It doesn’t matter if your biggest catch is a minnow, rather than a giant barracuda. It doesn’t matter if you’d rather sit on the bank of a beautiful body of water and sip beer, rather than practice your cast, or just enjoy the peace and quiet of the sport. We have just the relaxing fishing destinations for you. Presenter Rae Borras from The Fishing TV Show (due to start September 25 on BT Sports) runs us through the top 10 fishing spots on the planet…
The land of fire and ice is one of the most accessible destinations for the adventurous UK angler – a three hour flight time makes getting there as easy as a trip to Scotland. Its clear rivers teem with salmon, trout and arctic char and, if you feel like a change of pace and scenery, a boat trip off the rugged coast could put you in touch with a giant cod or halibut. Iceland’s landscape varies from moon-like lava fields and glacial plateaus to rich green farmland and provides a wealth of other activities for the family to enjoy while you fish.
Ireland has long held a mystical draw for the travelling angler and the 2,500 acre Lough Currane in Co. Kerry on the west coast is one of its most stunning waters, with many islands and sheltered bays for fishing. The majority of the fishing is for salmon and sea-trout; indeed it is regarded by many as the best sea-trout fishery in Ireland and has accounted for 98 per cent of the specimen sea-trout caught in Ireland over the past 10 years. It is also well-known as an early spring salmon fishery.
This may seem a strange choice but Thailand has recently become a hot spot for anglers seeking exotic quarry. A number of fisheries have been created and are stocked with giant fish from around a world. A quiet afternoon by one of the warm water lakes could see you attached to a giant arapaima from South America (the largest freshwater fish in the world); a terrifying North American alligator gar or, for more home grown monsters, a giant Mekong catfish or a 150lb Siamese carp. It’s surreal, mad, and great fun.
The Land of the Long White Cloud should also be named the land of the big brown trout, as both islands tumbling gin-coloured streams and deep lakes abound with the enormous fish species. Beware though – they are not easy to catch. If trout seem too mundane, a trip on one of the many big game boats that operate off the coast could put you in touch with a gigantic marlin or a high-leaping mako – the world’s fastest shark.
Lying 300 miles south west of Mahe, Alphonse Island is possibly the best saltwater fishing destination in the Indian Ocean. The coral atolls protect shallow sandy flats that are home to the legendary ‘silver ghost’ – the bonefish. Along the surf line you can do battle with the immensely powerful giant travally or, if you really fancy a challenge, try targeting the elusive milkfish. This mysterious algae eater grows to over 40lb and is regarded as one of the most difficult fish to catch. Fortunately, the fishing guides on Alphonse have turned catching these oddities into an art form.
Tierra del Fuego (literally Land of Fire) is about as far south as its possible to fish, and it gives you access to the world famous Rio Grande. This fabulous river borders Chile and Argentina and is the place to go for massive sea trout. One of the advantages of fishing on the Chilean side is that you can target these fish (which can reach weights of over 30lbs) at night – one of the most exciting forms of fly fishing to be found anywhere on earth.
You don’t have to get on a plane to experience stunning fishing. The English chalk streams are the spiritual home of modern fly fishing and are an environment almost unique to England. Although Hampshire’s river Test is perhaps the most famous fishing river in the world, it’s near neighbour, the river Itchen, which flows through historic Winchester, is more exclusive and, in its upper reaches, offers the travelling angler some of the most challenging wild trout fishing on the planet.
For many anglers the giant blue marlin, which can grow to weights in excess of 1,000lbs, is the ultimate piscine catch. The island of Madeira, sitting 360 miles off the west coast of Africa is a magnet for these giant ocean predators and a world record fish is always a possibility. Just a few hours flying from the UK, Madeira is a great tourist destination as well as an angler’s paradise. You had better make sure you are fit, as the longest recorded fight with a marlin was over 30 hours (and it got away!).
There are not too many places that offer true wilderness fishing but in the vast open expanses of Alaska you really can lose yourself – literally! Most of the region’s rivers and lakes are only accessible by sea plane or bush plane (sometimes landing on gravel islands in mid-river). The rivers teem with several species of Pacific salmon including chinook, silver, pink, and chum. Migratory rainbow trout, known as steelhead, are among the hardest fighting fish in the world and, when you add in Arctic grayling, char, pike and muskellunge, Alaska offers something for everyone. The wildlife is spectacular with bears, eagles, moose, and beaver all sharing the rivers with you.
During the long years of the Cold War, the Kola Peninsular was out of bounds to foreigners, being the home of the USSR’s huge Northern Fleet. With the fall of the Iron Curtain in the early 1990s, western anglers were finally able to fish some of the finest Atlantic salmon fishing on earth. Accessible mainly by helicopter, rivers such as the Ponoi and Kharlovka offer the intrepid angler the chance of Atlantic salmon in excess of 50lbs as well as world class fishing for Brown Trout, Char and Grayling.
Watch The Fishing TV Show with Rae Borras at 7pm, September 25 on BT Sports
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