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Angling in Rivers and Lakes

Latvia’s wealth of waters affords fishing fans a wide range of options in terms of destinations and what they wish to catch. The many lakes and rivers are rich in fish, but you need to know what will bite where. That way, even if you haven’t managed to catch much, you will have the satisfaction of having been able to relax in nature.

  • Photo: Dainis Bruģis
  • Zemledus makšķerēšana
  • Makšķernieki Gaujā
  • Photo: E.Jegorovs

Which, then, are the top fish in Latvia, and when and where can you catch them?

One of the most popular activities for anglers is to spin for pike. Of course, pike are caught using live bait as well, but spinning is something special. Pike bite best in May, when fishing is allowed following their spawning season, as well as in autumn: September, October and November. The most popular pike-fishing locations are Lake Burtnieks, Lake Liepāja, Lake Alūksne, Lake Babībe, the River Lielupe, Lake Ķīšezers (the most popular lake among anglers near Riga, where you can catch some great perch and pike-perch, too), as well as other lakes and rivers – pike can be found virtually anywhere.

Vimba and trout

In spring – April and May – vimba fishing is especially popular. At these times, the banks of the most popular vimba rivers (Mēmele, Mūsa, Venta, Salaca) are sometimes swarming with anglers. Whereas in summer, from May till August, catfish bite well in the Daugava and the Aiviekste, and you can have a truly impressive catch of catfish in Latvia.

Latvia has a number of trout rivers, where a nimble angler will manage to catch a beautiful brown trout or two. Licensed trout fishing is possible in the Mergupe, the Vaidava, the Ogre and elsewhere. However, you must remember that catching trout on live bait is not allowed in Latvia: they can be spin-fished using a lure or a spinner or fished with a fly.

Sea trout fishing

Spin-fishing of salmon and sea trout is popular in Latvia as well, yet it is only allowed in the Venta and the Salaca, and only on licensed stretches of these rivers at that, and only between March 15 and May 15; as well as in the Buļļupe and the Daugava in the stretch from the river mouth up to 700 metres before the Riga Hydroelectric Power Station, and in the Dry Daugava.

Ice fishing

Ice fishing is especially popular in winter. As soon as rivers and lakes freeze over, ice fishermen head over there. They hope for any kind of catch: roach, perch, pike and other fish. But from January to March, at the mouth of the Lielupe and the Venta, in the Liepāja canal, Lake Liepāja, the Daugava in downtown Riga and the Gulf of Riga, hundreds of ice fishermen are out to catch some smelt.

Of course, there are fish everywhere – even a beginner will be lucky enough to catch a perch here, a roach there entirely on his or her own. Yet experienced anglers yearn for a more significant catch. You should note, though, that there are both public lakes and rivers in Latvia with no fishing restrictions, and private ones, as well as lakes and rivers where licensed fishing is permitted. We also wish to remind you that fishing in Latvia is allowed only by purchasing an angler’s card. Enquire with Tourism Information Offices regarding the possibility of fishing in any specific body of water.

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