Fishing in Belgium

Fishing is a very popular pastime in Belgium. Inland there are many rivers, waterways and lakes, and there is also good fishing on Belgium's seacoast from beaches and jetties.

There are two classes of fishing water in Belgium:

  • Closed waters: These are waters that do not link up with any running water or that are separated from running water by screens that block the passage of fish. These are not under fishing regulations, except for private closed waters
  • Running waters: These are further classified into two groups, both governed by fishing regulations:
    • Navigable and floatable water which is considered public property and where the right to fish belongs to the State
    • Non-navigable or non-floatable waters where the right to fish belongs to the landowner or a fishing club

Licences & Regulations

Licences

Anyone wishing to fish in running waters in Belgium needs to hold a state licence or permit for this sport. In addition, to fish in non-navigable waters it is necessary to obtain permission (usually in the form of another permit) from the holder of the fishing rights in that area.

Signs mark areas where fishing is not permitted and show an angler crossed with a red stripe. Arrows indicate the restricted area.

Essentially there are two types of licence for freshwater fishing, each valid for the year in which it is purchased:

  • One licence allows fishing only from the bank
  • One entitles the holder to fish from the bank, in a rowing boat, from a pier or standing in the water

Both can be obtained from Post Offices and from some Tourist Offices. Permits can be renewed online via some angling associations.

To order a fishing permit online from the Maison de la Peche: Click here

An exception is made for children under 14 years of age, who may fish without a permit on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and during school holidays, as long as an adult with a valid permit accompanies them. One adult can accompany up to four children.

In some areas an additional local licence may be needed – this is usually clearly indicated.

Regulations

Night fishing for carp is allowed on most waters. However, you will need to have a ‘B’ license.

Environmental authorities can impose temporary or permanent fishing bans on any area. Do not fish anywhere you see a sign with an angler and an ‘X’ on it.

You may take up to 5 carp fish, so long as they are dead and are bigger. than 15cm. Do not take away protected species.

It is forbidden to consume the fish you have caught on site.

You may only use the landing net to take the fish you caught with the fishing rod out of the water.

The fishing rod and the bobber are the only fishing tools allowed. All tools other than the fishing rod or the bobber are prohibited.

It is prohibited to fish under ice.

The use of coloured maggots is prohibited. These contain colouring substances which may be toxic to the fish and the angler.

It is prohibited to use more than two fishing rods to fish with.

It is prohibited to attach more than three single or more than three multiple hooks to one and the same fishing rod.

It is prohibited to leave fishing rods unattended.

Be sure to ask locally for any bylaws. There are numerous variations to the laws on night fishing, catch-and-release, types of bait, among others.

Seasons

Coarse fishing usually takes place between the third Saturday in June and 31 December. However, restrictions usually apply to protected waters and you can usually fish for carp most of the year. 

However, the spawning period between 16th April and 31st May is closed for all ecologically valuable waters.

This PDF should clear up any issues you may have with carp fishing seasons and regulations.

Resources

Maison de la Peche

Website

Fishing In Belgium

Website

Check List

  • Fishing Permits (see above)
  • Photo ID
  • Travel Insurance - we recommend RAC (see below)

If you are driving:

  • Green Card (Insurance) - contact your insurer
  • Driving licence
  • Vehicle Log Book
  • GB Sticker (unless GB identifier is on your number plate)

NB: If you hold a paper only driving licence or a driving licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Belgian Embassy.

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Flights

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    Fishing Belgium

    Fishing is a very popular pastime in Belgium. Inland there are many rivers, waterways and lakes, and there is also good fishing on Belgium's seacoast from beaches and jetties.

    There are two classes of fishing water in Belgium:

    • Closed waters: These are waters that do not link up with any running water or that are separated from running water by screens that block the passage of fish. These are not under fishing regulations, except for private closed waters
    • Running waters: These are further classified into two groups, both governed by fishing regulations:
      • Navigable and floatable water which is considered public property and where the right to fish belongs to the State
      • Non-navigable or non-floatable waters where the right to fish belongs to the landowner or a fishing club

  • Licences & Regulations

    Licences

    Anyone wishing to fish in running waters in Belgium needs to hold a state licence or permit for this sport. In addition, to fish in non-navigable waters it is necessary to obtain permission (usually in the form of another permit) from the holder of the fishing rights in that area.

    Signs mark areas where fishing is not permitted and show an angler crossed with a red stripe. Arrows indicate the restricted area.

    Essentially there are two types of licence for freshwater fishing, each valid for the year in which it is purchased:

    • One licence allows fishing only from the bank
    • One entitles the holder to fish from the bank, in a rowing boat, from a pier or standing in the water

    Both can be obtained from Post Offices and from some Tourist Offices. Permits can be renewed online via some angling associations.

    To order a fishing permit online from the Maison de la Peche: Click here

    An exception is made for children under 14 years of age, who may fish without a permit on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and during school holidays, as long as an adult with a valid permit accompanies them. One adult can accompany up to four children.

    In some areas an additional local licence may be needed – this is usually clearly indicated.

    Regulations

    Night fishing for carp is allowed on most waters. However, you will need to have a ‘B’ license.

    Environmental authorities can impose temporary or permanent fishing bans on any area. Do not fish anywhere you see a sign with an angler and an ‘X’ on it.

    You may take up to 5 carp fish, so long as they are dead and are bigger. than 15cm. Do not take away protected species.

    It is forbidden to consume the fish you have caught on site.

    You may only use the landing net to take the fish you caught with the fishing rod out of the water.

    The fishing rod and the bobber are the only fishing tools allowed. All tools other than the fishing rod or the bobber are prohibited.

    It is prohibited to fish under ice.

    The use of coloured maggots is prohibited. These contain colouring substances which may be toxic to the fish and the angler.

    It is prohibited to use more than two fishing rods to fish with.

    It is prohibited to attach more than three single or more than three multiple hooks to one and the same fishing rod.

    It is prohibited to leave fishing rods unattended.

    Be sure to ask locally for any bylaws. There are numerous variations to the laws on night fishing, catch-and-release, types of bait, among others.

  • Seasons

    Coarse fishing usually takes place between the third Saturday in June and 31 December. However, restrictions usually apply to protected waters and you can usually fish for carp most of the year. 

    However, the spawning period between 16th April and 31st May is closed for all ecologically valuable waters.

    This PDF should clear up any issues you may have with carp fishing seasons and regulations.

  • Resources

    Maison de la Peche

    Website

    Fishing In Belgium

    Website

  • Check List

    • Fishing Permits (see above)
    • Photo ID
    • Travel Insurance - we recommend RAC (see below)

    If you are driving:

    • Green Card (Insurance) - contact your insurer
    • Driving licence
    • Vehicle Log Book
    • GB Sticker (unless GB identifier is on your number plate)

    NB: If you hold a paper only driving licence or a driving licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Belgian Embassy.

  • Recommended Waters
  • Getting There
    Flights

    Daily budget flights in and out of all main European airports.

  • Insurance
    Travel Insurance

    Stay safe & stay covered. Best rates for European travel.

  • Driving
    Car Hire

    Have a car waiting for you upon arrival. Great rates guaranteed.