In the summer, there’s nothing quite like casting a line and enjoying the sunshine. It can be worth it even if you catch nothing. So, if you’re thinking of starting fishing – or are keen to get back into it – you’ll be pleased to know that the Czech Republic offers quite a few opportunities for anglers of all levels.
What, No License?!
To fish in most waters, you´ll need a license and a permit (more on that below). Fortunately, there are a few fisheries where you can fish without said documents. Many of them are ideal for family trips, first-timers, and the occasional angler.
Třeboň Fisheries (Rybářství Třeboň)
The town of Třeboň is synonymous with ponds, so it isn´t surprising that it´s a good place for fishing. Třeboň Fisheries have four ponds where it is possible to fish without a license: Staňkovský, Hejtman, Táborský (Knížecí) and Nový Kanclíř. The first three cost 200 CZK per day and the last is 680 CZK. Further information including their location on Google Maps can be found here. In these ponds it is possible to find common and grass carp, pike, pike-perch, cat fish and tench. You will need your own equipment.
Rybářský ráj at Pískovna Lázně Toušeň
Quite close to Prague, this now flooded gravel pit offers fishing opportunities for 1000 CZK per day. They have carp, pike, pike-perch, and catfish. You have to have your own equipment.
Lake Vrbenský (Vrbenské jezero)
Located just a little north of Most, Lake Vrbenský is another great destination for carp with claims that specimens as big as 26 kg can be found in the waters. The price is 900 CZK for 24 hours. Other costs can be found here. Apart from carp, the lake holds trench, pike, eel, and other fish. Fishing here is only catch and release.
This pond is found southeast of Prague, not far from Zruč nad Sázavou. It is possible to fish there for 790 CZK per day with other rates for longer periods. There are also cottages for rent. The pond is apparently stocked with carp, grass carp, pike-perch, eel and pike. You can take fish between a certain length home (see the link for the prices). It is possible in exceptional cases to hire equipment.
Holín u Jičína
Not far from the town of Jičín in Czech Paradise, Petr Lemberk’s guesthouse and campsite allows you to fish for a day with the kids or organize a fishing trip with your buddies. Lemberk’s pond is stocked with trout, carp, pike, amur carp, pike-perch and perch to name a few. The full list is here. A day pass costs 200 CZK. At Lemberk’s, you can also rent equipment.
This spa town is located just a little north of Pardubice. The fishery here is also ideal for the novice or occasional angler. They offer a range of prices. They also offer equipment for hire.
This place is more for a weekend away because fishing as only guests can fish in the pond Korytník. The fishing permit costs 350 CZK. Guests have to bring their own equipment. Their pond has carp, pike, pike perch and tench.
If you decide to fish more regularly, or you’re an angler who is planning to live here, you will need state fishing license (rybářský lístek). An angler is required to carry this license at all times when he or she is at most ponds or rivers. One of the requirements for the license is a written test, which is in Czech. The cost for the license is 100 CZK for one year, 200 CZK for three years and 500 CZK for ten years.
However, the license alone does not permit you to fish. In order to do so, you will also need a fishing permit (povolenka), which you can obtain from the Czech Fishing Union (Český rybářský svaz).
The permit is divided into two kinds: for salmonid (trout and their ilk) and non-salmonid (all the other fish). This distinction is important because it determines what type of fish you can take and when you can fish. The permit can be regional or for the whole Czech Republic.
Further information in English can be found at the Czech Fishing Union website. This same page includes a link to salmonid and non-salmond fisheries (This information is in German).
Meet Some of the Fish
The following list is of some of the more common sort fish in the Czech Republic. The information includes what bait and tackle to use and when to go for them and the minimum size.
There are several types of carp regularly fished. Most common are the common carp (obecný kapr), which you know from Christmas, and the grass carp (bílý amur). Both varieties can be taken with boilies (pre-made pellets), boiled potatoes and corn kernels. Carps require patience, so it’s good to have some poles to set your rod on and wait. Carp learn how not to be caught because they are often caught and released, so you may have to adjust your technique at different ponds. Two common variants of the common carp are the Mirror Carp, so called because its scales resemble mirrors and the leather carp, which is almost totally scaleless. Carp is by far the most popular sport fish in the Czech Republic.
Minimum length: 35cm (common carp) and 50 cm (grass carp)
This medium sized member of the minnow family requires less patience. The chub (jelec tloušť), also known as chevin or pollard and to locals as říční prase (river pig), will literally take anything and tends to bite quickly if it’s around. Personally, I’ve found cherries work like a treat, so if you have an excess of cherries after the summer, now you know what to do with them. Boilies, bread and worms also work. For the chub, you will need a flexible rod. Now is a good time for this fish because it likes the heat.
Minimum length: 25 cm
For the sake of space I’ll focus on the endemic brown trout (obecný pstruh). This fish is particularly fond of the clean oxygen-rich cool to cold water of mountain streams. However, you can find them in rivers lower down. Trout does put up quite a fight, so you’ll need a strong line and a rod that is flexible. Fly-fishing is only one way to land trout and is a technique that takes some practice. You can also use live bait – worms tend to work best. The best time to go for trout is sunset or sunrise.
Minimum length: 25 cm
This predatory fish is probably as much fun as fishing for trout because of their size and fearsome appearance and reputation. Better still, with a pike (štíka) you can set up your line on poles as you would for carp, but baited with fish – live or dead. Lures also work well, especially something that flashes. It is said pike bite all day, but if it’s really hot, they’ll probably be at the bottom toward the center – which is okay if you have a boat. If you’re on the shore morning and evening are better times.
Minimum length: 50 cm
The pike-perch (candát obecný) also known as a zander, is another popular game fish here. It can be found in slow moving and even murky water. With this fish, you can use live or dead bait or lures. However, you can’t just set up the rod and wait. The pike-perch is notoriously cautious and so you have to give it your full attention.
Minimum length: 45 cm
If size matters to you, then this is the fish you want to go after. The catfish (sumec) usually can reach a length of more than 2 meters. For me, I don’t see much point. The fish is really fatty and the bigger ones are basically inedible. However, if you are interested, now is a good time as the fish is meant to be good to catch on dark humid nights. The recommended bait is live fish.
Minimum length: 70 cm
Whether you’re just curious to try fishing or a keen angler who had just arrived, you will find plenty of fish and places to catch them in the Czech Republic, so get out there while the sun is shining and happy casting!
So what have you caught? Or do want to tell us about the one that got away?
Special thanks to Lee Broster for his contribution to this article and for his photos.