Fishing in Holland

Holland, Waterland

The Netherlands is fantastic for anglers, with an abundance of fishing opportunities in various waters, ranging from canals and rivers to commercial fishing ponds and beautiful narrow streams, as well as the expansive coastline along the North Sea. I will provide you with text and explanations about the popular fish species in the Netherlands and the best fishing waters per province that you certainly don’t want to miss.

I myself started fishing at the age of 6 in 1993 and am now an avid angler with over 20 years of experience in the commercial fishing industry.

Favorite fishing vacation countries (besides the Netherlands) are:

Based on my own fishing adventures throughout the Netherlands and Europe, I have had the opportunity to speak with local fishermen and gather information about the angling world within Europe. In this text, I write about my own information and fishing sessions within the Dutch borders.

Fishing in the Netherlands, everything you want to know

Popular fish species in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has a rich fish population, making it a great destination for any fishing enthusiast. Some of the most popular fish species that you can catch here are:


  • Bream
  • Roach
  • Tench
  • Trout
  • Pike
  • Perch
  • Zander
  • Carp
  • Grass carp
  • Catfish


  • Mackerel
  • Cod
  • Sea bass
  • Shark (Oosterschelde)
  • Garfish
  • Whiting
  • Plaice
  • Dab
  • Sole
  • Sea trout

Practical guide to fishing in the Netherlands

I will provide you with all the essential information you need for a successful fishing day in the Netherlands. From permits and regulations to fishing equipment and supplies.

Fishing techniques and popularity vary by region; in my opinion, this popularity is tied to the type of water and fish population.

  • River fishing
    The Maas, Waal, and IJssel are perhaps the most famous rivers, especially chosen for their excellent zander, barbel, and catfish stocks.
  • Canal fishing
    The Twentekanaal, Prinses Margrietkanaal, Lage Vaart, and Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal are the better-known canals in the Netherlands for fishing and competition fishing. Roach, bream, and carp are generally caught well there.
  • Commercial fishing ponds
    Toms Creek, De Berenkuil, and De Biesbosch are three well-known commercial fishing ponds that offer trout, rainbow trout, sturgeon, and catfish fishing.
  • Lakes and ponds
    The border lakes and the Maasplassen easily outstrip others in terms of popularity. It’s always a challenge and not always easy regardless of fish species. Ponds in residential areas The ponds and canals in residential areas often have a good stock of roach, bream, carp, and pike. Especially from spring to autumn, these are top waters.
  • North and Wadden Sea
    The saltwater is interesting from March to November. Depending on the spot and the season, you can fish well for sea bass, shark, flatfish, cod, and mackerel.

Fishing in Drenthe

Drenthe has interesting waters, especially for anglers on vacation here. Think of the Hoogeveense Vaart, Musselkanaal, and various recreational lakes in the province such as the Rietplas near Emmen.

In Drenthe, especially go fishing for pike, carp, or with the feeder rod for coarse fish.

Fishing in Flevoland

Say Flevoland, say Randmeren, but also definitely polder waters. Especially the part of Ketelmeer, Vossemeer, Drontermeer, Veluwemeer, Wolderwijd, Nijkerkernauw, Nuldernauw, Eemmeer up to the Gooimeer is interesting in terms of Randmeren. The side of the IJsselmeer and Markermeer is particularly interesting for predatory fishers, while carp and coarse fishers are better off focusing on the north, east, and south zones of the province.

The polder waters are fantastic for roaming predatory fishers, the Lage Vaart and Hoge Vaart are ideal for us fixed pole anglers. Note, fish with light bait if you are going for bream or roach. Especially the Lage Vaart is known competition water and is not considered easy.

vissen in nederland

Fishing in Friesland

Fishing in Friesland is recommended for anyone who owns a fishing rod. The lakes… the canals… they’re all fantastic for every water sports enthusiast. The lakes are relatively shallow compared to the other lakes in the Netherlands, making them ideal for fishing or boating.

Check out the Sportvisbrigade for information specifically for fishing in Friesland. I am happy to provide you with information about each canal, lake, or other Frisian fishing gem. If you have any questions, feel free to ask under the texts about the Tjeukemeer, the Fluessen, or any other informative text.

Fishing in Gelderland

The Waal, the Linge, or the Oude IJssel… You’re lucky if you’re a fisherman in Gelderland. Relatively little fishing water in the province, but all “yet undiscovered” gems.

If you want peace by the water, explore Gelderland with your fishing rod. The fishing waters are easily accessible, and you have kilometers of bank to explore. The Veluwemeer, the IJssel, and the Waal are the top spots for fishing. From barbel to perch, every freshwater fish species is easily catchable in Gelderland.

Fishing in Groningen

“Groningen, koningen.” That was often shouted during my student days. And you’ll feel like a king, uh, god in France when you go fishing in Groningen. The Eem, Damsterdiep, Paterswoldemeer, or Blauwestad… that peace is heavenly!

The classic coarse fish, carp, and predatory fish species are easily catchable. Opt for a feeder or fixed rod for the roach, bream, or pike. The Wadden Sea and Lauwersmeer are perfect for those who want to get close to the sea.

Fishing in Limburg

Limburg is great for anglers, especially if you’re a passionate predator angler. The Meuse, Grensmaas, Roer, and Maasplassen offer plenty of opportunities for catching predatory fish. Pike, zander, and perch are abundant in these waters.

Besides predatory fish, Limburg also has great fishing spots for carp and coarse fishing. The beautiful scenery and tranquil atmosphere make fishing in Limburg a delightful experience.

Fishing in North-brabant

North Brabant offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities, from fishing in the rivers Meuse and Mark to angling in the numerous ponds and lakes scattered across the province.

The Biesbosch is a renowned fishing area in North Brabant, known for its diverse fish population and stunning natural surroundings. Anglers can expect to catch species like pike, carp, bream, and perch in these waters.

Fishing in North-holland

North Holland boasts a variety of fishing waters, including the North Sea coastline, inland lakes, rivers, and canals. Anglers can target a wide range of fish species, from sea bass and mackerel in the coastal waters to pike, perch, and carp in the inland lakes and canals.

The IJsselmeer, Markermeer, and North Sea coast are popular destinations for sea fishing, while inland waters like the Amstel, Spaarne, and Zaan offer excellent opportunities for freshwater angling.

Fishing in Overijssel

Overijssel is a paradise for anglers, with numerous rivers, lakes, and canals teeming with fish. Anglers can target a variety of species, including pike, perch, roach, bream, and carp, in waters like the IJssel, Vecht, and Zwarte Water.

The beautiful countryside and tranquil surroundings make fishing in Overijssel a relaxing and enjoyable experience for anglers of all levels.

Fishing in Utrecht

Utrecht offers a range of fishing opportunities, from angling in the rivers Rhine and Lek to fishing in the numerous canals, lakes, and ponds scattered across the province.

The Vecht and Amstel rivers are popular destinations for anglers, offering excellent opportunities to catch species like pike, perch, bream, and carp. Anglers can also enjoy fishing in the picturesque canals of Utrecht city, where they can target a variety of freshwater species.

Fishing in Zeeland

Zeeland is a haven for anglers, with its extensive coastline, rivers, and inland lakes providing ample opportunities for fishing. Anglers can target a variety of species, including sea bass, mackerel, plaice, and sole in the coastal waters, as well as pike, perch, bream, and carp in the inland lakes and rivers.

The Oosterschelde and Westerschelde estuaries are particularly popular destinations for sea fishing, while inland waters like the Veerse Meer and Grevelingenmeer offer excellent opportunities for freshwater angling.

Fishing in South-holland

South Holland offers a wealth of fishing opportunities, from angling in the North Sea to fishing in the rivers, canals, and lakes scattered across the province.

The North Sea coast is a popular destination for sea fishing, with anglers targeting species like sea bass, mackerel, and cod from the shore or aboard charter boats. Inland waters like the Hollands Diep, Haringvliet, and Kagerplassen offer excellent opportunities for freshwater angling, with species like pike, perch, bream, and carp abundant in these waters.

Trout fishing in Holland

Trout fishing is a popular pastime in the Netherlands, with anglers targeting both rainbow trout and brown trout in rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds across the country.

The rivers and streams of the Ardennes region in southern Limburg are particularly popular destinations for trout fishing, offering excellent opportunities to catch both wild and stocked trout in picturesque surroundings. Anglers can also enjoy trout fishing in stocked ponds and lakes throughout the Netherlands, with many commercial fisheries offering day-ticket fishing for trout.

Fishing permit in the Netherlands

Purchase your fishing permit at With this permit, you are allowed to fish in all public waterways and numerous waters within urban areas. However, please note that there are exceptions per municipality and angling association. For detailed information on this, visit

No fishing permit is required for:

  • Youth under the age of 14 fishing with a maximum of one rod under the supervision of an adult who has the appropriate written permission does not need their own permission.
  • Youth under 14 fishing as part of an event (such as a youth fishing day or youth competition) organized by the fishing rights holder does not need written permission.
  • Fishing in water located within an enclosed property that does not have a passable connection to other water bodies also does not require written permission.

Exemptions include saltwater and commercial ponds.

The revenue from the sale of fishing permits is used for stocking, restoration of fish stocks and water edges, and measures and research that are important for the reproduction and growth of fish populations. Therefore, the purchase of the permit benefits the fish and ensures better opportunities for good fishing for both sport anglers and recreational anglers.

3 golden tips for a successful fishing day in the Netherlands

As an experienced angler in the Netherlands, I’m happy to share some useful fishing tips and techniques that have greatly helped me and will help you make your fishing day a success.

  1. Talk to local anglers and fishing shops; they are generally super helpful, especially for young anglers.
  2. Start with a fixed pole when you go fishing for the first time. Learning to use a spinning rod isn’t easy in just one morning, so don’t ruin your first fishing day with all sorts of knots. Begin with a fixed pole of 4-5 meters, and if you’re comfortable with it, then consider buying your first spinning rod.
  3. Don’t always fish in one spot; explore the water and get to know your surroundings. Success can vary from one fishing spot to another.

The ideal season for fishing in the Netherlands

Fishing in the Netherlands can be productive year-round, with different species and fishing techniques being more suitable at different times of the year.

Spring (March, April, May)

In spring, nature awakens from its winter slumber, and the waters of the Netherlands come to life. This is the season when many fish species become active and start feeding. Carp, bream, and tench are fish species that you can catch well during this season. They are full of energy and often eager to feed.

Additionally, spring is also a good time for trout fishing. Trout are active and respond well to various fishing techniques such as fly fishing, trolling, and float fishing.

Summer (June, July, August)

Summer is the peak season for fishing in the Netherlands. The warmer weather causes many fish species to become more active and move into shallower waters.

As holidays begin, it also becomes busier along the water’s edge. Zander and perch are among the most sought-after fish during the summer months. They are often caught in flowing water or in/near gravel pits.

Also, pike, the predator of predators, is easily caught in the summer. They are now at their most vulnerable in oxygen-poor water, so we suggest waiting until late August when water temperatures drop steadily below 20 degrees Celsius.

Autumn (September, October, November)

Autumn is a beautiful season for fishing in the Netherlands. It’s my favourite season; when the leaves rustle against the window, I feel restless if I’m indoors.

The colours of nature change, and fish species prepare for winter. Large perch remains an active fish during this season and can be found in large schools, especially near plant beds and other underwater structures.

For enthusiasts of trout, carp, and pike, autumn is also an ideal period. The fish are now at their strongest, making them even more active and ready to feed.

Winter (December, January, February)

Even as the weather gets colder, it doesn’t mean you should stop fishing in the Netherlands. On the contrary, winter offers unique opportunities, especially for pike anglers, roach anglers, and carp anglers. In certain places in the Netherlands, you can be extremely successful during the colder months.

Look for fishing spots sheltered from the wind and where the northerly winds have less impact. Also, search for areas where the water is relatively deeper compared to other parts of the water body. If you find a deep and sheltered spot out of the wind, then you’ve struck gold.

Fishing in the Netherlands with the whole family

Even if you want to go fishing with the whole family, the Netherlands offers great opportunities all year round. Even in winter, there are fun fishing adventures to be had, especially for pike and zander. Although these predatory fish may be deeper during the colder months, they remain active and ready to bite. Make sure you use the right techniques and bait to be successful during the winter season.

Netherlands is a top destination in every season for anglers of all ages. Each season offers unique experiences and the opportunity to catch your favorite fish species.

Going on an adventure with the whole family and enjoying the beautiful fishing waters of the Netherlands together will surely create unforgettable memories. So, grab your fishing rods, get ready for fun, and experience fantastic fishing moments with your family in beautiful Netherlands. Go on a fishing holiday in a cottage by the water, and you can enjoy the waterfront in every season with your fishing rods within reach.

Fishing Holiday in the Netherlands

If you truly want to enjoy an unforgettable fishing experience in the Netherlands, why not plan a fishing holiday? Here are some great options for waterfront accommodations:

Top 5 cottages by the water in the Netherlands

  1. Friese Meren
  2. Biesbosch
  3. Randmeren
  4. Maasplassen
  5. Parc Sandur

Top 5 camping spots by the water in the Netherlands

  1. Camping Friesland
  2. Camping Overijssel
  3. Camping Veluwemeer
  4. Camping IJsselmeer
  5. Camping Biesbosch

With this comprehensive guide to fishing in the Netherlands, you have everything you need to have a fantastic fishing experience in our country. Whether you want to go carp fishing, trout fishing, coarse fishing, predator fishing, or sea fishing, the Netherlands offers an unforgettable time for every angler.

Enjoy your fishing holiday in the Netherlands and make memories that will last a lifetime!

Do you have tips or personal experiences with fishing in the Netherlands that you would like to share? Comment below this post and let us know. I'm eager to learn from your tips and would be happy to supplement the text with new and additional information. Thanks in advance for your effort and input!

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