Fishing for food has been a topical activity since the beginning of humankind. However, even today it has not lost its influence and significance. It is a great way to be alone with nature or to spend time with family or like-minded people. The diversity of nature offers the opportunity for a chilled family holiday by the sea, river or lake, and allows a passionate fisherman's dream of a big catch to be fulfilled.
There are many different fish species in Latvian waters, and none of them are poisonous or dangerous to health. The most popular of these are pike, pike-perch, trout, carp, tench, perch, vimba, roach, bream, flounder and smelt, but the biggest pride of a fisherman is catching salmon or sea trout. Several fish species spend most of their lives at sea, only arriving in rivers during spawning, but some of these fish live and spawn in Latvia's rivers and lakes.
Fishing in lakes
Latvia is rich in a variety of beautiful lakes, which are home to various species of fish and aquatic plants. Catching fish in the lake can be a challenge, but if one succeeds, satisfaction is guaranteed!
Lake Burtnieks is the fourth largest lake in Latvia, which is 13.5 km long in the western part of North Vidzeme in Valmiera Municipality. Lake Burtnieks is rich in more than 20 different fish species and licensed fishing is also possible here. There are two nature observation towers on the shore from where you can see various bird species, because the lake, reeds and vast floodplain meadows are an important area for both water and meadow birds and travelers. Burtnieks is one of the most legendary lakes in Latvia.
Lake Usma is one of the largest lakes in Latvia - it has seven islands and Moricsala Nature Reserve. Lake Usma is home to more than 25 species of fish, and this lake brings together fishing enthusiasts from all over Latvia.
The most popular fish are perch, roach and bream, but you can also catch zander, pike or eel. On the website of Lake Usma you can get acquainted with the descriptions and visualisations of all these fish.
There are many campsites and recreation bases in the vicinity of Lake Usma; it is possible to go on a bike ride around the lake, as well as climb Ūdru Hill to view the surroundings of the lake from the 26-metre high tower.
Lake Alūksne is located in a hilly place, which allows you to view the lake from its steep shores. There are four islands in the lake, and this body of water is home to fish such as pike, perch, crucian carp, carp, tench and other fish. Lake Alūksne is rich in fish, and it gathers like-minded people in all seasons.
There are several accommodation places around the lake, where it is also possible to rent boats, go to the sauna after fishing or prepare a delicious fish soup on the fire.
We recommend supplementing the visit to the Alūksne side with a leisurely walk through the park of Alūksne manor, which is an architectural monument of national significance and will surprise you with various small architectural forms, monuments and fountains. Of course, with a beautiful view of the lake!
Lake Kāla is located in Vestiena Parish, Madona region, and it is very scenic and picturesque. There are several recreation areas around the lake, which will allow you to enjoy fishing for several days. It is also possible to rent boats, catamarans, water tricycles, SUP boards in these recreation areas, but you will get a special fishing experience if you rent a raft - it can carry up to 12 people at the same time.
Lake Kāla is also known for its magical cultural and artistic event “Sounds of the Lake”, where several thousand people in boats are waiting for a sunrise accompanied by live music playing in the middle of the lake, on a floating stage.
If we talk about lakes, we must not forget the “land of blue lakes” - Latgale! There you will find more than 1,200 lakes and small lakes, various campsites and recreation areas.
The largest lake in terms of water volume, called the Latgale Sea, is Lake Rāzna. 26 species of fish have been observed here, and recreation by this lake includes not only fishing, but also a variety of other recreational activities. For example, here it is possible to go on a yacht trip, explore nature with the family in the educational centre “Rāzna”, as well as go to the recreation park “Čīkurs”, where various active recreation offers are available for the whole family.
Fishing in paid fish ponds
It is also possible to go fishing in privately created paid ponds - it will most likely be a little easier and faster to catch something there! Many go to commercial ponds for “sport” instead of fish for consumption, following the “catch and release” principle.
Alberta dīķi (Alberta ponds)
Only 5 kilometers from the border of Riga there is an opportunity to fish and relax in nature - in Alberta ponds! There is a carp and a crucian carp pond, as well as a reservoir for pike, tench, perch and roach. It is also possible to go ice fishing here in winter.
The recreation place “Alberta dīķi” is designed for a great rest; there are houses of different sizes and configurations to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, prepare a delicious meal on the grill or campfire and take a breath.
Draudziņu dīķis (Draudziņu pond)
Draudziņi pond in Cēre Parish, Kandava region, is a place to go for big catches - according to the owners of the pond, there is almost no small carp! It should be noted that this pond has a “catch and release” policy that allows carp to grow bigger and bigger.
On the other hand, if you want to catch a fish and devour it, then there is also a pike pond, where you can catch fish without any size or weight restrictions. There is also a guest house with a large terrace on the water by the Draudzini pond, which will allow you to relax with a wider circle of family or friends.
Berga dīķi (Berga ponds)
Berga ponds have been set up on the Jelgava side, where it is possible not only to catch carp, but also crucian carp, tench, pike and other fish. Here you will find seven different ponds, and one of the carp ponds is designed for a real challenge - to catch the big fish, but then release it back into the pond.
At these ponds you can spend the night in tents, prepare a meal outdoors, as well as rent a hot tub to enjoy the closeness of nature, peace and great company.
Kvāpānu dīķi (Kvāpāni ponds)
In Latgale, on the shores of Lake Lubāna, a water tourism development centre “Bāka” has been established, which gathers not only anglers but also enthusiasts of active recreation and bird watchers. The nearby nature reserve “Lubāna Wetland” is a place that is important for the conservation of protected species and habitats, while Lubāns and fish ponds are one of the most important resting and feeding places for migratory waterfowl in Latvia. Three bird-watching towers have been built on the dams of Kvāpāni ponds, which will be an interesting and exploratory activity.
This pond complex consists of six ponds surrounded by dams, and a permit to fish here must be purchased in the centre “Baka”, where it is also possible to spend the night and also actively spend the days here.
Although fishing is more often associated with lakes, rivers and ponds, in recent years there has been a trend towards fishing at sea - a new challenge, new conditions and experiences.
The settlements along the sea coast usually have a good tourist infrastructure (guest houses, cafes, information points, leisure and entertainment offers, shops, public transport), but there are places where there are kilometers of unspoiled sea shore.
In autumn and spring, flounder and halibut can be fished in the sea, salmon and sea trout can be fished from the boat, garfish are caught for a couple of weeks in the second half of May, and herring is caught well at the beginning of summer. Every year a festival of fishing from the seashore takes place in Jūrkalne, where teams fight for the biggest catch.
Whether you choose to go in the direction of a lake or relax in commercially created ponds, it is important to take care of clothing that is suitable for outdoor recreation. Before you go, don't forget to check the permits and licences required for fishing.