fly for spring fishing is the King Kudu which is black in the back, has a bit of gold in the flanks and has an orange belly. It has one table hook attached to a split ring and a swivel, which you can use as early as the start of the season in March.
Yielding around 200 salmon every season, the River Bladnoch is a popular fishing spot that’s about 25 miles long. But be warned, it’s illegal to fish salmon on the river every Sunday as part of its conservation projects.
Also, you should get a permit from Kirkcowan Angling Club which costs around £25-£30 per day.
You are only allowed to use a worm as bait and no prawning, shrimping or using of live bait. Additionally, a single hand-held rod is required when fishing in the river.
St. Andrews Beach
Although St. Andrews Beach is mainly known for swimming or surfing, there is also a great fishing spot by the Rocks where you can catch some cod, pollock and flatfish in different seasons of the year.
You can even ride on charter boats for a chance to catch a shark. The fishing season is from June to September and October to March.
The eastern tip of the beach that’s near the Eden Estuary is one of the best spots to catch some flounders since there are low waters at times.
Kirkcudbright Harbour is known as the busiest commercial fishing harbour in Dumfries and Galloway, with lots of catch being processed locally. In the summer, you’ll usually spot pollock, coalfish and mackerel.
This is also close to Brighouse Bay, where you can try some sea angling and catch different flatfish and bass species.
The best time to fish in Brighouse Bay is around 8 AM to 11 AM or 9 PM to 11 PM, as found on Tides Chart.
When you go to the Ayr Harbour, you’ll get plenty of fishing opportunities for various species like mackerel and coalfish. If you’re in luck, you can spot a mullet during calmer climates.
We recommend fishing on the south side of the harbour since it’s where most anglers choose to stay, which is also close to the pier. You can also fish within the grounds of Culzean Castle, where there’s a car park and toilets.
Don’t go fishing in the harbour and pier after heavy rainfall because you’ll most likely be disappointed with your catch.
Since the waters of Durness Beach are fairly shallow, many prefer fishing on it for some mackerel and sea trout. Apart from that, this sandy coastline is a great place for casual strolling and swimming with your family.
You can park either at the Balnakeil Car Park or down the road near the big campsite.
Loch Drunkie in the Trossachs National Park near Aberfoyle is also a good spot for fishing. It’s 1.6 kilometres long and has a maximum depth of 30 meters.
You can usually catch a few brown trout during the season, which runs from March 15 to October 6. Permits can be bought from James Bayne Fishing Tackle Store for £20 per adult for a day ticket.
We suggest going to the second car park surrounded by the trees at the end of the dam to enjoy maximum solitude.
Loch Maree has over 66 small islands, making it the fourth-largest freshwater loch in the country at over 20 kilometres long. It’s a popular spot for fly anglers to catch brown trout, sea trout and salmon.
But take note that you’re only allowed to fish through the nearby hotels like Loch Maree Hotel, Talladale and Kenlochewe.
For the best chance to catch a salmon, try dabbing with a wet fly like Black Pennel, Silver Invicta and Soldier Palmer.
Situated in the west of Pitlochry, Loch Tummel is a 7-mile-long lake perfect for fishing for brown trout, perch and pike. The south shore is the best spot, which is accessible by the A9.
Permits can be purchased through the Pitlochry Angling Club’s website. They cost £8 for a day, £25 for weekly usage, and £40 for a season.
Ideally, you should go fishing around May or June for pikes. If you’re going during winter, a good pike can be caught from the shore in front of the Stable Loft using lures or dead baits.
Found in Newbie, Broom Fisheries allows carp and coarse anglers to catch a variety of fish like barbel, roach, tench and bream. You can choose from six lakes, including a canal where there are tonnes of stocks of fish.
Also, there’s a campsite around 100 metres from the bankside where you can stay overnight with your furry friends. It’s fully stocked and has an on-site tackle shop for your convenience.
If you need some refreshments and snacks, there’s a small cafe near the fishery that’s open only from Friday to Sunday. Their best-sellers are the bacon roll with chips and the home-baked lemon cake.
Nestled in Perth and Kinross, Loch Leven is a six-kilometre-long freshwater lake that’s perfect for catching brown trout that weigh up to 10 pounds.
Take note that bank fishing is not allowed for this loch, only fly fishing. You should also only ride on one of the boats managed by the fishery.
Although the pink-fleshed brown trout can be brought home, those under 11 inches in size must be returned to the loch for the preservation of the species.
Similar to Loch Leven, the Watten is often populated with several wild brown trout. This is a fly-only loch where anglers are recommended to ride a boat and not fish on the banks.
Also, bear in mind that you should wear a life jacket when riding on boats for your safety as weather conditions are fickle and may risk your safety.
Apart from the fish, be on the lookout for some beautiful swans and geese swimming in the loch, especially during winter.
Loch Ken’s one of the best pike fishing locations in Scotland. In some cases, you might even catch roach, perch and bream during your visit.
You can get fishing permits through Loch Ken Holiday Park,which is available at their shop or through their website. A permit costs £5 per day for touring and camping residents.
Instead of leaving your bait fixed in one position, try moving it a fair bit oftentimes to get a few roaches biting on it.