Iceland is famous for its thrilling outdoor adventures, such as riding on a boat down a wild river, gliding on sleds pulled by dogs, racing on snowmobiles, and catching fish. Fishing in Iceland is especially incredible. People who love excitement suggest trying fishing in Iceland because you can see some unusual fish like Haddock, Mackerel, Halibut, Pollock, Saltwater fish, Atlantic Cod, and Catfish.
If you want to fish in Iceland and see what you can catch, you might wonder where to go. Can you just go fishing on your own, or are there fishing trips and vacations you can join? To learn more about fishing in Iceland, keep reading this Iceland fishing guide to discover this historic pastime in the country.
Fishing Season in Iceland
Iceland, a northern island nation, really loves fishing. It’s a big business here. If you want to fish in Iceland, there are lots of lakes and rivers where you can catch them. Fishing season usually begins in May and ends in late September. This time covers two seasons: summer and autumn. They are the times when many tourists come to Iceland because the weather is nice. There’s more daylight, the sun is shining, birds are singing, and the water sparkles.
Some lakes and rivers are open for fishing all year round. But others depend on when the fish are around and what the weather is like. You can start fishing for freshwater fish in early April in some rivers and lakes that have brown trout and sea trout. The season for catching Arctic char begins in early May and goes until mid-September. From late July to mid-October, you can have a great time catching sea trout, which is one of the most popular fishing seasons in Iceland.
Iceland’s fishing industry is huge, but now, tourism is even bigger. Farming, making stuff, and computer programs are also growing, but they’re not as big as fishing.
Iceland’s method of fishing is good for the environment, but they didn’t always follow other countries’ rules. They did things their own way, and that caused some fights with the United Kingdom three times.
Icelandic Fishing Card (Veidikortid)
This special fishing pass lets you fish in over 35 lakes in Iceland. You can carry it with you in your pocket and go to different lakes for some fun fishing. You also need a booklet with info about the places on the card, a sticker to show to park rangers and landowners, and of course, the fishing pass.
Fishing in more than 35 places means you can see many cool and rare fish. Some lakes and ponds let you fish for free, but you should ask the landowner or park ranger first.
When you get this fishing pass, you also get a brochure with info about the lakes, maps, and directions. With one pass, you can fish as much as you want for a whole year. You can order these fishing passes online.
Types of Fishing in Iceland
Iceland has lots of cool places to go fishing. You can have a great time with your family and friends, catching awesome fish in different places in Iceland.
One of the best places for fishing in Iceland is Lake Þingvallavatn, and it’s not far from the capital city, Reykjavik. The lovely surroundings make fishing here really special. If you enjoy fly-fishing, you should check out Lake Myvatn, which is a cool place with hot springs and freshwater. And if you like net fishing, you should think about going to Lake Logurinn because the water is cloudy, and it’s tricky to catch fish with lures there.
If you want to go fishing in Reykjavik, Old Harbour is a great place. You can rent a fishing rod and fish from the end of the pier. It’s a calm and peaceful way to enjoy nature without going on a tough hike. You can also book boat tours to go to exciting fishing spots and catch cool fish. You can do this in many villages all over Iceland because most of them are by the sea, and people there like to fish at the harbor.
Iceland has lots of rivers that start from glaciers and create amazing waterfalls. It’s one of the best places in the world for river fishing. Four big rivers are famous for salmon fishing, but you have to follow some rules when you fish there. These rivers are Laugardalsa river, Fossa river, Miofjaroara river, and West Ranga river. If you like net-fishing, Þjórsá river is the place to go for catching freshwater salmon. The best rivers can be expensive to fish in, but you can find other rivers that are not as costly. Some people go on a fancy fishing trip, staying in cabins near the rivers, with chefs making delicious meals between fishing.
Exceptional Fish Species in Iceland
There are five main kinds of freshwater fish here: Atlantic salmon, Arctic char, eel, and stickleback. Seeing these rare and exciting sea creatures in Iceland is a real adventure. And besides these, you can also spot some of the most colorful, pretty, and special fish, like:
Haddock, called “Ýsa” in Icelandic, are a kind of fish that is not in danger in Iceland. They have lots of babies here and are doing well. People in Iceland have been eating haddock for a very long time, and they use them in traditional dishes. One of the famous dishes is smoked haddock from a place called Grímsey, which is in the Arctic.
Cod, called “Þorskur” in Icelandic, is loved in places like New England, the UK, and Iceland. People even fought three wars over it in the past. Although cod is in danger in many parts of the Atlantic, there are plenty of them in Iceland. So, it’s not a big problem to catch or buy cod here, and it’s more ethical than in many other places in the world.
Atlantic Halibut, known as “Lúða” in Icelandic, is a fish that’s not doing well. When you catch one on a sea-angling tour, it’s best to release it back into the water. They’ve been caught a lot because they can be very big, up to 320 kgs or 710 lb, and they don’t have babies quickly. But you can still enjoy halibut in Iceland in a good way. They’re farmed here to make sure the wild ones are safe.
Mackerel, called “Makríll” in Icelandic, are smaller than haddock, usually less than half their size. Even though they are tiny, there are lots of mackerel all around the world, and people don’t worry much about saving them. So, catching mackerel is a big business.
Pollock, called “Ufsi” in Icelandic, is a fish that you can find a lot of, and it can be up to one meter long. The heaviest one ever found weighed 21 kg or 46 lb. Some people don’t think it’s fancy because it’s used in things like frozen fish sticks, but in Nordic countries, they really like it because it has a special but not too strong taste.
Experience the Thrill of Fishing in Iceland
Explore the wonders of Icelandic fishing, where adventure awaits around every corner. Whether you’re drawn to the thrill of catching unique fish species, experiencing the scenic beauty of lakes, rivers, and seas, or savoring the flavors of Icelandic seafood, this land has it all. From ancient traditions to modern practices, Iceland offers fishing experiences to suit every taste. So, pack your bags, cast your line, and immerse yourself in the rich fishing heritage of this extraordinary country.