One of the most pleasant ways to relax out in nature is angling. It is not just about sportsmanlike fervour to bag a valuable catch, but also a great chance to savour the pristine environment, be on the water, listen to birdsong… Latvia, which boasts a real wealth of waters – lakes, rivers, ponds and the sea – is a true anglers’ paradise, and indeed the Latvian waters are full of fish.

  • Angling in a lake
  • Angler
  • Photo: Dainis Bruģis
  • A trawl net

Nearly all of the most popular types of angling are practised in Latvia: float angling, spin-fishing, fly-fishing, ice fishing and others. One can fish in rivers and lakes as well as in fish ponds and the sea and it can be done during any season, including winter! Ice fishing is especially popular in Latvia: as soon as a thick sheet of ice covers lakes and rivers, passionate fishermen head out to pursue their favourite activity in spite of the wind and frost.

More than 100 different species of fish inhabit the Latvian waters, and none of them is poisonous or dangerous to human health. The most popular among anglers are fish such as pike, pike-perch, trout, catfish, crucian carp, tench, perch, vimba, roach, bream and others; spin-fishing of salmon and trout is also popular, but he largest fish ever caught in the Latvian waters is a catfish. A monster weighing 84.7 kg and stretching 242 cm was caught in May 2010 near the Aizkraukle power station!!

You should note, however, that in order to fish in Latvia, you will have to purchase an angler’s card. Angler’s cards can be purchased in all specialised fishing and hunting shops, as well as in post offices. They currently cost three lats (for three months) and 10 lats (for the entire year). When fishing, you should carry with you both the angler’s card and a personal ID. Also note that fishing is governed in Latvia by angling regulations.

It is worth remembering that there are public bodies of water in Latvia, where unrestricted fishing is allowed, but there are also private ones where the permission of the owner is required. Also, there are certain stretches of rivers and lakes where fishing is allowed by purchasing a special licence. Furthermore, a number of fish species are subject to a protection during spawning, and there are several other fishing prohibitions and fish protection regulations. The best way to find out about possibilities to fish in a particular body of water is enquiring at the local municipal authorities or Tourist Information Centre. Good luck!

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