Fishing on the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals

Head along the Forth and Clyde or Union Canal for some canal fishing. Species include roach, bream, rudd, gudgeon, carp and particularly tench. Perch, pike, trout and eels are also present.

Get started with a spot of canal fishing. Roach and Perch are the most common species throughout the canal, and can easily be caught using maggots, pinkies, worms or bread as hookbait. Great beginners’ fishing experience.

What’s biting?

The Forth & Clyde Canal Canal is especially noted for its tench, whilst roach and perch are the most likely catches on the Union Canal. Carp approaching a colossal 20lb in weight have been recorded, and Firhill Basin in Glasgow is the noted hotspot for this species. The current Scottish Carp record of 34lb 12oz was captured on the Forth & Clyde Canal in May 2010. Pike are present on most sections of the waterways.

Need to know

Only fish from the towpath side of the canal. Stay at least 25 metres from any lock or swing bridge. 2 rods max or 3 for pike fishing. Tackle shops and angling clubs can all offer good local advice and help you get the best out of your fishing. Remember that all fish caught must be returned alive.

In order to go fishing on the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals, membership with the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling is required.

Apply for a fishing permit

Canal Season Tickets are free with the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling’s Annual Individual Membership. At only £5 for an adult annual membership, you can also help support and protect the future of coarse angling in Scotland. Become a member today

Fishing Tip:
Use a small hook such as a size 20 and a fine line of 2lbs breaking strain.

Fishery rules:

  • All fish are to be returned to the water alive and unharmed.
  • Maximum of 3 rods (rods are not to be spaced more than 5 metres apart).
  • No fish are to be removed from, or introduced to the canal.
  • Do not leave any litter, bait or groundbait on the canal towpath. All line must be removed and safety disposed of.
  • No fishing in or within 25 metres of a lock or swing bridge or at designated moorings where so signed.
  • No fires.
  • Anglers must not block towpath with fishing equipment.

Check our Canal Works & Updates pages for details of current works along the Forth & Clyde and Union canals.

Points of Interest

Use the legend to find things to do around the Forth & Clyde Canal, and Union Canal