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Pike Fishing in Ireland



Pike fishing in Ireland is generally free except for a few fisheries, some fisheries may have a fee in order to fish their waters.


Pike fishing in Ireland is done all year round and have no closed seasons.

Where to fish:

Anglers visiting Ireland can obtain the necessary fishing maps from the following:




For any information on Pike Fishing Trips in Ireland - please contact us on info@ifish.ie

Fishing for Pike


Species: Pike

Scientific name: Esox lucius.


It is difficult for the angler to mistake Pike for any other coarse fish in Irish waters. It has a long streamlined, tapering body, with its dorsal fin set well back and in-line with the anal fin. The lower fins are rounded, with the powerful tail being deeply forked. The head is large and flattened, rather like the bill of a duck, with a large mouth that hides an awesome array of needle-sharp teeth, used to hold prey during ambush. The eyes are set forward on the head, helping the Pike to judge distances accurately.

The colouring of the Pike demonstrates natural camouflage to perfection, with marbled green and yellow flanks being darker on the back than on the sides. The belly is of a creamy white appearance. These markings make Pike the ideal ambush predator, able to harmonise and hide amongst the reeds and the wed beds, until some unsuspecting fish passes by.


Pike is one of the most widely spread coarse fish in Ireland. It inhabits most lowland rivers, lakes and ponds but does not do well in waters high in acidity or with poor levels of nutrients. For this reason they tend not to thrive in highland waters or fast flowing spate rivers.

Feeding Habits

Like most predatory fish, Pike use all of their senses to track down prey and food items. Their eyesight is exceptional and provides a degree of binocular vision. This is extremely useful when taking prey at lightning speeds, when both distance and timing separate success from a failed hunt. They also possess a keen sense of smell, used to locate and scavenge dead and rotting fish in the depths. The Pike is also sensitive to tiny vibrations in the water, which could indicate a fish in distress. This should be born in mind by the clumsy footed angler as he treads the banks.

Where to find

Pike is a powerful fish, able to attack and ambush prey at lightning speed, these bursts of power are relatively short lived. They, therefore, prefer to lie in wait for their prey and ambush, rather than give chase. This is an offset that all predators make between the energy used in the hunt and that, which can be gained from the consuming the prey.

A good place to start, therefore, are the reed lined banks of slow moving rivers. Here the Pike can lie in wait, perfectly camouflaged and expending little energy, until some unsuspecting prey item swims past. Other favourite haunts include underwater snags and sunken trees. They also frequently patrol the channels between islands and the bank. A Sharp drop off is also a prime ambush spot; where Pike can propel themselves from the depths and attack.

As important as where to fish, the keen angler in search of that fish of a lifetime should consider when to fish. During the summer months, when the sun is high in the sky and the water temperature is on the rise, Pike become lethargic and little is eaten. However, during October, females feed heavily as their ovaries begin to develop ahead of spawning. There is usually a rise in feeding activity during January and February making the winter months ideal for pike fishing.

During these periods of feeding activity Pike will take any prey item that moves including, fish, frogs, worms,leeches, rats, and even ducklings.

Pike Baits

As well as using dead baits, there is a dazzling array of soft plastic imitation lures, spoons, spinners, plugs and jerk baits designed to imitate fish, that pike will readily take if presented in front of them.

For any information of Pike Fishing Trips to Ireland - please contact us on info@ifish.ie

Please always adhere to the following;

Access and Country Code

Irish waters are usually reached by passing through farmland and anglers are generally allowed this access by courtesy of local farmers on recognition of the Country Code. If in doubt please ask the farmer for permission to enter onto the land to fish the water.

Country Code

  • Respect farmland and the rural environment.
  • Do not interfere with livestock, crops, machinery or other property.
  • Guard against all risks of fire, especially near forests and during dry spells.
  • Leave all farm gates as you find them.
  • Always keep children under close control and supervision.
  • Avoid entering farmland containing livestock. Your presence can cause stress to the livestock & even endanger your own safety.
  • Do not enter farmland if you have dogs with you, even if on a leash, unless with the permission of the landowner.
  • Always use gates, stiles or other recognised access points and avoid damage to fences, hedges and walls.
  • Take all litter home.
  • Take special care on country roads.
  • Avoid making unnecessary noise.
  • Protect wildlife, plants and trees.
  • Take heed of warning signs – they are there for your protection.

Conservation is vital to protect the quality of Ireland`s pike fishing. Ireland now has the best conservation measures for the protection of pike in Europe.

The pike bye law no. 809 (2006) provides for the following conservation measures:

  • a bag limit of 1 pike in any one day, 
  • prohibits the killing of any pike greater than 50 cm in length, 
  • prohibits the possession by any person of more than 1 whole pike less than 50 cm or more than 0.75 kg of pike flesh, this provision does not apply to a person storing pike or pike parts subject to conditions, 
  • prohibits the possession by any person of more than 12 coarse fish for use as bait subject to conditions.

One aspect of the new bye law is that a pike over the specimen weight of 20 lbs. (9.072 Kg.) for a river fish and 30 lbs. (13.608 Kg.) for a lake fish are now protected and cannot be killed as in the previous bye law. There is no prohibition on the number of frozen sea baits a pike angler can have for the day’s sport.

The coarse fish bye law provides for the following conservation measures:

  • prohibits the killing of any coarse fish greater than 25 cm in length,
  • prohibits the sale of any coarse fish in Ireland (excluding NI), this provision will not apply to fishing tackle dealers and fish bait suppliers who have been granted an exemption from their respective Regional Fisheries Board.

The only legal method to catch freshwater fish is by rod and line (Bye-law No.595).

A person may fish with not more than two rods at any time (Bye-law No.595).

It is illegal to have or to use live fish as bait (Bye-law No.592).


For any information on Pike Fishing Trips to Ireland - please contact us on info@ifish.ie


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