Atlantic Salmon

Alternatives to Atlantic Salmon Fishing in Northern Ireland


Atlantic salmon fishing with rod and line using methods such as the worm or fly has long been a way of life and popular activity in Northern Ireland but concerns about declining salmon populations have led many anglers to seek alternative fishing options to full the void.

In this article, we will explore some of the alternatives to Atlantic salmon fishing that not only provide an exciting fishing experience but also contribute to sustainable fishing practices.

1. Trout Fishing

Trout fishing is a great alternative to Atlantic salmon fishing. With numerous rivers offering brown trout fishing opportunities both public and private.

Anglers can enjoy the thrill of catching these beautiful wild fish whilst being surrounded by rural tranquillity and deploying very much the same familiar methods.

Wild brown trout populations are generally more stable than Atlantic salmon populations in N.I  making it a more sustainable choice.

Local lakes both public and private get stocked regularly with good fighting brownies & rainbow trout offering a great alternative for the fly fishing enthusiast, with most being fly only. Always check the rules, regs and Method allowed before embarking on your journey.

2. Coarse Fishing

If you're looking for a diverse fishing experience, coarse fishing is an excellent option. Coarse fishing encompasses a wide range of fish species, including carp, bream, and roach. There are many fisheries across the UK and Ireland with a handful in N.I that offer coarse fishing opportunities, providing anglers with a chance to employ different tactics, catching different species and enjoy the tranquillity of freshwater lakes and rivers.

3. Sea Fishing

Sea fishing in Northern Ireland is a fantastic alternative to Atlantic salmon fishing. The coastal waters are home to a wide variety of fish species, including Cod, Mackerel, Pollock and Bass, most more than willing to take a well presented bait, lure or even fly on the right occasion. 

Anglers can charter local boats for 3-4 hours around the bay or head out to the deeps for the day where tope, bull huss, wrays and other large species can be found.

(L.R.F) Light Rock Fishing with shads and lures targeting smaller species while taking in the beautiful local coastal scenery is always a great opportunity not to be missed.

4. Pike Fishing

Pike fishing is a popular option for anglers seeking a different kind of challenge. Pike are predatory fish known for their aggressive strikes and powerful fights. In the UK and Ireland, there are many lakes and rivers where anglers can target pike, offering an adrenaline-filled fishing experience.


While Atlantic salmon fishing has its allure, exploring alternative fishing options in the UK and Ireland can be equally rewarding. Whether you choose trout fishing, coarse fishing, sea fishing, fly fishing for grayling, or pike fishing, you can enjoy the thrill of angling while contributing to sustainable fishing practices. So grab your fishing gear and embark on a new fishing adventure! 

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