Love To Fish? Here's What You Need To Know About Fishing In Spain

Fishing is a great hobby. It’s relaxing, calming, and exciting all at the same time. But what about if you want to fish in Spain? Whether you’re living in Spain or you're on vacation in the country it’s likely you will need to secure a permit before you dip your rod. What’s more, the rules on where you’re allowed to fish will vary from region to region across the country.

So here’s everything you need to know about fishing in Spain:

Is Fishing Popular In Spain?

Fishing is a very popular hobby in Spain. According to a study by the Department of Marine Ecology in Blanes, Catalonia, there are over 870,000 recreational fishers in Spain.

Any avid fisher will know that there are different types of fishing and you can enjoy all of them in Spain. The most popular type of fishing in the country is shore fishing. This is followed by boat fishing and then spearfishing in the popularity ratings.

But because it is important that the fish population in Spain is preserved and maintained there are rules surrounding fishing in Spain. Regardless of where you’re based in the country you’ll almost certainly need to secure a fishing permit before you can fish in Spain. In some cases these are region-specific and sometimes you can use one permit to fish in other regions too.

To get a permit you will need to be either a Spanish resident or a Spanish citizen. If you are a tourist and you want to fish in Spain then you will need to get permission to fish by booking a fishing trip through a tourism company.

Here is a breakdown of the fishing permits you will need to secure by region:

To Fish in Madrid

To fish in Madrid you will need a valid fishing licence from the Community of Madrid and your ID card. If you want to fish in a reserve, controlled fishing area or in private waters then you will also need to secure a personal fishing permit for each place and date that you intend to fish.

You can’t just fish for whatever you find or catch. Each fishing season an order is published by the regional authorities that will let you know which species you’re allowed to fish and the limitations for fishing in rivers, streams and reservoirs in the region. This order is updated every season, and will also include the maximum quota and minimum size you're allowed to catch.

You can apply for the licences here.

Fishing in Catalonia

You can’t fish in Catalonia without a fishing licence. But the good news is you only need one licence and you can use this to fish at sea, throughout the Spanish State and in the continental waters of Catalonia. When you have this license you can fish in marine waters, but not in port waters or along the coast during the summer months. You can use this licence for sport or pleasure fishing. Before you grab your rod, check with the local town council as there are specific times you can’t fish in the region. And don’t sell any fish you catch as this will invalidate your permit. Any catches can only be made for your own consumption.

Fishing In Valencia

Fishing is an incredibly popular hobby in Valencia thanks to its huge 542km of coastline. Thanks to this you can fish from land, boat or underwater and you can enjoy pleasure or sport fishing too. The main rule is that catches obtained are used exclusively for your own consumption. You will need a permit to fish in Valencia. The regulation of recreational maritime fishing in inland waters is carried out by the General Subdirectorate of Fisheries, while fishing in other waters corresponds to the State Administration.

Fishing In Andalusia

Just like in Valencia, fishing is also a popular hobby in Andalusia. Because it is so popular, last year a nw decree was approved to regulate recreational fishing in the region. Since last August more than 200,000 of these licences have been issued. The maximum catch per person per day is 4kg. If you are in a boat this increased to 25kg.

Recreational fishing licences can be obtained from the age of 14 for a small fee and are free of charge from the age of 65. Because Andalusia is a region popular with tourists, if you’re visitingon holiday and want to fish for a few days you are able to apply for a simple licence here too.

There are four classes of licenses available:
 - Class 1: Authorises the holder for recreational maritime fishing from land and is valid for three years.
 - Class 2: Authorises its holder for recreational maritime fishing from a boat and is also valid for three years.
 - Class 3: Authorises recreational maritime fishing from a boat for several people that may not exceed the maximum number of capacity of the boat. It’s valid for one year.
 - Class 4: Authorises underwater recreational maritime fishing and is also valid for one year.

Fishing in the Balearic Islands

Just like in Andalusia, there are 4 different types of fishing license available for recreational sea fishing in the Balearic Islands. The first is individual for use on land or from floating devices such as canoes and kayaks.The second is for fishing from a 6th and 7th list vessel. The third is for spearfishing, which can be obtained from age 16 and above.
The final license enables you participate in official competitions and training.

If you are under the age of 14 then you can fish from land without a license. Prefer land fishing? You need authorisation from the body of river fishing if you want to take your rod to a lake, river, or lagoon.

Fishing in The Canary Islands

Finally, if you want to fish in the Canary Islands recreationally you will need a fishing licence. Recreational fishing permits issued in other Spanish regions are also valid in the Canary Islands, meaning that you don’t have to apply for an additional licence if you’ve already got one.

You can apply for one of the following 3 licences:  A First Class Licence is required for fishing from a boat with a handline, rod, trolling line, surface trolling line and jig. A Second Class Licence is required for spearfishing by hand or mechanically propelled means (spearguns) and shellfishing on foot. Finally a
 Third Class Licence: required for surface, shore and boat fishing and shellfishing on foot.

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